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This week's lineartist is: breastie beloved, @arbustorum, with a double feature to close us out of this flashback!

The thumbnail I gave her: [page 5] | [page 6]

My favourite thing about these pages: Riley's helpless expression in the first panel looking up at Blaire U_U And the mouths! Mare is so good at drawing big-ass mouths without making them looking disproportional to the face. Brick's hair in the first panel is such a treat too, especially around the the nape of her neck.

Mushy Stuff:  Thank you to all my wonderful and talented guest artists, Mare, Kory, HorseBlaire and Sunny. I've woven parts of many women who have touched my life significantly into Lease Bound, and I'm truly grateful, and honoured that you four are among them. Thank you also to every woman who left thoughtful comments, and were welcoming to my lovely guest artists - this has definitely reinforced my desire to host guest artists again in the future!
 Stay tuned for Thursday, Nov 2nd ~8PM (ACST/ GMT10:30+)  for the title page of CH12,
 and the following Sunday, Nov 5th~8PM (ACST/ GMT10:30+) for CH12P1! It's SHEZ TIME BABEEEEYYY!!!

55 thoughts on “CH11.5P5&6

  1. Boosty Update

    CH12P11 Speed Paint
    What Could Have Been: Blaire & Jaden’s First Meeting (CH6) – Did you know that Jaden and Blaire were originally written to meet during chapter 6, instead of missing each other by minutes?

  2. A double page!!! 🥰🥰🥰

    That last page is setting the mood so beautifully. Not hard to see where Riley gets the anxiety from! She tried so hard to walk on eggshells and she still ended up being yelled at by a stranger and reprimanded by her girlfriend, who is supposedly to be on her side! She just can’t win 😔

    Thank you for letting me be part of this wonderful comic (and flashback)!! 🥰🥰

    1. Thank *you* for being a part of it 🥰🥰🥰

  3. Brick on this page “you can’t tell who’s trans just by looking at them!” Brick literally a few minutes before “Though I probably could have told you THAT [Riley being trans] the moment you stepped in here.” Which is it Brick? Can’t just change it based on what fits your narrative

    1. She can and she WILL, how dare you try and stifle her, transphobe 😤😤

  4. Aw the end of an era 🤗 This has been so lovely, not the storyline lol, but seeing all these talented and unique women come together to bring another (equally amazing) women’s work to life!

    Mare, Kory, HorseBlaire, Sunny, all poured their heart and soul into Lease Bound and a little piece of them will be woven into it forever! Agh my heart! 🥰

    This has been a real treat! I’ve never seen another comic do a collaboration like this; I do hope it continues because it’s such a beautiful idea 💜

    1. Thank *you* so much for all your lovely, thoughtful, supportive commentary throughout!

      You can definitely expect to see a page collab again in the future 🥰 I love how many amazing women I have had the pleasure of meeting through creating LB 💜

  5. At this point, clowns are trans. You can just tell.

    1. Clown behaviour. Clown beliefs. Clown fashion trends.

  6. I feel so sad for Riley in this panel. Yelled at by a stranger, given the cold shoulder by her girlfriend in front of that stranger…

    Riley deserves someone she can let her guard down around, someone more than Muddles. No wonder she spends so much energy eggshell-walking. How badly would Blaire treat her if she learned she was roomies and friends with “a terf”?

    Anyway, Dump Blaire Parade rolling.

    Also, considering that Rusty has alluded to Riley having left a cult, I wonder if Riley will eventually notice any similarities between that group and the controlling way Brick and Blaire are treating her.

    E.g. Asking questions, even in good faith in front of obvious contradictions, is a sign of moral defectiveness.

    Outsiders may be demon-possessed/TERFS and should be treated with suspicion.

    Higher-level group members are enlightened in ways outsiders could never understand, so they aren’t expected to explain themselves.

    Low-level members should be comforted and intimidated to give rewards and punishments.

    While we only have bits and pieces of her backstory right now, the implied shunning from her mom makes me wonder if they are alike.

    1. How badly would Blaire treat her if she learned she was roomies and friends with “a terf”?

      I wonder if Riley will eventually notice any similarities between that group and the controlling way Brick and Blaire are treating her.

  7. Brick really does spend a lot of time with her eyes closed
    I guess both literally and metaphorically

    1. LMAO shit! You’re right!! It’s such an easy way to convey pompousness!

  8. Snorted at “you can’t tell who’s trans just by looking at them” coming from BRICK (love how she’s pointing at herself when she say’s that) clown moment 🤡

    Even in anonymous writing trans people don’t pass 😅 I’ve been getting back into film lately and correctly clocked at least 3 tim critics based on reviews and recommended lists alone!

    1. I’m like cool this female reviewer really liked this niche lesbian romance film I like, I wonder what else they’ve recommended! I click on their profile and BOOM man in pigtails jumpscare and a ton of positive reviews for gross shit like Euphoria and The Idol 🤢

  9. This page reminds me that the comic is taking place on a different era.
    The 201Xs were really the time where the TRA one-liners and partisan slogans began.

    The spreading of the ‘euphoria’ idea, the surgeries vs the social transition, the ridiculous suicide statistics, the blatant lying about stonewall they never admitted responsibility for (did you know that in countries of the global south this lie continues to be repeated? Fun isn’t it?), the *barf* cotton ceiling…all the big hits were created and spread during this era.

    The gaslighting of it all too… “You have probably crushed on a trans person without knowing” and other statistical manipulations. This one liners were meant to be consumed and believed by people who hadn’t had contact with real life trans people and specially a real life gay community in their homelands.

    Like…the grand majority of trans people absolutely didn’t past, pre or post hormones. The few ‘stealths’ that I knew let you know their sex when needed.

    For me it was kinda funny at the time, and I figured it was just baby gays being political. I’m retrospective it’s insane how I never said anything bout it because I thought it was just a phase, contained in a niche corner of the anglosphere…. ._. Well.

  10. I haven’t read another webcomic that integrated guest artists as well as this. Even with the variety of art styles, it still looked cohesive with the regular pages because of the colors and panel layouts, great job everyone!

    After all this, can’t wait for the day Riley stands up for herself.

    1. That makes me so happy to hear! I think the sandwich system of my thumbnails to guest artists’ linework, back to my colours/speech bubbles was the best way to go with the cohesion.

      Very, very happy with the result.🥰🥰

      And yessss. I’m a big fan of slow-built pay offs, so very excited for when Riley stands up too (it has long been written >:3c)

  11. would love to see brick go this mental on kai for assuming eli or some other woman was a “cis bitch” when they first met. a few crumbs of absurd infighting would make this even more accurate to what these groups of friends tend to actually be like

  12. Brick is so rancid. And while I don’t like to make fun of any woman’s appearance, I swear she puts effort into being ugly.

    It’s not her, it’s the way she chooses to present herself (or “present gender” I guess you could say) which is indeed so accurate to gendies of both sexes that at this point yeah I actually CAN spot a gendie by looks.

    They really do all look like Brick and the QC or the AGP gang. HSTs hit a little different but they’re the minority now. Not that they’re any more “legitimate” just have a different look. Also oh my DAMN the whiplash from Blaire!

  13. These pages are so dynamic! The between-bonus segments have been delightful. It’s amazing to be introduced to fellow artists in the community. I can’t wait for Shez’s backstory!!!! 👽🛸

    1. Very happy to have you among us too, breastie! Your fanart gives me life <3 Particularly your latest Ari piece, that everyone should go and check out right now.

    2. Cant say it over there cause i dont have or use tumblr but ohh my gosh your Ari fanart was soo good!!! got a good chuckle out of it too 😹 Thank you for sharing it TDOT! 💗 hope you make more down the line as we get to know more of the fab jew queen in canon

  14. thanks everybody <3 love you rusty!!

    1. mwah! mwah! mwah!

  15. I’ve loved these last few pages from your guest artists! It’s nice to see this scene drawn out in full, and to see the talents of the other women who enjoy this comic with me and so many others. I may even throw my hat into the ring for potential future pages, if you decide to do them again.

    Brick and Blaire make me want to pick them up and shake them like dog toys. RRRHFHFHFFF RRRRH. Madams, you are excruciating.

    1. Thank you!! I would absolutely be open to doing it again for smaller scenes like this. I’ll put out a call of interest next time I’ve got a scene that would be fitting for guest artists 🥰

      (No promises you won’t have to draw the QT club though 🤣🤣)

  16. DasFeministMermaid

    Blaire SO reminds me of someone I used to know. Flippity floppity, your best friend until someone else has a problem with you.

  17. Parniya’s biggest fan

    Anddddd abusive Blaire is back 🙁

  18. Blaire’s supportive to abusive demeanor shift happened so fast it gave me Whiplash. Poor Riley having to walk on eggshells to avoid it

    1. She never knows when it’s coming 😔😔😔

  19. Man, the context behind what made Brick yell at Riley which we got that glimpse of in that flashback so long ago just makes it all seem even more pathetic and horrible than it already did – and it seemed plenty pathetic and horrible already. The aggression, the condescension, the bullying and ganging up…

    And all over them having the audacity to tell someone who and what she is, when Riley NEVER asked for this crap.

    The only silver lining I can think of is that Brick and Blaire’s horrible treatment of Riley seems to have made her wisely cautious of gendie stuff in general, which even Blaire admitted when she thought about how she’d “scared Riley off”. On the other hand, this makes her more calculated approach with Jaden come off even creepier…

    Also although I wouldn’t ever inflict Tiffany on my worst enemy, I’d be curious to see whether she’d be able to stomach talking to Assigned-Trans/Nonbinary women like Riley and Jaden or whether she’d class them as CBs lmao.

    1. Exactly what I was hoping for with this little flash back expansion! I hope it gives more context to any re-reads, particularly of chapter 6!

      Re: Tiffany – unless they were fully embraced their trans identities, I doubt she could handle speaking with Riley and Jaden 🤣

      1. It certainly comes off as much darker! With that one panel being all we saw, I assumed that it was a one-off sort of comment which, while negative and upsetting, didn’t have the same weight as this creepy interrogation thing. It’s becoming more and more clear why Riley is so anxious and uncertain – gender fandom stuff can be tolerated or ignored to an extent unless it’s being shoved in your face, which it definitely was for her.

        And omg that’s so sad how poor poor poor Riley and Jaden miss out on interacting with the delightful Tiffany ;_; I cry every time.

  20. What awful manipulative and controlling people. Set Riley free omg.

    1. She has to come to the realization she’s in a cage, and get herself out 😔

  21. Interesting how Brick says that even trans people have transphobic biases they need to unlearn, but when Riley, (who she thinks is a trans person) says something which Brick considers transphobic, her first reaction is to agressively yell at her.

    Like… if Brick truly believed what she preached, she should be like, offering Riley compassion and understanding. According to their own logic, it would be hard to accept yourself as a trans person in a transphobic society, right?

    It would be natural to not know everything about the ~complexity of gender~, right? But nope. “It’s okay to take time to process it”, but they expect Riley to somehow guess all the Correct Gender Takes and get mad when she doesn’t magically know things.

    Brick, at least to me, comes across as that flavor of gendie who is not doing all the gender stuff because they genuinely believe it’s the right /kind thing to do, but because it gives them a sense of control and an excuse to attack people who step out of line.

    Brick is clearly not very confident in what she’s saying but “educating” people on the Gender Lore makes her feel important (helping people find their True Selves like a true Queer Elder) and powerful (gets to berate anyone who doesn’t agree/understand what she says).

    I feel if Brick wasn’t a gendie she would still have the same terrible personality, she would just have found a different path/ideology to bully people with.

    (Also I love how Riley looks in Arbustorum’s art style)

    1. Jerks will be jerks no matter what group they are part of. Brick and Blaire are jerks who could benefit from meditating on the teaching of Rabbi Hillel

      He came before Hillel and said to him, “Convert me.” Hillel said to him, “What is hateful to you, do not to your neighbor: that is the whole Torah; the rest is commentary; go and learn it.”

      —Babylonian Talmud, Shabbat folio 31a (ca. 1st cen. CE)(AJWS transl.)

        1. greattsathoggua

          It is odd to say that bullies should stop treating others in ways they would not like to be treated?

        2. It’s very odd to suggest instead of heading one religion, they should heed another. Why would Brick and Blaire need to seek a religious leader to learn basic social ettitiquette?

    2. You’ve got brick down to a T. I’ve noticed many young women drawn to the particular flavour of “education activism” as Brick, because it’s one of few times they as women can assert a position of authority without being immediately shot down due to misogyny.

      It’s got to be pretty tantalising.

      (Me too! She always makes her look adorable 🥰🥰)

  22. There are three trans people I interact with on a regular basis. Two are the children of our dearest friends (as in we are the guardians of the kids if something hapoens, and we performed their wedding). They are good kids, and I would jump into a tiger’s mouth to protect them. Since coming out and taking male names they are much happier. Grades have improved. The one who was cutting has stopped. And all talk of quinceaneras has been shelved. They seem healthier living as bois, so who am I to betray their trust and make them unhappy?

    The other is a cartoonist and one of my martial arts teachers. I don’t interact with him outside of class. In the studio he is scrupulously ethical, supportive to the students, and an excellent instructor. I have absolutely no idea about his romantic life,and as long as it is all with consenting adults it is none of my business. He treats me with professionalism and fairness; if he wants to be called “she” and use his new legal name I am happy to oblige.

    1. Okay, who’s stopping you from continuing to do so?

      1. Nothing. But the stereotypes here are more than a tad over the top. Every single trans person is a nasty, judgemental bully. As someone who has eaten a bushel of crap up to and including hospitalization for knife wounds because of racial bigotry I have a finely tuned radar for prejudice.

        1. So because you haven’t experienced it, it’s untrue and not allowed to be depicted?

        2. I agree the archetypes are over the top, but that’s the point, since it’s supposed to be something comedic instead of a complete political statement or a drama.

          I do disagree with the reading of, and your conclusion about these characters. The idea of the QT club isn’t “These people are horrible because they’re trans” or even “These people are always horrible.”.

          Blaire, who is a ‘cis’ woman; apart from Brick who has a strong personality but has been shown way less; has been by far the character with the most caustic and intense traits. She is in fact, the one stirring the pot and causing internal and external turmoil in most of the characters.

          Brick wouldn’t be chastising Riley in this page if her gf hadn’t dragged her to her in the first place.

          This comic isn’t showing trans people as a whole and isn’t even exclusively targeting trans people. This comic, speaks about a very specific section of the community that believes in modern gender ideology. You can complain about my word choice in the description of their beliefs, but it’s the best fitting term I can think of.

          But this is why radfems or dissenters talk about TRA’s and not trans people. Because it’s about an specific set of beliefs that either ignores or denies the existence or relevance of sexual dimorphism in humans and its role in the historical creation and development of social relations and therefore oppression. I know quite a few of trans people too, none of them are TRAs.

          If Rusty wanted to communicate “trans people are bad cause they’re trans” She wouldn’t bother putting positive traits or expand in their interests in their bios. These characters aren’t randomly exploding at people or bullying anyone out of a whim or the darkness of their hearts either.

          Brick, Blaire and others only specifically act like this when their personal beliefs are questioned or opposed.

          You clearly are a religious/spiritual person. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about; that religious neighbor/friend/relative. Maybe she/he is an evangelist/mormon/muslim/witness etc. They are very cordial. friendly and polite.

          If you look down they ask you why, they help you as they can with any maintenance work you need done on your home, and they bring you food and goodies randomly because they think of you.

          But the moment they discover you don’t believe in Jehova/Allah/Jesus etc. and you question what their scriptures say; suddenly you’re not their neighbor anymore and they’ll even ignore you when you say ‘good morning’ to them while walking their dog.

          All their kindness, their selflessness, are based on the assumption that you agree with them or at the very least you’re willing to pretend you do so. And it doesn’t matter whether you are nice or nasty in your dissent.

          You contradicting them is an attack on their intelligence and their persona; possibly their existence. This idea is doubled if the person has experienced or feels their beliefs are attacked by society at large. It still doesn’t take away from the tribalism of it all.

          And this is what happening in here. This is what happen with the current, popular gender ideology. Even the AGP gang seems amicable and harmless until they are defied on their belief that they are women or they can turn into women. This is what many people like myself have experienced, and it’s far from a laughing matter as much as Rusty focuses on the ‘silly’ aspects of it.

          Also, since your prejudice radar is finely tuned (not a joke), I’m sure that you can see something wrong when TRAs insist homosexuality is but a genital preference or an excuse to not date trans people.

          I’m sure you call them out for it, and I’m sure you see a problem with them denying that the sex of women has nothing to do with their millennia-long oppression worldwide. I’m sure you can feel something fishy going on in here, and I hope you do something about it just like you came here to express your opinion when you felt trans people were being unfairly represented.

        3. I'm another reader who althought hasnt really met many trans people, I can't say i've interacted with one who (re)acted like any character here. Like you, I've also faced racial prejudice on more than one occasion, though thankfully not to the point of stabbing or anything of similar level 🙁 i'm sorry you had to deal with that and hope it doesnt repeat. I’m glad you survived.

          As always, the author can correct me if wrong as in the end I cant get into her head but I think what she's representing here overall is A subset of trans people who have hurt or upset her the most as a homosexual woman, as well as how and why that hurt occurs. The author sees this subset and the dynamic within as akin to a cult system with different dimensions so you as an spiritual person could see it as an apostate perspective of their former encounters with devouts and what contributed to said apostacy status. It's not neutral or sweet because it's not supposed to be.

          And that she chose this angle not only because of said hurt in itself but also because of waiting and waiting for someone else to depict it openly and nobody proceeding, or maybe proceeding but doing so in a way that resonated and hit the nail for her or her experiences, so tired of waiting in vain she decided to step on and do it herself. Even then accounting for that subset scope instead of trying to see it as a reflection of all trans people, I wouldnt feel inclined to qualify MJ (sorry I keep forgeting the prefered name, is it Jupiter? you know, the one with the mullet) and Clancy as "nasty bullies", despite those two being also canon trans in the story, even if one can see there is an underlying frustration (partly ideological, partly experiential) in the author with the way each of these kind of characters in the QT Club are acting and conceptualizing themselves.

          At least thats how i see it as someone who cannot relate through firsthand experience regarding what is being depicted. Hope these 2 cents were useful even if they weren't asked for ❤

    2. “These trans people I know do not represent the majority that this comic show”

      This comic is NOT about the trans people that you interact with. This is a comic about a lesbian couple and how the majority of trans people act like they belong to spaces that are not for them.

      If you know good trans people, good for you, but it doesn’t mean the majority aren’t entitled and beggars and homophobic.

    3. Assigned white at birth

      Imagine if I claimed that I know transracial peoples (assigned black at birth) some of them kids. Even if I claimed that since they came out as transracial and started using white names and living as white that they feel a lot happier, Heather and stopped self harming, you still would not accept that they are white.

      No matter how kind they are you still would reject the concept of living as another race especially due to the stereotypes it would perpetuate. The very idea would be insulting.

      Now just change race with sex.

  23. So wait, is this the last pages of the collab? Cuz I thought there was supposed to be 7 pages, not 6 hehe 😅 just wondering!

    1. This was the first page here, making 7. I just also treated it like the title page of the scene – all of which I number as page0.

  24. Rusty, I’ve been loving the collab updates! excited for the shez chapters <3

    1. Welcome back to the comment section, breastie beloved. Shez chapter kicks off in about 14 hours >:3

  25. Poor Riley T^T save her…

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