After reading the last pages of 17776, I realized exactly what made 17776 different from comics like Homestuck. Homestuck wasn’t a story about a universe, it WAS a universe. It kept answering the question “and then what?” untill there was nothing left to say. 17776 was like a window into a universe, with the purpose, not to explain every little detail of that universe, but to give you a snapshot of a never-ending moment. It wasn’t even a “story” in a traditional sense with a conflict and resolution, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t well-written. I feel like it was more of a study in characterization. Some characters only appeared for a brief time, but we still felt like we knew a lot about them and what they thought. The tone and story were so unique that I feel like we’ll never see anything quite like it again. Thank you Jon Bois for sharing your story
Hey all! I’m sure you’ve heard of this new webcomic called 17776, as it’s been spreading around like a wildfire due to its Homestuck-reminiscent style and tone thus far, and that’s what i’m here to talk about today.
More specifically, I’m here to talk about Nancy McGunnel.
Nancy McGunnel is introduced to us readers in the first chapter of 17776, when we first begin following the football game # 3887. She is introduced via a small group of reporters who are trying to follow the game and talk to each other about (relatively) recent events, getting us readers used to the setting, and we witness Nancy running full-tilt, football in hand, into a tornado and up into the air as a tactical play in the game. Before she actually goes up into the tornado, though, the webpage hands us some of her game stats.
This stat board tells us her height, weight, etc., and goes on to tell us she started playing in 16003 for Milwaukee, and from then to 16016 she does rather well before retiring for 1744 years to help her daughter run a general store. In 17760, she un-retires to rejoin ‘country football’ and now plays for Wyoming, and she doesn’t appear to be playing as well as she had for Milwaukee.
The next page, Pioneer 10 explains to Pioneer 9 that on April 7th, 2026, the human population count utterly stagnated - people stopped being born, dying, and aging. This tells us that everyone on Earth, barring probably new scars, lost limbs, weight loss/gain, change in muscle mass, and other such forced physical change, is exactly as they were the day of April 7th, 2026. People in the prime of their life still are now, people in the range of having “midlife crises” , people who were babies at the time still are(which raises one heck of a question about mental aging that I’m not getting into today), et cetera.
The aforementioned stat board also tells us that Nancy was born 5/2/1953. Since this in-story info is based in America, land of silly nonsense and stubborn asshats like myself, we can probably assume that America has not changed its ways in how it treats dates, and thus 5/2/1953 means May 2nd, 1953. (I realize this is semantics, but hey, in for a dime, in for a dollar.)
Nancy is nearly seventy-three years old.
I’ll say it again: Nancy is nearly seventy-three years old.
Now, knowing this information, go back to where we read the stat board, and imagine. Imagine this elderly woman, truckin’ it toward the goal line. Imagine her making all of those attempts, probably regularly getting into legendary dogpiles, to get the ball, or to keep it. Imagine her squirreling it away from her shocked opponents, dumbfounded that a lady her age had just snatched victory from the tips of their fingers and is now running across the country to make her hundredth touchdown. Imagine it when we witness her hoofing it, beaten-up and abused football clutched in her wrinkled hands, straight toward a tornado that has clearly already picked up some person’s house and is flinging it in circles and will have absolutely no problem doing the same to her.
But Nancy doesn’t care. Why would she? She’s not gonna die, and she has glory to re-attain from having lost it since her last game!