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Lady Strange

Kids, man.

Well little Soph is 2 months old now and the colicky-ness is fading out a bit. I'm not going to lie, there's been some stressing out over having two Princess Grumplebutts who are 1 and less than 1. When one starts winding up, the other quickly follows suit until both are in meltdown.

Much of this comic had to be done in 10-15 minute spurts before I'd have to get up and tend to one while Claire had the other. Luckily Sophie is developing a personality, which I can only assume at this point is.. 'evil baby mastermind?'

Claire and I had to dedicate some time to turning our sunroom/mudroom into a spare bedroom. Given it's original purpose, it was not in great repair and had to be gutted and redone top to bottom. We were able to complete it and now Annalise has somewhere to sleep separate from our infant. Everyone is starting to get some semblance of meaningful rest.

We've had plenty of other time-consuming issue pop up but I wont bore you with them. I will note that Claire and myself did get our accounts nuked off Discord. Neither of us were given any actual warning or reason. Claire reached out to Discord in an attempt to get her account reinstated and some kind of citation where rules were broken. Both requests were denied with a very smug "You know what you did."

No really, we don't.

We still have no idea.

We can take an educated guess, though. Claire held administrative or mod powers in several Discord servers she helped develop or oversee for several Twitch/DLive/Foxhole streamers. Sometimes she'll give me mod powers in certain servers if she ever needs assistance or gets bombarded with spam bots, etc. A large server for the streaming service Foxhole got nuked. Neither of us were members of that server--but Lauren, one of the streamers Claire has worked for, was a moderator in there. Discord looked at the mods in the Foxhole server, then wiped out other servers they were admins or mods of. This included Lauren's server for her Twitch stream. Both Claire and I were mods in Lauren's server, along with several of our friends.

Long story short, Discord deleted Lauren's server next, and entirely banning from Discord every single person with mod powers--for being associated with a server that was spreading 'misinformation'. Yeah... 'misinformation' seems to be the current catch-all to subjectively ban hammer with no accountability. We don't even know what the 'misinformation' was. They wont tell us. They treated it like some mob crime hierarchy and cancelled everyone like dominoes, top to bottom, with no evaluation nor recourse. Discord is also currently denying any kind of ownership transfer or anything with Claire's server for Twitch or the Shotgun Shuffle server. This is a service they claim to offer in their guidelines, but actually don't unless you jump through a million hoops first (and they can still deny your request even if you do). So yeah, it's just kinda 'there' at this point, but neither Claire nor I have any ability to moderate it.

tl;dr I've used Discord for years. Paying customer in fact. I certainly won't blame anyone with an established presence on that platform to continue using it. But for me, they treated us terribly and I'm too mature to deal with their nonsense. Also, they suck and their Trust and Safety Team smells like cat pee.

As an alternative, Claire did set up a server for the comic on Guilded, which is strikingly similar to Discord, and even seems to have some better functionality for certain things. By all means, if you'd like to join, here is the link: https://www.guilded.gg/i/pYrNOLdE 

AS FOR THE COMIC...

I brought back Ellie's Sister Approval Ratings. This will continue until the end of this arc, as will the comic title theme. Ellie's going to need all the girls on her side. You know what's coming.

Holly Machete took about a week to get done. I'm not good with fur and I had to kinda learn it. I also started adopting the airbrush tool a lot more, as you'll probably see in the comic. Patreon and Subscribe Star offer the full version of this image, as I did it as a print first then built the comic around it. I also have a work in progress gif available on Patreon and Subscribe Star as well.

This is, of course, based off the Molly Hatchet LP, and you can even get your own! LP SIZED! Check it out on Society6

The first panel took something like 4 days to get done. I showed an opposite angle of the garage when William was walking towards it, but I really needed an establishing shot of how it's connected to the driveway and tucked behind the house. This will be important later. You'll see almost everything in this comic again.

As always, thanks for hanging in there and supporting my comic! I really do appreciate it.
-Chris

103 thoughts on “Lady Strange

  1. Man, it’s like saying goodbye to something that haven’t been doing much in your everyday life, but seems to as always been there around you.
    You will be solemly missed iNimbus. Farewell !!!

    {Sept 2013 – June 2022}

    10
    1. ~I willlll re-mem-ber yooouuuuu~

      I’m not crying!

      ~Willll yoooou re-mem-ber meeeeee?~

      Shut up! YOU’RE crying!

      ~Don’t let your lii-iiiiihfe paaaass yooooou byyyyyy~

      Besides, it’s dusty in here! Lots of pollen!

      5
  2. Anise… You breaking your phone had nothing to do with helping Ellie. That was because you wanted to break up with your pretend boyfriend because you found someone who checked of more boxes.

    Also, can it be called spending when you aren’t actually paying it?

    4
    1. It occurred to me yesterday… Anise, the guy you hooked up with actually still works for the company. Go bug him for your new phone. Or did you dump him since he left you 90% naked to go fight your sister.

    1. Is that Ellie? I was thinking that had to be Ginger, seeing as how there was only 6 of the 7 sisters shown.

      5
  3. So what happened between Ellie and Juniper? They were maxed out back in “No Love Lost”. Now they’re slightly off max.

    7
    1. Standard reputation degradation over time. It keeps the player base logging in to do the dailies.

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  4. Not gonna lie. Seeing Anise get all giddy like that is so damn adorable that it makes me want to grow a beard so I’ll have a shot.

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  5. …and that’s when Holly Machete met Billy from Adventure Time.

    It turned out they couldn’t stand each other.

    What were you expecting, really?

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  6. …you know, I just noticed that Holly Machete’s hair color suddenly switches to Anise’s. And she wears it in the same left-eye-hiding fashion. So just who IS Holly Machete REALLY, Anise? Is this your DOLL’S backstory, or the one you wish YOU had, hmm? :D

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  7. …and the more I read Holly Machete’s backstory the more hilarious it becomes.

    “The Saintress of Killers.” Someone’s either read or watched “Preacher” pretty extensively.

    “Five blind railroad bulls.” Is that near the legendary Big Rock Candy Mountain? Though honestly, if there were such a place, Anise would have set up a tattoo parlor over there by now.

    I’m not sure what the “lost Roman emperor” entails, but I AM surprised at Anise’s appreciation for classical music, what with “In the Hall of the Mountain King” and all.

    And then she rounds it off with an Oregon Trail reference. Bravo, miss.

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  8. Hey, I just want to let you know that when you changed the website it broke the RSS feed. Also since you never post on the Facebook page or the twitter account I have missed basically every update since the site upgrade.

    9
    1. Welcome back!

      We’d give you a new reader welcome basket, but we really don’t have one for returning readers. I got half a candy bar if you want to split it, though.

      11
  9. I love how Holly Machete was drawn and quartered, but “ultimately d[ied] of dysentery.” One wonders how she survived being chopped into four pieces, but I’m sure that’s a tale for another day!

    10
    1. P.S. Your “validateForm()” function is broken in some browsers. Change this line:

      z = form[“comment”].value

      to this:

      z = document.getElementById(“comment”).value

      and that should fix it. The problem is that the element with the name “comment” (which is what the original code checks) isn’t the same as the element with the ID of “comment” (which is where the text actually is), thus the function can fail to find the comment text.

      I had to fix the code to get this to post in the Opera browser.

      14
  10. …and apparently since I’m the first to catch it…

    I SEE HAMM_HAMM!

    Little Hamtaro parked in one of the boxes in panel one. Started looking for references in that first panel and caught him. It’s the little details that mean so much, and make each strip take for-eh-vurrr. :D

    9
  11. I was going to comment about Anise’s memory, but then I remembered the “little Tinder orgy” was TWO NIGHTS ago in-comic.

    11
    1. Oh wow…there ARE other people in here! I was starting to think it was abandoned.

      9
      1. oh, uh, hang on…
        Ireland triumph will the All Blacks be able to Ireland triumph will
        (yeah nah)

        9
        1. Ah, sports spambots. I remember those days. They haven’t been seen in quite some time, though.

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      2. The comment section is dead because the code is broke, as explained above. I personally tried to comment with multiple browsers on my phone, but I’m only able to post now on my new laptop with Firefox.

        12
  12. As we enter month three without comic, let’s do a quick roll call to make sure the comments section is still alive. Sound off, folks! Are you still there?

    13
  13. Huh. New Patreon update. That’s good.

    Maybe there will be a comic before we hit month four!

    …okay, probably not.

    11
  14. Huh. A Patreon update. Well, that’s good, I suppose. Keeps the lights on. Even if there’s nothing to actually shine light ON at this point….

    7
    1. There have been 13 Patreon posts since the last comic post, which it seems is pretty much how this comic works. Some free comics for a little while, then that stops dead and Patreon gets updates, then that stops dead and the comic comes back, repeat ad infinitum. Basically once the site gets an update cancel the Patreon subscription because you won’t get anything from that for another 4 months, and once Patreon gets an update don’t bother checking on the comic for 4 months because nothing will be added there. A little annoying but that’s how it goes I suppose.

      15
      1. Wait…first time caller? As in…new reader?

        Oh boy…I gotta get my work pants on.

        I haven’t had to do this in a long time, you see. When we get a new reader around here–even in these days of slow comic updates–we like to mark the occasion by handing out a gift basket! That job usually falls to me. Steve the Intern. I got the position mostly by general acclimation, and the fact that Mr. Blue–who has been absent for quite some time now–posted me here. Guy’s been here like since half past forever.

        Anyway! The problem with our gift baskets, aside from them being largely fictional, is that we really don’t have a great budget for them either. So…we just end up putting together whatever we can find out of loose odds and ends.

        It’s especially bad right now, as we haven’t had a new reader in at least four months that I know of.

        But I’m sure we can put something together! I’ll go down into the Prize Vault and see what’s around!

        Lessee…um…wow, there are a LOT of silverfish down here….okay, here we go.

        We’ve got a six-pack sleeve of mini powdered donuts. They’re a bit stale, but they’re still good. And we’ve got a $20 gift card to the Pioneer Girls Surplus Emporium. That…that’s actually the back of a pickup truck in an alley between Figueroa and La Cienega. If the gift card looks like a $20 bill, that’s because that’s exactly what it is. Apparently the guy only takes cash.

        So enjoy, and welcome to the Shotgun Shuffle comments section! Where even when we’re at our worst, we’re still pretty good.

        10
        1. My apologies Steve, I think you’ve dug through the silverfish-infested Prize vault for no reason! I’ve been reading the comic for a number of years, not sure exactly when I started but definitely pre-lovecon, hence long time listener. First comment though, so first time caller (now second time)

          You’re right though, I haven’t seen mR. Blue in quite some time.

          4
        2. No trouble, then; if you’re a first-time commenter it actually works out the same. Enjoy your wholly fictional gift basket and welcome to the comments section! We have fun down here. Sometimes it’s all the fun this strip sees for months. But then, you knew that already. :D

          4
        3. Yeah, I’ve been slacking on commenting. I keep up with maybe a quarter of the webcomics I used to and don’t read comments much any more. Thanks for keeping the faith Steve.

          Fully agreed on deserving the gift basket. I’ll add a late addition to the gift basket sent via rail freight and that is inconvenient to pick up of a half of one of those foil emergency blankets with the half being a diagonal half.

          9
        4. Wavewright, you’re welcome to take all the silverfish you can carry out of the Prize Vault. But don’t touch the prizes. I still know what’s down there, and if that half a yo-yo or mostly-eaten bag of Tubby Taters goes missing, I”ll know who to blame. And I’ll send Mr. Blue after you. See if I don’t.

          3
        5. YOU get Silverfish food!
          YOU get Silverfish food!
          YOU get Silverfish food!

          The whole audience will receive a year’s supply of Silverfish food!!! Look under your seats.

          6
        6. Mr. Blue?? You came back? Wow, this is a pretty big day, all right. I guess the place isn’t as abandoned as I thought it was!

          1
        7. yeah… I comment from my computer, not the phone ever since the site update. And I don’t log on to my computer as often as I do my phone. So much stuff that I have to pull out. And now, I have to have Cat5 because of the damn robocallers. Stupid phone. Everytime they call, my wifi cuts out. I thought that I had the phone and answering maching set up to screen them without the wifi cutting out. But now… ugh. So. Much. Fun. When. In. A. Teleconference.

          Hewwo, Am I weaking with a Mwister Whonson? Hewwo, I wam cawwing ewwe todway avout whour wedicare and wervial insuwwance.

          5
  15. Hi, im not really sure where else I could post this. Thought about writing something on the patreon but not sure if anyone would see it, didnt think of it until now. I really like that none of the characters wear any jewelry. Ive never seen them wear anything like rings, necklaces, nothing and I love it. Ive always hated jewelry and I really appreciate it.

    7
  16. Soooo….wow…it’s…it’s month five without comic, or even any kind of update from the productive types. Things are looking a mite forlorn these days.

    Starting to feel like that lone figure standing vigil outside the Duff bottling plant after Springfield declared Prohibition…urrrrrp.

    6
    1. Pumpkin’s birthday party started on July 9th 2019. As-near-as-makes-no-difference three years and three months. A real year is worth roughly one in-comic hour.

      I get that we don’t want to compromise on quality for quantity, but as someone who’s been reading this comic for over half a decade, I think I speak for all of us when I say that a slight dip in quality to get more than a dozen pages out PER YEAR would be acceptable (that’s not an exaggeration by the way. We’re in month 10 but only page 9 of 2022, not including patreon posts).

      6
      1. A sentiment echoed by me personally several times. And by plenty of others, too. A comic that updates biannually just isn’t worth reading. Even one as good as this one is.

        8
  17. (In the now vacant shuffleverse hallways, among the shadows and spiderwebs, a solitary figure emerges from the shadows)

    Damn, it’s dusty in here.
    …Well, it’s been a bit, just thought I’d check to see what’s up?
    annnd..nothing. Ah well, I’m sure Chris has his reasons.

    (tumbleweeds)

    Yup, I’m sure he does.
    (returns to the shadows)

    6
    1. There…there’s someone else here? Wait! WAAAAIT!

      *watches the figure return to the shadows*

      Great. I’m HALLUCINATING again.

      10
  18. Based on Anise’s expression I’d say that’s a ninth gen iNimbus. Looks like she’s on cloud 9. That’s the first time I’ve seen anyone riding a phone.

    3
  19. So I’ve had a lot of time to think the last few months, what with no comic and all, and something occurred to me.

    Seem to remember that, over the summers, the kids–at least some of them–need to undergo the painful transfer up to the Firefly Clan. Remember them? That cast of welfare grifters, child abandoners and possibly homicidal personalities that we heard about previous? Yeah. That could have something to do with our lag. Last time the poor kids almost starved to death while being regularly insulted.

    I hope that’s not the case, but the history does seem to rhyme here.

    7
      1. Plenty of people even here suggested that he not as it may be used against him later in custody hearings, as I recall.

        6
        1. Rusche absolutely shouldn’t mention any specifics about issues with the relatives of the mother of his first set of children, though he would be fine to say things like “Hey guys, time’s being sunk in some back and forth with my ex, sorry about that. Back when things get sorted out.”

          I can’t see how a judge would have an issue with a vague statement like that.

          4
        2. From what I gathered, most of the statements were based upon his talks with his children from their point of view, sort of. And I do believe that he tried to convey an absence of bias on his part by just reiterating what the kids were telling him.

          But there was also an attempt to keep things as nondescript as possible so that those who are not intimately familiar with the parties involved would not have an idea as to go and search for those people. But yes, any lawyer would tell people to not “tell the story” outside of court until it can be told to the court first.

          I’m not going to begrudge Chris in letting his readers know what was going on, because that was his choice in giving us any details as to what was going on behind the scenes. But yes, anything put out there can be possibly used by the other parents in court. `

          1
  20. I think that it would be kind of nice if we could get at least a little sketch update. Nothing fully fleshed out. A thumbnail even.

    12
        1. I do like the gift bag idea, but I was assuming the above was a deliberate reference to a quote from Gene Wilder in his role as Willy Wonka.

          1
        2. By the way Sonpat, thanks for inspiring me to watch Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory again. I noticed more than the last time I did.

          1
  21. And so, as we stride boldly into month six without comic, text update, or apology titty witch, the vigil continues unabated.

    Lisa, bring me my guitar.

    So we march day and niii-iiight, by the big cooling towerrrrr. They have the pla-ant but we have the powerrrrrr.

    …this would be hilarious if it weren’t so sad.

    8
    1. Awwwww, you embroider, you embellish, you exaggerate! It’s only been 5 months on Friday!

      Oh wait- striding into the sixth month. I see what you did there. You win this round, Steve…

      3
    2. 22 weeks of checking in – with only the occasional comment or three to read. Nice to know we’re not alone I guess…
      Patreon was getting monthly updates for a moment there… but 2 months of silence there as well

      3
      1. Come back once a month as I continue to comically point out the lack of comic. I’ll be here until the internet collapses.

        2
  22. Just checking in. I hope you’re good and the kiddos are in high spirits! A new comic would be worshiped but as long as ShotShuf’s site is still up for a re-read I’m happy. :)

    3
  23. ̶N̶e̶w̶ ̶C̶o̶m̶i̶c̶ ̶e̶v̶e̶r̶y̶ ̶T̶u̶e̶s̶d̶a̶y̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶F̶r̶i̶d̶a̶y̶
    ̶N̶e̶w̶ ̶C̶o̶m̶i̶c̶ ̶e̶v̶e̶r̶y̶ ̶F̶r̶i̶d̶a̶y̶
    ̶N̶e̶w̶ ̶C̶o̶m̶i̶c̶ ̶e̶v̶e̶r̶y̶ ̶o̶t̶h̶e̶r̶ ̶F̶r̶i̶d̶a̶y̶
    ̶N̶e̶w̶ ̶C̶o̶m̶i̶c̶ ̶M̶o̶n̶t̶h̶l̶y̶
    ̶N̶e̶w̶ ̶C̶o̶m̶i̶c̶ ̶Q̶u̶a̶r̶t̶e̶r̶l̶y̶
    New Comic Bi-annually

    8
    1. Reminds me of a DIlbert strip. “I’ll send you a link to a widget that shows the temperature in Satan’s fireplace. When it hits 32 degrees Fahrenheit…” then it’s time for an update.

      1
  24. There are rumours that Blindsprings may be returning, and that’s been gone the better part of 2 years. Stranger things have been known to happen.

    1
  25. I’m not doubting Chris has dealt with challenges along the way, but plenty of digital artist lead full lives and still manage to push out works on a weekly/regular basis. There’s no reason why the main comic (what markets his product) and his patron rewards should be this heavily delayed.

    5
    1. Well, there are several reasons for such an event. But to be honest, having been out of play this long suggests disturbing possibilities along with the more ordinary crush of life.

      1
    1. Problem is that this comic has a story line, with multiple plot threads that are supposed to come together, but… it’s been so long, I have absolutely no idea what’s going on. There was some party thing and a fight “last night” in comic time, right? That was what, 3-4 years ago? An episodic or small-arc comic can take a break and pick back up with new storylines, but not this.

      And while I could go re-read the archive to find out, with no idea if it’ll ever pay off (or even if there’ll be another comic before I’m done and forget again), it’s not a particularly inviting proposition. I’m sad that things don’t seem to be going the way Chris planned/hoped/etc., but without even a text update of “hey, I’m still here”, it’s hard to keep any interest.

      3
      1. An additional problem for me is all the speculation and bits & pieces of info I recall being in the comments, some of which were confirmed. A straight archive crawl through the published comics I could manage, but doing that and going back through comments is a few steps farther than I’d even consider (heck I’m not really keeping up with comments for the past several years as it is).

        2
        1. All of this is true, on this thread. Worse, the comic was almost canceled at least once because it got too hard to produce for too little return. That’s when the Patreon was activated. Now, the main comic languishes while Patreon updates are satisfied, and even those are lagging. The patrons have already started pulling out in some cases. That will put us right back where we started from, except this time, with a fanbase that’s much less forgiving.

          It’s likely only a matter of time until the whole thing is shuttered, and then we have all those unresolved plot threads that will never be resolved.

          1
  26. …and just as I was about to announce the beginning of month seven without comic….

    Christine McVie dies.

    Fleetwood Mac member, and namesake of Caleb McVie.

    The disdain has dimmed throughout the Northlands tonight.

    1. …and there we go. We’ve now kicked off month seven without any sort of comic, update, text, art, smoke signal, or any other communication from the creator of this madness.

      How much longer can the site hold out? How much longer until the patrons pull the rug out and leave our boy bankrupt?

      …we may well find out, ere too much longer passes.

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