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Sorry about the wait. Next comic will probably be posted Saturday mid-day, just to allow this one some time to breath.

140 thoughts on “Paterfamilias

        1. I’m running out right now to find the phone number and get tickets so I can see the panels, question and answer periods, and the pet feeding seminar hosted by Number Five.

          I’ve always wondered what he was doing after he got struck by lightning.

        1. You can’t pick your own. The other six vote. YOU’RE the dumb one. Use “The Dumb One” as your alias or Cinnamon. Or a variation of either. You can’t just say you’re the “Evil One” or some other such nonsense. We are a council of rules, Number Six. Know your place.

          **hair smack**

        2. You do realize, that you are now on the office pool for number of days until you become the next martial artist in an assisted mobility device that is self propelled.

        3. Good Answer Tarra.

          Now, for the bonus round,

          The question being given by the telly was: “What is the Atomic Mass of Palladium?”

          What is the answer, and what did the responder say to the telly in response to the contestants answer?


        4. Only one perfect person is able to refer to Himself as such, and we killed Him. As a matter of fact, He’s the reason for the season.

          Have a holly, jolly Christmas. .

  1. …and the light in Pumpkin’s eyes was for a potential customer. ‘Tis the season for materialistic thinking, after all, or so all the advertisements tell us.

    So was Mr. B’s hair blonde similar to #2, #5, & #7 before it turned gray/white and fell out? If all the women are spices (including Mom), are the men in the family food? Beef would be a good name for him.

    Holidays are the times for unexpected changes of plans, so don’t worry about schedule changes.

    1. Don’t much care when, just as long as the net / net stays on track. Do like to know when there are adjustments to the schedule though so’s as not to be too concerned.

    2. Testing icon for “SQUEEE” ness-ess.

      Response to T.O.G.


      I love Pumpkin, she’s better than that carpet guy up in Chicago. And they even used him for “Wayne’s World.” But anyway, I think that Father Buckingham reminds me of Archie Bunker, Dan from “Rosanne,” Fred Flintstone: Cartoon visage as well as melding with John Goodman, and I believe a touch of Homer Simpson around the ears.

      1. I’m not saying anything negative about him. I’m just saying that if he was in a room and someone yelled “Beef!” I could believe he’d turn and say “What?”

  2. I’m just going to go ahead and pop in with…

    FINALLY, is that Mr. Buckingham we see?

    And of course, his first reaction is bewilderment at there being another damn girl running around the place. After seven I’d lose track too, methinks.

    1. Personally, I love it. I love that the progenitor of this massive female brood is best described as “slab-sided.” But it’s also an excellent explanation of why the Buckingham ladies never had much action in high school. Between the sheer intimidating they posed in their own right and the sheer intimidating represented by Dad the Massive back there and Mom the Cake Server-Slinger, it’s a recipe for a lot of dateless Friday nights.

      1. Indeed. I love how he was introduced, and as solid as he appears, I can easily see him getting wrapped about his little girls’ fingers (hence Mrs. Buckingham’s extraordinary measures at the beginning).

        I must say though, I was expecting to see him with either something on his cheeks or a shotgun on his back (or both).

        Also, did anyone else look at him and think “Whoa, Picard has really let himself go?”

        1. It’s what he’s cleaning when potential dates arrive.

          Though frankly, were I arriving to pick up a Buckingham, I’d be unnerved enough by knuckles cracked in my direction. I’m a bigger gent myself, but man, that guy looks like he could scrap a car with his teeth.

        2. I’ve always thought gun cleaning is a less fun date intimidation than knife sharpening. Especially if you have one of those sharpening straps I’ve seen in movies or TV occasionally but never in real life.

          For firearm-related date intimidation, I think I’d look for targets which instead of just a normal outline of a person facing you was an outline of a person facing you holding flowers. Leave a bunch of those strewn around with groupings at head, heart, and flowers.

        3. Well, there is a lot that can be said for a person who is meticulous about cleaning their weapons and sharpening their implements. Buck Russel carried a hatchet around in the trunk of his car. He was just glad that it was there, that he knew he had one. Not to kill, just to maim. Why, he’s been known to circumcise a gnat.

          You aren’t a gnat, are you bug?

          Wait a second. whoooooaaa. Bug? Gnat? Do you see the similarity there? I don’t think you do. I’ll be right back.

      1. I like this moniker better. I mean, she’s using the family hobby as a customer and repeat customer base. Not only that, she’s a budding entrepreneur in the heart of Florida Con Country. Right? Well, maybe a bit to the left then.

      2. If she’s putting that much money/time/effort into cosplay but having this level of success with sales, how about ‘the broke one’?

        1. In that case, you must not tell Quinn that was quite possibly Ellie’s hair on her head. She might just go total impolosive-ness and break her mind.

        2. That would definitely be much worse, exponentially, logarithmically, universally. Universal Studios, now in downtown Florida.

    1. Silly Rabbit,

      Trix are for kids, and you don’t get to use the icon. The icon uses you. You’ll just be lucky to be able to apply your current status to the use of the icon at the appropriate time.

      Now, please take notice of the emergency exit doors here at the front of the cabin and midway. Those passengers in the exit door rows are going to be called upon to assist passengers with their evacuation if necessary. That’s why you got the leg room bubbas.

    2. You must listen to the ZEN of the icon, let it lift your soul, harmoniously. >_>

      Embrace the oneness, and you will become the icon. Be the icon.

      Be the crown, you are the crown… Wait, who put on “Miss Congeniality?”

      1. Once your comic hits book format and you start going to Cons, you should totally bring them along in Buckingham cosplay :P

        1. But that’s impossible, as the greatness that is Tarra can not be manipulated in any way shape and/or fashion. And that includes copying. As a matter of fact, I understand that only Chris has the likeness rights, and that’s the only thing keeping the forces of Tarra from descending upon the FBI for lack of copyright protection.

        2. Easily solved by having Tarra remote in to the Con from somewhere else in the world accepting an award for stopping an earthquake with her bare hands. A co-worker had a prototype robot that you could link with an Android phone and use Skype and then have a mobile telecon participant. The other sisters can explain that they took Tarra’s robot away for some reason, so that’s why it’s just a tablet.

  3. Hahaha, I was right, sort of. Pumpkin wasn’t checking Quinn out. I said that I hoped she was staring at her clippy, and she was actually confirming the handiwork of her sister! Hee, hee.

    Bravo! Author! Mighty fine, Mr. R.

    1. I still would’ve enjoyed her pouncing at dinner and turning Quinn into a Pokemon instead of a sales pitch. Not that I think the sales pitch is bad or out of character, just less amusing to me personally.

        1. I could certainly accept something other than a Pokemon, but nothing else I could think of had that quick of a description.

        2. I’m not picky. I was just thinking it’d be amusing to see Quinn forcibly costumed before she knew what happened to her. At least in part because you don’t get to use costume as a verb very often, or at least I don’t.

      1. Don’t be too sure. I am one of seven daughters, and my dad actually looks a little bit younger than his 65 years.

        Then again, we don’t give him a lot of shit. That probably helps.

    1. Middle wig is definitely best of the three, but I like her actual fixed hair better than any of those or her original. It’s a certain degree of sass, confidence, and growth over any of the others.

      Also, when and if Quinn panicedly calls Pumpkin asking for one of those wigs because she pissed Ellie off past leaving enough to work with, I devoutly hope Pumpkin raises the price for it being a seller’s market.

      1. Quinn is totally is not thinking ahead to “emergency post argument wig” which should have at least one of. And you are absolutely right, emergency wig is sold for emergency rates. This practice will hereby be called “Pumpkins law.”

      1. Which I can’t help but notice neither he nor his wife has. I was also sort of dissapointed that he didn’t have any hair, I had money on him being blonde.

  4. You know, In a weird way, I could DEFINITELY see Quinn being a good Lightning (from Final Fantasy XIII) cosplayer. Add a bit more of a scowl, and she’s got it, hook, line, and sinker.

  5. 1.) Me and my spouse both agree the red wig looks awesome.

    2.) Yea! We get to see the girls’ dad! I’m getting an odd Joe Foreman vibe from him. Most cool.

    This comic is excellent. Thank you for sharing this with us. I was having very humorous flashbacks to your earlier Black Friday comics today while at the store.

    1. I do not think that I will ever go out on a store sponsored holiday shopping excursion. Not even for a measly little can of whipped cream to put on the pie that I got from holiday dinner.

      I’ll go the day or two before, so I won’t even be near one of those damn box stores.

      I passed four box stores. Three of them were from the chain grew out of Arkansas, and the other one a blue sales ticket. The parking lots were so full of cars that establishments nearby held overflow parking, most likely for the employees of said box stores.

      That damn store was louder than a sporting event. At least you can sit down at one of those, and get to the damn food faster than you could where you could get 1/3 of the way to the back of the store where they had the dang whipped cream at.

      Now I know what else I want for Christmas. A refillable CO2 whipped cream dispenser.

      1. Hmm, I’ve seen air pump cans to put normal vegetable oil in to use instead of aerosol cans of spray oil, but I can’t say I’ve seen a refillable whipped cream one though.

        My least favorite part of Black Friday is actually the driving around those areas. All the left turn lights calibrated for an eighth of the people trying to get in that day and the roads designed for noticeably less traffic get on my nerves a lot. Then again, driving has always been my point of lowest concern/care for my fellow man.

        1. Hang on. Looking….


          http (colon)//www (dot) espressoparts (dot) com/ISI_PROFI_QUART

          Dang, for $105.oo this is a good racket. I’d buy one without a coffee shop just to stay out of squall mart, racket mart, and mart mart.

          I’d go to S Mart though. Any day of the week, I’d go to S Mart.

  6. Congrats Rusche, you managed to convey why Ellie considers Quinn to be prettier with the montage o’ wigs. Maybe it was because we could see the color of her eyes.

    1. I think it’s because she’s leaving her expression neutral. Normally she has some degree of disdain, anger, or manipulation as part of her expression, so her face animates as less attractive than it actually is. Ellie is opposite, in that her facial animations generally make her more attractive.

    1. Just passing through and seeing what I got in the gravi lotto.

      I’ve been reading for awhile and I just want to say I love your work Rusche. Hope you’ve had a great time with family. Back to lurking.

    1. “You can’t have sharp objects around a Buckingham, love.” Love, as in dear, or sweetie.
      It’s a term of affection. And in this case, probably some sympathy as well.

      1. Sounds like it would be a term of endearment that Rosey would have used for the girls growing up. I’m sure she couldn’t remember all of their names all of the time, hee hee.

        1. Also, with Pumpkin being an avowed cosplay enthusiast, she might have a British character she likes to cosplay and has decided she likes some of the slang she uses with that character.

        2. I’d buy that for a dollar. However, seeing as how the explanation is for one of Chris’ characters, I’ll up the donation to him by a dollar.

          Is that acceptable?

      2. “Love” is used in England just like we would use the word “pal,” “buddy,” “chum.” But a bit differently than the Mafia based use of the word “chum.” That usually entails concrete footwear.

  7. I keep meaning to comment this. There seems to be a correlation between the seven sisters and the seven sins. Ellie’s seems obvious enough. And Juniper’s. Some of the girls I think I’ve figured out, some I’m not sure.

    Ellie – Sloth
    Juniper – Lust
    Anise – Gluttony
    Pumpkin – Greed? With her business? Or maybe Envy of her older sisters? But that I haven’t seen any of yet. Just a guess.

    Tarra – Pride?
    Cinnamon – She could actually be greed for power instead of monetary greed. Which would make Pumpkin a diff one.
    Ginger – Wrath, but I’m guessing only mildly since she’s barking at her kids. But that’s normal.

    Am I onto something, or just fishing for meaning?

    1. Cinnamon would probably be envy for other people’s control. And Ginger we plain old don’t know enough about yet. But then, all the Buckingham ladies seem to have a touch of wrath to them.

    2. I am merely a reader, like you, so I can be very wrong but to me it seems more like a coincidence than intentional. Like Pumpkin, is it fair to call her Greed? I mean, she has to buy the wigs herself after all. It wouldn’t be totally unfair for her want it covered. She is still in high school, don’t know how lucrative her cosplay side business is going but I can’t imagine her swimming in cash given how even at best she can only do it part time. But what do I know.

      1. She doesn’t pay rent, has no or little overhead costs in terms of anything outside of stock. No taxes, no property taxes, no insurance, utilities paid for….

      2. I’m with you guessing coincidence. The seven deadly sins were picked as things that are common in normal human nature, so aspects of them should show up in realistic characters.

        We’ve seen small examples of wrath, envy, greed, gluttony, and pride in Ellie already. The remaining sin, lust, while I haven’t noticed Ellie exhibiting it herself, she has been seen attempting to take advantage of it in others (my favorite self pep talk of “Cleavage don’t fail me now!” comes to mind). Gluttony is the only one I can’t think of a small example for Quinn, too.

  8. I’m loving seeing the family interact in such a, “family” manner. The quirks, the rules, the motions, the love/hate and everything.

    Love it. Happy Thanksgiving!

      1. Haven’t seen them, really. He looks like an Easter Island dude or an elderly Odd Job. Maybe a little Clint Eastwood-left turn, Clyde.

    1. From this one image, I’m gonna’ go with hellfire as his eye color. It looks like it takes fairly strong emotion (such as Cinn-induced anger) before we’ll get to see his eyes.

      1. And he’d be able to turn them on and off when the boy comes over to pick up the girls for a date, and they go off on an internal timer when they are one nanosecond late from being on the front porch.

  9. I don’t remember if this has been discussed but…
    Pumpkin’s haircut: the work of an older sister? the preferred length for a cosplayer with many wigs? or some combination thereof?

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