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20/20 Part IV

Momma aint no fool. This comic will be branching into two comics after next week. More on Monday. I have to commit to writing all my comments before I start finishing the comic, cause otherwise, like now, I'm just too mentally fried to make sense. I'll fill you in, promise. :D

251 thoughts on “20/20 Part IV

    1. Actually two people are in trouble, altho Katrina’s problem may be terminal; for Pumpkin it’s just a teaching point….

    1. There are always at least 30 – 40 comments before me (I’m in CA so I read this later than most).

      Still, the plot she thickens…

    2. I could have been second, but I opted to go back and comment on the previous comic first instead. If being 1st/2nd/3rd really that important to people?

      The way I see it, either you are sitting her compulsively spamming F5, in which case it’s a total waste of time and nothing to be proud of, or it’s just a coincidence of timing, in which case you didn’t really have much to do with it.

      Why yes, I am a total killjoy at parties, thanks for asking.

        1. You don’t want that. You either get stable time loops, dooming yourself to an eternity of repetition, or the paradox ends up obliterating all of existence. Trust me on this, it’s more trouble than it’s worth.

          ….don’t ask my how I know that, I’m running out of places to stash the bodies.

        2. I’m telling him! Keep your pants on! All right, this next test may involve trace amounts of time travel. So, word of advice: if you meet yourself of the testing track don’t make eye contact. Lab boys tell me that’ll wipe out time. Forward and backward. So, do both of yourselves a favor and let that handsome devil go about his business.

        3. Breaking the speed of light with a complete breakfast is a part of Fruity Quantum Loops, by Bell Laboratories, breakfast division, Bensonhurst, N.J.

      1. Important? No. Kind of cool? Yes. Of course only in places that get a good number of comments per page.

        This is definitely such a place.

        I don’t really aim for first posts myself. But my reading habits make it so that I get one over at Sandra and Woo every so often. Doesn’t make me a better person or my points more valid, but it’s still kind of fun to see your nick and gravi on top of the comment section. (^_^)

        1. Self-observation is extraordinarily difficult, so I don’t think you can be absolutely certain that each first post you’ve made hasn’t also made you a better person.

          It does seem really unlikely, but you never know.

        2. There’s a 50% chance the answer will be both disturbing and somewhat difficult to swallow (for most people, anyway).

    1. I left one more comment on the previous page regarding our discussion of the rooming situation, if you have any interest in continuing it. Or we can pick it up again here if you want other people to join in.

        1. C’mon, SCP-8100, getting the wrong kind of snacks is hardly the end of the world.

        2. I don’t know that I’d go so far as an allergy, but honestly the gunpowder, oil, and cleaning solvent residue just kinda’ ruins the flavor of the chocolate for me. Also I chipped a tooth and am kinda’ holding a grudge about that.

      1. Mr. Blue faints, which is what originally caused the time rippling effect transposed via the world wide interwebs.

        That, and the new sinkholes along the GW freeway.

    1. Agreed, very cinematic with pulling our focus.

      I honestly don’t remember seeing a webcomic do that, or at least, do it to that extent.

      Keep up the Awesome.

    2. I hadn’t noticed the focus shift fully until going back to look due to your comment. Agreed that it’s quite nice. I like the way that the blurring of her skintone in the mirror does vaguely resemble glowing eyes watching.

    3. Agreed. That focus shift in the last three panels is perfectly done. Gives the whole thing an outright cinematic feeling!

      Also: Looks like Momma-Bear-mode is activated and in full effect.

    1. You know what they call me in the ancient legends on the Dalek home world? “The Oncoming Storm”. You might have removed all your emotions, but I reckon right down deep in your DNA there’s one little spark left. And that’s fear. Doesn’t it just burn when you face me?

  1. So wait, is Rosemary just driving up (arriving home early) or was she sitting there on stakeout?

    Also, there are several ways this can go, none of them good.

    1. If she just drove up, she obviously stopped and parked or she’d be moving closer to Ashliii & Bubbles and that truck (possibly Katrina’s).

    2. My guess is that Rosemary found Kat’s vehicle registration and got into the Florida DOT taking program to search traffic cams around Ocoee’s toll road on ramps to message her when it shows the vehicle entering the toll road, and again if it exits in the vicinity of Lakeland.

      I’m sure that there are enough geeks on here to figure out how to do that without having to have Napster write a kick ass algorithm.

      But taking Kat’s car when it comes within 50 miles would be something that I would do. Or there is that one tech at her husband’s workplace who does favors for kick as home baked cookies (and his name is Lyle. )

      But there should be ways to get real time traffic feeds feed through character recognition software for a specific plate. That our cell tower pins for a specific cell phone.

      1. Yeah, using the state’s cameras for something personal would be a bit too illegal. She could put a camera at her house and use it, though.

        The other part here is the question of why she’s sitting in her car with Kat inside instead of already breaking it up.

        My suspicion is that she took the time Pumpkin should get home from the bus ride and then timed her stakeout arrival for 5-10 minutes after that so that Pumpkin wouldn’t spot her down the street walking inside. I suspect she didn’t grab her license plate and a truck that looks like what she remembers for Kat was already there at the point she drove up. Since this is partially a trust question with Pumpkin, she didn’t want to tip Pumpkin off unnecessarily and probably decided to wait it out to see when Kat left, however the attempt by Ashliii and Bubbles just gave her the info that she doesn’t need to lay low any more to keep an element of surprise.

        I do still think it’s possible that she’s planning something other than an immediate appearance, though we’ll see next week.

        1. Having a plan for not sprining into action when caught is one thing. However, if she waited and Pumpkin got hurt, then she would be opening herslef to charges of child endangerment.

        2. A large amount of personal guilt, yes. Child endangerment seems doubtful, though. Pumpkin’s 15 (i.e. old enough to be left alone for hour, including watching younger kids, and an age not shy about parental rebellion), and Rosemary has the susupicion that Pumpkin may be ignoring rules about letting someone in. If she didn’t have certainty of the vehicle, didn’t believe serious harm was imminent, and was trying to avoid the conflict and potential increase of teen rebellion from showing her hand should work. When you add in Rosemary likely being sharp enough to avoid putting how long she was waiting on the official record and/or state that she was trying to decide on appropriate action for her reason for delay, and Herb being police chief for the area, I would expect zero legal consequences for Rosemary for child endangerment here.

        3. Well, should I be arrested for watching the snow plows, or traffic cams that are available for viewing online through the D.O.T. website of my state?

        4. Hmm, your state DOT may be different from what I’m used to, but from what I’ve seen with the publicly available highway cameras they’re deliberately not something you could see license plates with. The cameras that can aren’t generally [deliberately] available to the public. So I was assuming some form of unauthorized access or misuse of public resources which she had access to for her job.

        5. I suppose that the question would beg if the investigator had an interest in the case, which at the higher levels of law enforcement bring serious ethical problems. FBI agent married to a former (reformed) mafia don who both try to solve the mishaps that happen in their town because of a family that summons Eldritch horrors..

  2. I have now looked into the eyes of Death, and she’s an angry mother.
    Also, really awesome transition in focus and establishment from panels 3 & 4 into 5. Nice use of a cinematic technique in comic.

      1. Crap. Now I goes to hook this website into the TV across the river so that it shows this instead of those girls (and one guy >:p) at the club.

        (I wonder if I should tell Chris about this now or after the FBI, FCC, NTSB, and the Better Business Bureau come to knock on his door.)

        ((Hell, I’m in parenthesis, no one can hear me.))

        (((Later)))

    1. I remember back at O’Jack’s with the ratch outbreak while Ellie was enjoying her new phone (Ratches – 11 Oct 2013) Rusche stated in the author post that the third arc would start from that point and would run through the same time frame as the first two arcs but KK would be a main character. I’d assumed that all would go linearly, but perhaps he’s starting the third arc to run at the same time? Alternately, possibly he means to follow inside and outside the house for a bit or something.

      1. I think you can leave off that last word. I don’t think Katrina seems likely to respect, well, anything. She seems like the type who will refuse to change for a reasonable degree of force and there’s the choice of allowing her to do as she wishes or using sufficiently overwhelming force to break her.

        1. Ehhh… society probably won’t. You may want to google “Kaitlyn Hunt threatening texts”.

        2. I’ll go and use bing real quick. Not Crosby.

          Based on a quick review of the reports listed in the Daily Mail. It seems that the defendant has maliciously broken her agreement with the court to bond herself **comments deleted due to relevance by the system**

        3. Society takes various questions into account. With Katrina trespassing in Rosemary’s home in order to spend time with a minor in a manner that had been expressly forbidden (Pumpkin’s text log would prove that, and Rosemary may have checked it to verify), she’s got pretty strong standing for reacting back if she does it now. Hell, if Kat were dumb enough to hit Rosemary from a verbal confrontation in Casa Buckingham, Rosemary could probably legally get away with shooting Kat (not that I think the comic will go there).

          She’d have much worse standing if she were to, say, follow Kat home and do more than calmly tell her to stay away or hand her a restraining order or something similar.

        4. Yeah… I think you ought to do a search on that phrase I gave Mr. Blue, because that fiasco happened in Florida with a girl younger than Pumpkin.

        5. I used DuckDuckGo, and three of the top four links there didn’t showed the person in Kat’s position in jail and no legal consequences I see for the people in parents of the 14 year old (the first & second link were both dailymail, so I ignored the second, third was CNN, and fourth was a site someone seems to have set up specifically for this).

          So I don’t see anything about that case that appears to put negative interpretations on Rosemary here. I’d initially ignored it because I was assuming the “threatening texts” were from parent of younger and had caused trouble, so that’s what I was answering about manner being an issue.

        6. Thaaaaat’s not really relevant to the failure of society to adequately prosecute Kaitlyn Hunt for statutory sex offenses against a 14 year old, Mr. Blue. I can do a somewhat brief Safe For Work summary of the case. I will be leaving out a lot of details, so really, I’m not going to debate this because there’s a lot of stuff that has no business in the comments section.
          .
          Kaitlyn Hunt was an 18 year old who got into a sexual relationship with a 14 year old girl. The victim’s parents tried to get the relationship broken off privately and only went to the law when that failed. Hunt’s parents launched a PR campaign claiming the victim’s parents were bigots who blamed Kaitlyn for “turning their daughter gay”. The geniuses that are the news media, ACLU, and Equality Florida immediately jumped at the opportunity, did zero verification, and aggravated the issue by making a martyr out of the admitted pedophile based solely on the fact she was gay and claiming to be a victim.
          .
          Kaitlyn Hunt initially got the lightest slap on the wrist possible thanks to the one-sided coverage. All she had to do was obey a no-contact order. Instead she chose to send roughly 20,000 text messages (some of which were sexually explicit images) to her still underage victim over the next 5 months. When that news got out, the ACLU and Equity Florida very quietly fled without apologizing for their brainless public support for Hunt and hostility for the victim’s parents.
          .
          Hunt finally was prosecuted for her crimes for real and plead no-contest to the charges against her (which is the word “alleged” is unnecessary in this post). Since we’re all equal under the law got the same sentence a straight man would: a couple weeks in jail, 3 years “felony supervision” that will keep her from being labeled a convicted felon, and no registry in the FDLE Sexual Offender and Predator database (I literally just checked).
          .
          Wait. Did I say “equal”? Scratch that. Reverse it. The point is that in theory That One Guy should be correct, but in practice… not so much. Oh, and this all happened in Florida in 2013, so it’s quite relevant to the comic’s setting.

        7. Uhm, no, no. Rosemary, when she tells Pumpkin’s associate Kat top leave, now. And if she doesn’t leave, then call the police and inform them off a citizens arrest and where they can effect transfer of the perpetrator.

          That real life case smacks to much of the recent crimes of stupidity where people ignored officers of the courts: (i would agree weakly against t. Martin, but m. Brown and that fat guy in NYC who did not comply with valid police orders where suspicious behavior was evident on the party of the deceased led to actions being taken against the decedent’s inaction in cooperating wroth the law enforcement officers on the scene. (NYC had a black, female Sergeant on the scene seemingly supervising to interactions.)

          Just a few cases where an ounce of cooperation and they’d still be alive.

        8. Whoops! I apologize, Mr. Blue, I thought your previous reply was to me because the indent gets almost unnoticeable at this level. That was entirely my mistake.
          .
          Regarding confronting someone in her home, Rosemary would actually be protected under Florida’s version of Castle Law. It’s similar to Florida’s version of Stand Your Ground (which we named the version of the law that applies to public places), but has lower requirements for justifying violence because of the implicit threat in someone violating your home in the first place. (It also applies to occupied vehicles.) Incidentally, don’t break into someone’s home or commit carjacking in Florida.
          .
          If you’re interested in learning more, it’s state statute 776.013 and is written in very clear English rather than legalese.

        9. Oh, to be specific, Rosemary would be using 776.013(3) in accordance with either 776.012 [defense of Pumpkin from a forcible felony] or, more likely, 776.031 [removal of a trespasser]. In case anyone cares. ;P

        10. Ah, I also just noticed you referenced Trayvon Martin (as “T. Martin”). That was actually a self-defense case, not a Stand Your Ground case. I’m not surprised that misconception is still out there, though.
          .
          It’s true that leading up to the trial, Zimmerman’s lawyer Mark O’Mara announced he was going to try to get the trial thrown out on Stand your ground. After he researched it, though, O’Mara publicly stated the facts didn’t support Stand Your Ground, so he’d be using “traditional self-defense” at trial instead. That’s also what he went ahead with at trial. The news media is mostly made up of charismatic alcoholics who are collectively as smart as a bag of rocks, so because they didn’t follow up or just willfully misrepresented the facts.

        11. Ah. I hadn’t researched it to the point of applying it directly to either person in that situation. It seems that you did. Kudos. However, I attempted to state that the three dead people referenced would not be interred currently if they had not escalated their personal situations. Of course, someone may claim racial bias, however personally I feel that common sense on an individual basis on the parts of the decedent’s would have raised their current horizontal positions significantly in a positive vertical direction relative to their at current situational places in three dimensional space.

        12. I’m mildly baffled about Michael Brown’s death causing the riots it’s caused where certain other deaths have been ignored. I can think of two in Ohio from the past six months that seemed more controversial to me (from what I understand, both seemed to be justified use of deadly force with the understanding of the police at the time and the amount of time to make a decision but both were ultimately mistakes where the deceased weren’t engaged in criminal activity and probably would’ve been let off with a verbal warning if things had gone slightly differently).

          Granted, I’m thankful we didn’t have people decide to riot, it just seems strange that people pick an example where the deceased was obviously engaged in criminal activity and plenty of evidence he even attacked the police to riot about when there are plenty of other potential examples.

        13. From what I’ve found out,the Ferguson riots were caused by out of town crooks coming into Ferguson under the guise of protesting a possible civil rights violation by a police officer. That and the lie that brown either had his hands up in surrender, facing away from the responding officer, both, or having been lynched for being black.

          The Ferguson police chief stated that the rioters came out of town.

        14. I wasn’t actually expecting Rosemary to attempt to bring charges of a sexual nature against Katrina if she went a legal route, partially from not having evidence of such and partially to likely not want to put Pumpkin through that (and Pumpking might or might not cooperate anyway). I was thinking more in the lines of trespassing, stalking, and possibly whatever might be on the books for “interfering with parenting” or something about an adult convincing a minor to ignore parents. From there it shouldn’t be difficult to get a restraining order.

          Another thing that’s somewhat unfortunate but true, is that with Herb being police chief, I suspect he’d know how to make sure the case was taken as seriously as possible, which your average non-police parents might not have the ability to do.

          I’m also not of the mind that Rosemary is necessarily going for blood, per se, and might be perfectly fine with a restraining order and getting her locked up if she violates it.

          But yes, Rosemary’s justification for responding to any physical attack from Katrina (or sufficiently convincing threat towards Pumpkin) would possibly include Castle Doctrine and wouldn’t include Stand Your Ground due to it being in her own home. Significanly more states recognize Castle Doctrine than Stand Your Ground, too.

        15. @Mr. Blue, regarding research: Thanks. I am a Floridian, so whenever something here makes the national news I try to look into it. I reviewed Stand Your Ground when the alcoholic talking heads were claiming it’d turn Florida into the Wild West. It’s actually a pretty solid law. As for Trayvon Martin, when the news started referring to a hispanic as “Zimmerman, whose mother was white” I decided to get all my information about the trial directly from the trial. I watched/listened to the entire thing online while it was happening. If you listen to the news/internet, the verdict is a travesty; if you listened to the trial the verdict wasn’t surprising at all.
          It’s still available at www. wftv. com/categories/news/crime-law/?page=58 (They sort in reverse chronological order, so this page may shift. The date on the first video is 9:39 a.m. Tuesday, June 11, 2013.) Day 10 is when the trial actually starts, and Days 22 – 24 are actually 21 – 23; they got mislabeled.
          .
          @That one guy, regarding riots: It’s all about the news coverage. If the national media doesn’t notice a case they can twist salaciously, it’s probably not going to cause problems. I also concur with Mr. Blue’s assessments on Ferguson.

      2. I don’t think that Kat will respect any boundaries. And yet with an attitude like the furry that got busted earlier, Kat has a cat’s mentality towards boundary lines

        1. For me looking at Rosemary’s eyes in the last panel didn’t bring up music so much as the Mortal Kombat guy saying “Finish Her!”

        2. I don’t know, the sounds in Psycho as she’s getting knifed in the shower are what occur to me.

          What I’m impressed by is that Pumpkin let her in. I thought Pumpkin had more sense than that. Once upon a time (read about three years ago), I had a job that ran until 6pm, and my teen was home alone until 4pm, when her younger brothers came home. I was kind of worried about her having people over, but she said, “I’m not inviting people over for just an hour, and as soon as you came home, the boys would have blabbed about it.” She’s a smart cookie, my daughter. Ginger needs to hire Pumpkin as a babysitter.

        3. I do wonder both how much of the blame here actually lies on Pumpkin’s shoulders and how much will end up falling on them.
          But I can see that trying to tell someone who just spent quite some time driving to visit you “No, you can’t! Shoo! Go away!” can be rather hard. Especially for a teen.

          Kat’s explanation/justification for her presence might be interesting though. That is if she even cares (or manages) to give one.

        4. I can agree with your hard time “shoo” and peer pressure sentiment. But we do know that Pumpkin doesn’t want to get into trouble.

          So, like I said earlier (below), what has gone on behind the scenes since 20/20 Part Trois.

        5. Yeah, it can be hard, but all she should really need to do is say something along the following lines:

          “I don’t think I mentioned it, but I should tell you Dad’s the Lakeland Police Chief. So far Mom hasn’t asked him to get officially involved, but this is the sort of thing that could cross that line. If you did want to visit today, maybe go see Damien for a few hours first and come back? I won’t be offended if you don’t want to waste that much time, though.”

          If Katrina ignores that, then that should be plenty for Pumpkin to know that she shouldn’t be alone with this woman.

        6. Personally, I’m wondering if Pumpkin has even let Kat into the house.

          We’ve seen that Pumpkin conveyed her mother’s wishes to Kat. Kat split, Kat has ignored the text message dialogue in respect to proper boundaries laid out not only by Pumpkin but by Rosemary as well. Kat makes her own rules.

          Mr. Blue is surmising that this is not the weekend, and that Kat may have strong armed her way into the house. Perhaps Pumpkin sent her mother a text message about this as soon as it happened.

          But we will not know until Monday. . . . Cliff hangers are hard on the weekend. I’m going to find the Cliff notes.

        7. Rosemary wouldn’t be waiting if she’d gotten a text from Pumpkin that Katrina had forced her way in. However, being youngest of seven sisters who we’ve seen aren’t afraid to get a bit physical with each other, I doubt Kat could take Pumpkin in a fair fight even with the size difference.

  3. So Kat just kicked Bubbles and Launchpad to the curb? Whatever shallow grave Rosemary has reserved for Kat is too good for her.

    1. …guess you’ve never lived in the suburbs. There weren’t any sidewalks around where I grew up either and it makes it really hard to walk or ride a bike anywhere without risking death by speeding automobile.

      Go back and check the scenes around Ellie’s apartment, the movie theater, and college; I bet you’ll see sidewalks in the more densely populated areas.

      1. Actually, that’s the funny thing. I did grow up in the suburbs and there were always sidewalks. But I grew up in the midwest so maybe suburbs in the east are different when it comes to sidewalks. That’s what I was curious about.

        1. Maybe it depends on exactly what you mean by suburbs. For example, currently I live in the middle of major metropolitan area, where it’s all apartments and skyscrapers, so we have sidewalks everywhere. My grandparents live nearby, but outside the city proper, so it’s developments of similar-looking houses on 1/8th acre lots, and there are sidewalks most places. Where I grew up though was more than an hour away by car or train, an in an area that had houses on 1-acre lots or larger, often with uncleared space between then. The population density just didn’t justify adding sidewalks.

          Also, the landscape and history might have something to with it. A lot of the roads in New England used to be horse-trails, and they are twisty and narrow and bunched in by trees. So in addition to having relatively few people, it would take a LOT of effort to widen the road enough for a sidewalk. Out west, I suspect things are flatter and more open, and probably more modern too, so including sidewalks when the roads where built was kind of a no-brainer.

          That’s my take on it.

        2. Roads, in the New England area especially, can be horribly laid out on the East Coast. Civil planning wasn’t really a thing, stuff got built where people felt like and it just got forced to work. Plus there is a lot of truth to the horse trail/road thing.

          I live in a moderate size town in the Midwest. It’s been around long enough that there are plaques commemorating where president Lincoln stopped, stayed, campaigned, etc. and a lot the older neighborhoods (like mine) are missing sidewalks.

        3. It’s a crap shoot in Florida. There are some neighborhoods where one or two streets won’t have sidewalks but all the surrounding ones will. There’s no logic to it.

        4. It’s a crapshoot in Ohio too, from what I’ve seen. I suspect it’s partially depending upon local codes, who developers of a given area are marketing to, and alternate pedestrian walking routes for the >35 mph roads.

          Considering that sidewalks are public property but the financial and legal responsibility of the property owner (so they’re your expense to repair and you’re the one to get sued for a problem with them, not the city) I can see adding sidewalks later being a tough sell. I’ve always assumed it’s been determined by the people who do the housing development (or the municipal officials who sign off on it requiring it).

        5. That sounds a little but much- I think it’s the property owner’s responsibility to keep them clear (of say snow and ice and junk), but they are still repaired and replaced when necessary by the city. At least I’m pretty sure that’s how the laws around where I live work. No one is expecting a homeowner to shell out for replacing a cracked slab.
          Also also, if someone gets hurt on a sidewalk it might be join liability, so the city covers some/most of it anyway.

        6. Actually, around here, the homeowner does shell out the money if there’s a problem with the sidewalk in front of their house. There’s also a rule based on how big of a difference there is between two pieces of sidewalk there can be before the city can require the owner to repair/replace it. There’s a distinct niche in home improvement for sidewalk leveling. They essentially grind it down to match the lower piece.

          On smaller plots like ours (less than .25 acre), they put sidewalks in. In the subdivisions with the bigger plots (which are also outside the city limits, incidentally), they don’t have sidewalks. This is a very small city (10k people maybe?) in the Midwest, for reference.

        7. Well, I haven’t gotten into it personally, but the two people I’m aware of when sidewalk was replaced in front of their house it was all their dime (I had to help with the one as a kid is how I found out).

          I don’t know for the suburbs, but I do know that judicial precedent for the City of Dayton, OH is that if you shovel the snow from your sidewalk and someone slips and falls they can sue you (and not the city), but if you don’t shovel and they slip and fall, then they can’t sue anyone. As I understand it the legal reasoning is that if it’s obviously uncleared then they should’ve known to be cautious, but if it’s cleared poorly then by clearing it poorly you led them to a false assumption and are liable. Personally I just use it as an excuse to be lazy as my suburb doesn’t have any ordinances requiring clearing sidewalks.

        8. I would say that is not just the time that the suburbs were laid out in the Civil engineer’s office, but now with the matter of the ADA coming into force with federal funds, sidewalks may be coming toa town near you. Irregardless of the property owners wishes. There are times, however when side walls just ruin a neighborhood.

    2. After World War II the government pushed for an easing of the building codes to get all the Veterans into housing. They built without sidewalks. At the same time General Motors pushed to get rid of the streetcar and electric trolleys and replace them with diesel buses that would quickly provide service to the suburbs.

      1. I admit to normally being a diehard supporter of capitalism, but that was a particularly shitty moment in our history.
        I guess I support capitalism with limited regulation.

        1. Either I’m going to spearhead the moment when capitalism will take shitty situations, and shit, and turn them into better money making opportunities through cooking their shit to make oil and petroleum products. Like gasoline.

          It’s been done with asphalt.

          )No pun intended(

        2. Yeah, I like capitalism, but I definitely like capitalism with boundaries. For example, I often think things I hear the EPA are doing seem a bit ridiculous, but I’m also very happy they regulate and force tests for substances in drinking water. ISPs seem to be a good example of bad for regulation in the US. Insufficient regulation to force multiple providers to be able to use the lines (the way that power and natural gas require), but too much regulation in most places to feasibly allow other options to come in and set up shop (aside from the running the lines question, there are also a lot of other requirements that’d be a pain to set up from scratch).

          I’ve always thought the feudal system in Europe was probably the closest to pure capitalism we’ve seen (in the western world anyway).

        1. I’m hearing Calvin’s dad from the Calvin & Hobbes where Calvin asks why old pictures are in black & white, but I can’t quite put it together into a coherent reason to explain all the sidewalks older than WWII.

    1. Most of the teen cell phone users I know have a pay for service plan, so she may have used all her credit, and since AFAIK she’s still jobless, she may be short on funds….

      1. I’m with kik805 on this. Ashliii is a habitual texter, and unlimited text is usually pretty cheap on a family plan. It’s really weird to see her phoneless.

        1. My guess is dead battery or got it taken away for punishment, since it doesn’t appear she has it out walking back either. On the other hand, she might have the social graces to not use it while she & Bubbles are the only two people if Bubbles doesn’t have her phone (estimating teenager social grace likelihoods is difficult for me).

        2. Probably mainly used it to keep in touch with her closest friends. So not that much of a need for it when she’s with (some of) them.

        3. Ehhhh… you may want to jump back Down the Internet Hole. Ashliii Torii Abbadon has 9,594 “friends” on Facebook.

        4. Right, scratch the “mainly”. The rest would still work though. Since she clearly seems capable of prioritising in favour of her close circle.

    2. This is the first time that we have seen her in a situation where she is in her social circle. Sure, we’ve seen her at the movies, but that’s not full attention to a friend like it seems that she’s going to be doing here. And I’m thinking that Bubbles is going to be getting quite the earful during this walk.

  4. THIS. This is what I like. Impending story… and not to ignore the great art, but they could be stick figures and I’d still follow for the story.
    And do they have trees like that in Lakeland?

    1. Yes. Central Florida and South Florida have loads of oak trees. They typically pick up Spanish moss; the Buckinghams’ tree is conspicuously missing any but you can make it out on trees in the distance. I am guessing they keep their tree clear of it to keep it looking neat. A lot of people (myself included) like how it looks. It gives trees a curious combination of the appearance of being old but also full of life all at the same time.

  5. How does Ashlii maintain her Duck Lips even while she is talking? Is this evidence that making a certain face long enough actually makes it “freeze like that”?

  6. Oh shit, son! THings going down! And WOW. Ok, I was not getting why people had an issue with Kat….But DANG. Alarms going off now. What the hell Kat.

  7. So. Kat answering the door of another persons home. The creepiness rating has hit an 8 and rising. God, I am a bit afraid of what is happing in there now.

    1. Yes, it’s a bad sign. It also means that she isn’t laying low. She wants what she wants, and will go to lengths. I would not be surprised if she added a “special ingredient” to Pumpkin’s drink earlier.

      In her world view, the dad is the aggressive one, and mom is the pushover. What she doesn’t get, despite hints, is that the females of this tribe are the savages.

      1. And to add to that is Kat has to know Pumpkins father is the Chief of Police too. Even if she thinks Rosemary is a push over ( inner voice is laughing like that one dude smoking a cigar in the movie theater scene from Cape Fear) her father is on the top of people you don’t fuck around with. Man I so want but dread Mondays comic. Just hope Pumpkin is ok.

        1. I’m not so sure if she really cared for what kind of jobs Pumpkin’s kin have. Especially her dad! So she quite likely doesn’t know at all.

        2. Agreed. I think Kat does not know that Pappa B is a cop. She showed zero interest in meeting family, so she may have tuned out anything Pumpkin said in passing too.

      2. The females of ALL tribes are the savages; some tribes keep this a secret. my tribe is Chata, and you never want to be given to the women when you are wrong.

      1. I think there is a small chance that pumpkin isn’t even there. I find it really hard to believe that kat talked her way in. She doesn’t seem that persuasive. Maybe she snuck in while everyone was out or got Cin to let her in.

        1. Unless Pumpkin is sitting beside Rosemary in the car, I think Pumpkin’s in the house. I’m actually guessing that Katrina gave Pumpkin a ride home from school and not seeing her on the bus may be part of the question that Ashliii & Bubbles have. You might recall when Ellie was hitching on the school bus all three of them were there.

        2. What I have to say to this is that schools are supervising for scenarios like this. So that the students don’t leave with harmful people.

        3. Question is: How good are they taking a look at someone that comes for one of their possibly quite a lot of students if the latter obviously knows well and trusts that person?

        4. I don’t see how that sort of supervision would be feasible for high school. I can see elementary, but considering that over half the students are over driving age (sophomore year at whatever point they were born), that doesn’t seem like something feasible for a school to monitor for. Especially if the child walks a block or two to meet said person giving them a ride.

  8. Fantastically beautiful art. I’ve liked previous pages but this one sets the bar into another level. I was thinking of emailing in response to the email I received when you were thanking people for support (also a great idea, made me want to see you succeed even more) but didn’t know if it would reach you or if you would read it. Great job and thanks for continuing to entertain

    1. Im slower at responding to emails than comments. But emailing is still appreciated.
      The other upside to comments is if I dont thank you, someone else probably will. :P

      1. Hey. Only James and I can post that (not). But then, only James can officially say it because of his affiliationwith the artist and web master. Lucky bastard gets to hold Harley’s hand….

        X_X. <——- James after holding the hands of Arkham City Harley.

        Ò_Ó <———- Harley Quinn from the animated series standing over James holding her pop gun hammer to Arkham City Harley's chest, in her best Arlene Sorkin voice, "Just try me, bird brain."

  9. So heres what I think happened.
    The mother (i forgot her name) left and hid nearby, she asked Pumpkins two friends to show up AFTER she saw Kat arrive. She watched to see what Kat would do when the friends arrived.
    I think if Kat allowed the friends in, then the mother would just ignore it for now. BUT she decided to send the friends away, making the friends, and more importantly the mother suspicious. Now the one thing to wonder which I haven’t seen in the comments.
    Does Pumpkin see Kat as a friend or as a love interest?

    1. It hasn’t really been established what Kat’s motivations are but they seem more and more predatory all the time. I don’t think Bubbles and Ashliii are in on it because they seem to be walking away from Rosemary’s vehicle instead of toward it to discuss their recent ejection.

      The weirdest part of this is Kat booting them without Pumpkin even being there.

      1. Yeah, I’m not so sure that Pumpkin will be told the truth about who just rang the doorbell. Which rings a wholly different set of bells in my head.

    2. Yeah, I’m pretty worried about Pumpkin here. I’m wondering if this is a colossal lapse in judgement or something really ominous. I thought it seemed like Pumpkin was going to hold the line here, so I’m a bit concerned that she didn’t.

    3. I don’t think that Rosemary would ignore it if Ashliii and Bubbles got in. She made a rule, and it got borken big time.

      **bzzzzzzzzzz*

      I’m on my way..]click [

      1. I don’t think Rosemary would ignore Ashliii & Bubbles getting in, but I do think it’d be more of a “she broke the rules and has to pay the consequences” and less of a “someone is trying to hurt my daughter” sort of reaction.

  10. I have to acknowledge the unbelievable beauty of this page. Just gorgeous. A lot of artists would have just focussed on the action at the door because that is the bare minimum it takes to get the story moving along. All that detail is for the sake of the cinematic homage to the angry eyes in the rear view moment.

    Chris, with your knack for this sort of thing I still fully expect the animated series you hinted at a couple years ago.

  11. Has Kat been losing weight in the hopes of impressing Pumpkin? Because between that and willfully isolating her from all of her friends and sleazing around when her parents aren’t home, I think Kat’s behavior has gone full predator at this point.

      1. Nah, I mean she’s got a flat stomach now. She used to have a bit of a gut. It was part of a plot point a while back, remember?

        1. It’s possible, but it’s also possible that since she’s confronting Pumpkin’s “other friends” she might just be sucking it in for the benefit of their impression.

        2. There is that, but if Kat thinks that she might have someone out there, then she is definately taking better care of herself instead of negatively applying daily decisions against a better healthy life.

        3. Some people do, some people don’t. I think the age difference sets up a mentor/mentee which might be her reason for ignoring, though it could also set up a self-conscious tendency that did cause an attmept to lose weight.

          I’m really mainly saying insufficient info to be sure so far.

  12. Like she owns the place…

    Was wondering who the third girl in panel 1 was until I realized it’s Ashliiiiii. Funny how texting has become such an important characteristic of her… character… that she is almost unidentifiable without it.

    Looking forward to a short comic on Monday.
    Panel 1: Pumpkin and Katrina sitting on the floor
    Panel 2: Rosemary opens the door and says “Get out”
    Panel 3: Pumpkin sitting alone on the floor

    Most of my past predictions have been way wrong, but I’m “genuinely” confident regarding this one.

    1. Panel 1: Pumpkin and Katrina sitting on the floor
      Panel 2: Rosemary opens the door and sees Katrina taking off Pumpkin’s shirt
      Panel 3: Rosemary kills Katrina in a fit of rage
      Panel 4: It turns out that Pumpkin was working on a costume for the next convention when she dropped a needle down her shirt and Kat was just helping her find it (for realz)
      Panel 5: Pumpkin and Rosemary are digging a hole in the backyard. Pumpkin says “this is one of those things I shouldn’t mention to day, right?” Rosemary’s shovel goes *clunk* and she says “Dammit, we hit another one. Ok let’s try over by the big oak tree.”

        1. My kingdom for an edit button.

          As for Boog’s #2 and your #5, I still think this is gonna end with Rosemary making chili con kat.

    2. Actually, I think that it would have Pumpkin scrambling for cover and Kat sitting on the floor with a pair of disembodied red eyes floating towards the miscreant’s melting cranium while spotting lava, fire, and sulfurous brimstone.

  13. I predict that we’re gonna see rosemary on the warpath like a enraged kodiak grizzly thtas just woken from it’s long winter nap and was wounded by a hunter and said hunter is fixing to be mauled in a horrible way and eaten an turned into protein an later scat.

  14. I’m wondering what Rosemary has planned with regards to acting on this. I’m thinking the flashbacks are supposed to be indicators of her overreacting a bit in the past, and I’m considering the silent observation before the movie as a sign that she’s taken some lessons from that, at least. I don’t see her staking out without some ideas on her next step forward either.

    I’m also REALLY wondering about Pumpkin here. I hope she’s in the bathroom and Kat’s going to tell her the doorbell was Jehovah’s Witnesses or something, because if she knowingly let Kat answer the door and run off her older friends, then I’m very disappointed in her. Regardless I’m wondering why the hell she let Katrina in and a bit disappointed about that, though.

    1. I’d think what’s going to happen has been pretty clearly set up. Rosemary is going to turn Kat into chili. Stew is also a possibility.

      1. I think it’s a bit too far from Erf for what Rusche is planning, but the thing that I’d kinda’ like to see along those lines is as follows:

        1 – Front door slams open framing Rosemary with her hands nowhere near the door.
        2 – Rosemary inside puts her right hand out to shoulder height and motion lines show she’s slowly making a fist.
        3 – Dheu appears with his neck being held by Rosemary, he starts to turn to her thinking she’s Tarra reminding the “do not summon”
        4 – Dheu realizes Rosemary has him by the neck and apologizes profusely.
        5 – Rosemary orders Dheu to make certain that there’s no chance she ever sees “the interloper” ever again and that “the interloper” cannot ever reach Pumpkin again.
        6 – Close-up of Dheu’s face with burning eyes.
        {no further panels, and this is never spoken of again}

        There’s also the possibility that Dheu calls on his mother for Rosemary, but I’m assuming not for that since Rusche stated that only two of the characters in D52 can be summoned (and Dheu and Kimberly both can be summoned).

        1. Well, what I want to happen (chili con kat) aside, what I really believe is going to happen is…
          1) Pumpkin returns from the bathroom, asking Kat who was at the door. Kat claims it was a solicitor or no one important.
          2) Pumpkin resumes a previously off-screen argument that Kat needs to GTFO.
          3) Ashliii texts Pumpkin about getting sent off.
          4) Rosemary walks in on Pumpkin angrily chewing out Kat before throwing her TFO.

        2. My biggest variable in what I expect to happen here is Pumpkin. I’m a bit baffled about her letting Kat in and I’m thinking that breaking in and/or drugging Pumpkin seems a bit too dark to be likely. Pumpkin has seemed pretty mature for 15, so I’m wondering if that’s going to hold or if this is going to show the “well, not so much about the maturity” for her. Too much about how this is going to go depends on Pumpkin to be sure.

          Though if Kat broke in, I suspect Pumpkin is sitting next to Rosemary in her car.

        3. I’m guessing Kat walked past Pumpkin when she opened the door, and it would be too awkward for Pumpkin to physically throw her out. Kat strikes me as one of those people who bully people indirectly by creating situations where the only way to stop them is to do something that would come off as against some set of social rules or another. You encounter them online all the time. They also show up in the business world.
          .
          The only good thing is that while they tend to project an image of smug invulnerability, they quickly wilt when someone attacks them for their behavior without a damn for their rules. I expect Rosemary is going to crush Kat like a bug.

        4. That’s possible, but all the sisters are strong enough personalities that they’d stand up to that if it crossed their internal lines. I was wondering if a “dropped cell phone in your room yesterday” or “need to use the bathroom” or an excuse along those lines was used. However it’s also possible that Pumpkin dropped the ball. Just too many possibilities for me to collapse on any one being likely right now. Therefore I just pick ones that amuse me, such as being prey for Dheu or ratchantulapedes.

  15. Bubbles looked back. . . . while Ashliii stormed off.

    Terrific levels of tension without knowing it. I had an inkling that one of them would be wondering, but I just zoomed in to check it out. And this is before the focal shift in the final panel.

    Mr. Blue makes the motion to nominate this strip for top ten, top five, best spring actress, best lighting, best camera work, best location using a town that sufficed an Omega Pestilence.

    1. You sure she’s looking back? Looks more like towards the truck to me. Of course that holds a few possibilities in itself.
      “Hello Mr. Buckingham, sir? You may know me, I’m a good friend of Pumpkin. I’m not sure how to say this… See, me and Ashliii were passing by your house today to see if Pumpkin was okay. And there was this ominous truck parked near the house. It seemed a little strange to me, so I took a picture of the car and the license plate. I could send it to you if you like… Just to be on the safe side.”

      1. If Bubbles was just looking at the truck, then her hair part would not be as visible. With that as a reference to where her nose is positioned, her focus would be either down the street while looking forward, or over her shoulder looking back towards the door. I also submit that both ponytails are visible in that stance. Tops and bottom.

        1. I’m reading her hair in the middle lower big panel like this: Fully visible are ponytail and strands of hair (see top panel) on the left side of her head. And a part of her other ponytail to the right and behind the left-side one. That would put her viewing line towards the truck and/or up the street.

        2. Or towards Ashliii, who is just about between Bubbles and the truck as I just confirmed by checking foot positions.

  16. Many others have already said it (so many, that I couldn’t pick one to respond to), but I’m going to echo it. The art in today’s comic is beautiful. This is definitely the most amazing art I’ve seen in this comic, and Rusche had already set that bar very high. I can’t even imagine how long this took, but it is truly stunning. You, sir, have a gift.

    One thing I don’t understand is why Kat is at Pumpkin’s house. I thought Pumpkin turned her down in the last comic. If she had a change of heart, I would have thought we would have seen it or that her refusal would have had more ambiguity in it. Did Kat maybe let herself in? Did Kat show up, and Pumpkin allowed her to come in only to hide the fact she was there?

    1. 200, now! I think the activity level’s finally starting to return to what it was before the shutdown scare. I’m glad people are finding their way back.

      1. Actually the comment count tends to be very comic-dependent. Also the degree a few of us (who comment a lot) happen to be busy or have time to burn (that does impact my comment count a lot).

        1. Spam keyboards or not, the comment rates dropped pretty severely after the closing announcement. They’re only now beginning to resemble the level they were at before it. I take it as a sign people who thought the site would be gone forever have been finding their way back.

  17. I found something. And it comes from Lakeland, Florida itself.

    http:// www. theledger. com/ article/ 20131030/ NEWS/ 131039987

    (Link posted in the reply here)

    The Lakeland chief of police had a salary of six figures ($134,618 (The Lakeland Ledger. Accessed: 12/6/2014. Posted: October, 30 2013. 2:33 p.m. E.S.T.))

  18. I know I don’t always say it (because so many other people do), but the attention to detail in these comics is staggeringly impressive. Little stuff like them being the only ones [visible] in the neighborhood keeping their tree clear of Spanish moss helps to subconsciously reinforce things. My impression is it’s another example of Rosemary enforcing order upon her surroundings, but I could also see landscaping as Herb’s off-time hobby.

    For those of you not from Florida, Spanish moss is pretty much everywhere you find large, shady trees. When it rains, the moss (unless it’s died) turns light green. It’s the greyish stuff hanging from the tree in this pic: http://bhagavadgitasdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/spanish-moss-in-alachua-fl.jpg

  19. Just wanted to say that the art of the neighborhood is beautiful and well done. I don’t know how long it took, but it looks great.

    Did you use a reference, by any chance? I know if I wanted to have a neighborhood look this realistic (as in layout), I’d have to use a reference.

  20. Ma Buckinham: “Tarra.”

    Tarra: “Yes Mother?”

    Kat: “Wait where’d you come from?”

    Ma: “Throw her out, ensure she doesn’t return.”

  21. Kat outweighs Pumpkin, she’s older and more experienced. She could have forced her way into the house. BUT, given her earlier feminazi stance I’d like to think actions such as that would be abhorrent to her. Pumpkin could just be in the bathroom (or she could be incapacitated, but I hope not).

    In any case, I do not believe Kat is long for this world.

    1. I doubt Katrina is more experienced in fighting than the youngest of seven sisters. Recall what we saw of the Ellie-Quinn fight and Ellie considered that not particularly noteworthy. Katrina acts much more like an only child, and she also acts like she’s never gotten the crap kicked out of her for her behavior or I’d suspect she’d moderate it a bit more. Katrina is more experienced in general from living longer, but Pumpkin is going to be a better fighter.

      So Katrina probably talked/guilted/tricked her way in. I can’t see her physically forcing Pumpkin without drugging her. I also doubt Katrina recognizes Pumpkin’s likely physical prowess, so I doubt that she’d realize the need to drug her until it was too late.

      1. It’s even worse that Pumpkin is a seamstress. A pair of Singer fabric scissors is like a pair of knives that double as brass knuckles.

        1. And her father is the chief of police and I am guessing she know how to use his tools if his trade.

      2. you forget that Kat was there when Pumpkin summoned fatty Mcfatfat, so she is aware that pumpkin kicks at least some butt

        1. Yeah, but that was showy as opposed to in-your-face-and-black-and-blue, so I don’t think she’d consider that particularly worrisome. Granted, I may be projecting as I think that was playful and irritated but not violent.

        2. No she wasn’t. If Kat was there for the public shaming, she wouldn’t be in the doorway now, because Pumpkin might have seen just how stupid dangerous Kat may just be.

  22. Two things just occurred to me.

    1) There have been a lot of comparisons between Kat & Alex in the comments.

    2) Rusche said that there will be a forthcoming appearance of ratchantulapedes, and Kat is now standing outside the house where the ratchantulas were bred and it’s not odd for centipedes to live near people’s homes.

    [crossing my fingers for Kat’s fate]

      1. The comments aren’t Perl friendly. Also, I would be perfectly fine with Kat having ratchantulapede larva using her as an incubator and food source. It’s not quite as appealing as her being turned into chili, but at least she’d suffer more.

        1. I’m actually going with standard Unix regexp (think sed). Perl is handy but about a month of not using it and I forget half the syntax again, which is why I switched to Python.

          I would like to make the same proviso with Kat that I made with Alex. Kat should only be a food source for them, and by all things holy NOT a genetic material source for further mutation.

        2. See, the tendency to be less deadly and more hideously irritating is what makes them more frightening to me. It’s like the way people captured and under the control of brutal dictators sometimes prefer death to the torture they live with and see no escape from.

    1. That’s one of the benefits of being the more common type of creep. People who care about you (or used to care about you when they were kidding themselves) tend to give more warnings and reminders about not doing really blatantly bad things that they’re likely to do. I suspect Damien probably put some amount of effort into warning her, but it sounds like Kat is ignoring that or even completely writing him off.

      1. Just made worse by the fact that Kat is telling Pumpkins other friends they need to go. If she had invited them in, it would’ve said something else about her. So, she’s not only disobeying the minor’s parents wishes, she’s separating Pumpkin from her friends.

        I think Kat is shaping up to be a terrible person (more so than I thought she would be anyways >_>)

  23. Don’t forget they started out in a business relationship, and one that Pumpkin stands to gain from. You can look at Kat’s actions and words, and decry her as a predatory monster (and a hypocrite to boot), since she’s significantly older than Pumpkin. But while it doesn’t excuse what she’s doing, she’s mostly being immature. I don’t want to see Pumpkin hurt from this. But I don’t want to see Kat hurt either. She just needs to grow up a little.

    1. A 23 year old frequently associating with a 15 year old and then refusing a requested conversation with her parents and then explicitly breaking said parents’ guidelines goes a bit past immature. Running off other friends doesn’t look good either.

      Seeing that we have Word of God statement that Kat is Pumpkin’s version of Danny, I think the question with Kat is more if she actually realizes what she’s doing or is being pushed by her unconscious and refuses to recognize it consciously since she’s obviously-safe-and-not-a-predator-and-a-good-person-who-knows-right-from-wrong-so-obviously-that-can’t-be-what-she’s-working-towards.

  24. Ok, after reading the Patreon comic today, I am continually amazed at how much detailed/colored comic art Rusche produces in such a short period of time.

    I’m used to waiting weeks for comics that look this good to update.

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