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Best Laid Plans

Next two Patreons are both about half done. Up as soon as they're finished. Just need backgrounds for both. Everything else is complete (but the backgrounds will be tedious.) We have a reader in need of some financial support to anyone who's game and could possibly spare a few dollars, or more. We have several Matt's that frequent the comments section, but one in particular has recently been diagnosed with cancer. I saw his post on Facebook where he's trying to alleviate some of the financial burden the treatments will incur (present and future.) He's been out of work due to this, so obviously... he's in a tight spot. So, I offered to share this for him. If you can, any donation would be appreciated. I have a wonderful and understanding readership, and no reader is left behind. Please stop by and show hi some love. His GoFundMe is here: https://www.gofundme.com/matthewfpittman UPDATE Next comic will be up later today. It will be two tears, and the end of this date with James. Running behind for a plethora of reasons. Sorry for the delay.

89 thoughts on “Best Laid Plans

        1. I just can’t get behind an MST3k reboot. Rifftrax feels like a more natural successor.
          I loved the original with Joel. I loved when Mike took over.
          I loved Trace as Crow, and I grew to love Bill when Trace left.
          Kevin Murphy will ALWAYS be Tom Servo in my mind.
          I tried to love Pearl, but still loved the show.
          I love Rifftrax and their live shows.

          Did I love the host segments? Sometimes.
          They aren’t what made the show for me.
          The quality of the riffing is what made them for me, the writing.

          This feels like a return to KTMA days which were seriously not as funny for me (The Crawling Hand). This feels like Joel trying to reclaim something he started, loved, and set free, but rather than letting it be free, he’s forcing it back.
          Rebooting it feels like a seriously bad idea, even though I think Patton is funny and I love Felicia.

          This is somehow… just… wrong, like so many modern reboots.

        2. I had much the same feeling about the MST3K reboot. Initially I was very excited but the more I thought about the more I kept thinking, “why?” I’ll probably still watch it of course, but I don’t feel the burning desire to back it or anything.

  1. It’s times like these that make me wish I wasn’t injured so I could get a job and give other people some financial support when they need it most. I’m fortunate to have an understanding family.

      1. Chances are she just has not had the time to adjust them to the right height. They only had 15 minutes to get to the theater and likey just grabbed the first pair at the local cvs.

        1. If James’ mom frequently drops Spencer on visitors’ laps, they may actually just keep several pairs on hand at the Blackford residence.

        2. I was wondering why she was on crutches. I didn’t realise she was semi-serious when she said “I think my legs are broken.”

      1. Maybe a little, but not completely. If you look in the first panel the crutches are level with the top of her boob, where in the third they’re more mid-boob. So in the last panel she’s standing on her own and not leaning on them.

        1. But her legs are bent in the first pic and straight in the last. So that’s perhaps a good five or six inch difference to my eye.

        2. True, but I was giving the benefit of the doubt on the right foot that they were both off the ground and she was just kinda’ playing a bit with her crutches swinging both feet at once (she is just 19, and she’s not sufficiently hurt that she can’t support her weight stationary on her own as evidenced by the last panel). The left foot is definitely off the ground, but by leg position I’m assuming the right one is too, but with the light coming from the direction it is the shadow isn’t helpful for determining foot height from ground.

          But yes, even with that it does appear there’s a slight adjustment between panels, though it’s one of those things that it’d be some irritating trig work or 3D modelling to get 100%, and I don’t want to argue for slowing down the comic.

  2. I’m sure it’s been mentioned at one of the many points where he’s been on-screen, but are they related in some way? Same hair, same eyebrows, same facial markings.

    1. Nah, no relation. His facial stuff was something else I forgot the name of (earlier it was shown more red, don’t know if the darker color was James covering it up or if it was just part of the gradual evolution of the art)

      I do recall it was speculated a while back, but remember it was proclaimed that Ellie & James share no relation.

  3. So… she enjoyed it because it was so bad it was good yet he thinks it’s a bad thing because he wants her to enjoy it for another reason. I think now we have a better understanding of his single status.

    1. It’s possible he thinks she’s just trying to backtrack to be nice. His anxiety level is probably through the roof, in no small part to his mother crippling his date under a mountain of cat.

      1. The movie concern could be an unconscious attempt to divert blame from injury within his own mind. Seriously, as he helped her into the car in crutches, I think it’d have been fair for him to make a statement like, “Well, that takes the pressure off. If that wasn’t the lowest point for this date then we’ll probably end up on the run from the law. Mexico’s quite the drive, but we could get there. Do you know Spanish? Mine’s a little spotty.”

        Granted, in a panic-stricken moment like that, such things wouldn’t come to mind.

    1. I can see that but at this point in the date I’d think that James would be happy she at least enjoyed it on any level. It seems like an odd breaking point.

  4. To be fair, if you managed to build a weaponized space ship, I don’t think your arm size would pose any further impediment to blowing up any number of buildings, including ones heavily protected from more mundane dangers (such as the White House).

    But the mental image of a T-Rex trying to work on precision equipment is a very good one.

  5. Well James, if you weren’t totally engrossed in that movie you’d have noticed that Ellie was totally bored out of her mind.

    1. Not really. She hated it with passion. And loved watching every minute, spying for more things she could hate about it.

      1. I’ve discovered that CinemaSins has both ruined and enhanced movies for me. I can no longer sit through the jaw-droppingly stupid bullshit that screen writers seem to think is acceptable without loudly ridiculing the screen. (Worry not, I never actually GO to movies, that would be just … bizarre.)
        So I lost suspension of disbelief yet gained clinical examination.

        1. I have a remedy for that. I spent ten years reviewing movies, and after watching just three titles from one director in particular, I actually developed an appreciation for mundane big-budget. These were so bad, that everything else looked that much better by comparison. I call it “actually seeing the bottom of the barrel.” Hit your Netflix or video store–if there’s one nearby–and watch any three movies made after 2000 by Ulli Lommel. Suddenly every movie will be just a little bit better after that four and a half hour crapfest.

        2. Fun fact: I’ve always considered “Warhammer” a decent watch.

          It’s no WH-franchise movie, obviously (although I’ve heard that it was supposed to be). But somehow it comes off rather decent and has got a few good lines/scenes.

        1. Boner! It’s a boner joke!

          …Well, a boner reference, anyway. I guess if I had to explain it, it’s not really a joke.

      1. It should work if she likes you and is looking for an excuse to come up with positive things you did. If she wasn’t really interested then at best it’d probably make her feel bad for your effort when she was going to tell you know anyway.

        So in the comic, it would’ve worked just fine for Ian with Quinn, but it would’ve received either a confused or level look from Ellie if Danny had done it (James got the confused look as she considers it her job to boost his ego).

  6. Oh boy Ellie, how are u giong to fix this? u were supposed to boost his confidence, not break it…
    But i do agree, it was a horrible movie, like 2 genre’s u would NEVER want to see mixed…
    I also wonder how bad her legs are, are they really broken??

    1. She was supposed to help him with his confidence and also boost his chances of being able to go on successful future dates. So honesty on the bad points/mistakes is appropriate.

      Or at least that’s the line of crap Tired Guy fed her. There’s no way that paying two people for several hours of work makes sense to keep the $60 refunded if the client doesn’t get a date, so that can’t be his reason. The line of crap he fed Ellie about helping raise confidence can’t be the reason either, as then while he might not have let Ellie correspond with the users, he would’ve had her study James’ profile to make suggestions to improve there and at least had some degree of say as to what Nena was writing. He’s gotta’ have a side purpose we’re not seeing yet in this, but I’m not sure if we don’t have the breadcrumbs to figure it out yet or if I just haven’t strung them together properly.

      1. I don’t know. Studying the profile might not have a complete look at James overall. I think that having the ability to go blind from this point in time will allow Ellie to have the most effective means of helping James to become a better person. But we won’t know until we can see a few of the upcoming episodes.

        1. The stated goal wasn’t to make site users better people, it’s to boost their confidence and make them more likely to succeed in their future relationships. Seeing his profile wasn’t so much about getting to know him as making suggestions on things to scale back or play up.

        2. My argument was based on the honesty of the interaction from this point on. Also, Ellie is the lazy one until something piques her curiosity. She may look at it, but who knows that outcome.

          I’m inclined to say that her curiosity has become engaged. (No shipping puns intended)

  7. Hey, and just think: the fact that James got his ONE (1) guaranteed date (so far, at least) means that his 60 dollar fee is secure in Mr. Night’s (much cooler name than ‘Tired Guy’, with much more sinister implications suiting the character) claw-like grip. The plans of Mr. NIght proceed apace! But what, fellow readers, is his insidious goal?

  8. Ok so i’ve been binge watching this comic/Shotgunshuffle thing for about 2 months now and i LOVE IT but the sad part to me is that i want to continue watching it but the only time that they have a new page is monday or friday i can’t do that ….. cause only 2 pages a week isn’t enough for me its just not i want an entirely new chapter and everything within like a week or at least 2 weeks i know that might be too much to ask for but i know i’m probably not the only one

    1. If you need binge doses, just come back every few months.

      I think we all understand the desire to have absolutely everything done and answered and being able to keep clicking next until the story wraps up RIGHT NOW! But that’s what we get by discovering the comic now instead of in a few decades.

      On the bright side, if many of us hadn’t discovered it sooner rather than later, Rusche would’ve given up a bit more than a year ago and we got the opportunity to convince him to keep going and to support the continuance of the story.

    2. There’s always archive binging. I actually do that to webcomics I read every now and then. Even the long running ones like EGS.

    3. Hi there. Thanks for commenting and reading. I’m a die hard Rusche fan… uhm, not like that Wesley Snipes movie, or those stalker people. If I wanted to do that, I’d become a veterinarian. But this webcomic is different than 98% of those being offered. The copyright owner is the writer, penciler, inker, dialogue, typesetter, foley, director, producer, developer, caterer, father, advertiser, advertisement manager, rolled into one.

      As this time of year could be described as the most wonderful time of the year, we the fans are also seeing not only what a devoted father Chris is to his kids, but also a great parent on top of that. Mind you, for some individuals parent and father/mother can be mutually excluded.

      We are also seeing a new dynamic evolve in fan driven vehicles. I’m excited to see how this goes, because I feel that we’re seeing something that is going to outpace the next level “Scott Pilgrim” that comes out. I’ve said that we have in Chris the next John Hughes, possibly even to the point that multiple generations may find solace, inspiration, humor, direction and wisdom. Chris already transcends in my book.

      The core fan base just asks that you be patient. Treat this like a Tim Burton animation, because Chris has so generously woven hints so subtle, you’ll bein awe when you go back to re-read the series.

      Once again, thanks for reading.

      P.s. Chris is slowly growing his artistic crew in order to produce the highest quality artwork to not only meet his standards of quality, but the readers growing acceptance of those standards as well.

    4. Welcome to the Team Shotgun Shuffle! Your membership card and car sticker are on backorder.

      All kidding aside, I’ve been reading this comic for a couple of years now and have enjoyed the growth in the quality of the story lines, the artwork, and the subtle inside jokes. My only concern is what happens when I get too attached to a comic, especially a web comic.
      Most of us have had our own favorites that, for one reason or another, stopped because the artist completed the story, ran out of ideas, got burned out doing it, moved and never restarted the story line again, whatever.
      One that comes to mind stopped completely and then when it restarted this year DUMPED it’s entire archive of artwork/comics so no binge reading anymore (afblues.com).

      Some of these comics I still keep popping over to just to see if maybe somebody might have added another teaser or comic to keep me coming back; many of these you’ll remember (stripteasecomic.com; QueenofWands.net; Girly; dadrockgirlpop.com; angels2200.com; http://thewotch.com). Some of these bring back some good memories, others just leave me hanging (why did you have to go away?).

      I think, given the fact that Chris took one sabbatical for about a year, there’s no reason to think it might happen again.
      And, after seeing some of the other comics I listed above step aside for a while, there’s no reason to think when somebody stops their comic, unless they say “I’ll be back in x number of days/weeks/months” make me wonder if this is it. Again.

      Personally, I love it when Chris take a brief moment to post on his comments here; makes me know that when there’s a gap between comics (even a 2 week gap), at least we know he hasn’t dropped off the planet and the web address isn’t going to die off next month, too.
      Thanks, Chris, and all the other readers, for keeping this comic and admiration society going. As always, if the next comic isn’t posted this morning, I’ll be back tomorrow.

      I’ll get off my soap box now. (I think this is probably my longest post on a webcomic ever…..)

    5. I, for one, love that he puts quality before deadline. While it may mean a longer wait, you know it is worth it. I wish way more things were this way. There are so many movies, games, and series with rushed parts and endings that you could tell would have been so much better if they were just given the time to get it right. I’ve also seen many a webcomic die from trying to adhere to a specific schedule and either the artist burned out, or the plot had gotten so sidetracked by last minute decisions that it was no longer the story the author wanted to tell (usually due to too many Deus ex Machina and last minute changes to characters in order to get the story out of a corner the author had written it into).

      There are also so many other commercial products that would be so much better if they would have taken the time to get them right instead of rushing them to market.

      Rusche refuses to release a subpar page in order to meet some artificial deadline, he knows exactly where he wants the story to go, and if he gets any wild hairs about something, he usually asks his fans first and gets feedback. Sort of a You Choose Your Story thing, and in a spoiler free way. I really respect him for that and love the high quality comic he does produce, instead of the rushjob comic that might have been.

  9. Regarding the comic delay, I’d like to say that “plethora” is a good word and I’m happy to see other people keeping it alive.

    That is all.

  10. Again no big deal with your delays (we are used to the XD ). Guess that’s date ended is a good thing as Ellie may get out if it alive.

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