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As most of you have guessed by now, the sisters do have letters on their cheeks. And as read oldest to youngest, spells: TOHSNUG You figured it out. My secret obsession with snug toes in footwear. Always remember to change your socks at every stop, and that they fit properly. The Mekong will eat a grunt's feet right off his legs. Excellent job. If you read it the opposite direction it’s obviously a nonsensical word that has no meaning... Also, a funny bit for anyone checking the cast page. Percy, (percent sign) was originally holding a remote control, flying one of those goofy helicopter toys right.. And that’s actually supposed to be what Ellie is looking at flying over her. Well, I drew all the sisters on separate sheets of paper, and did them individually on the computer. It wasn't until I placed them in order I realized something even more humorous. I nixed the helicopter, since there’s NO WAY, with his glare as it is, anyone would think the helicopter is what he’s staring at. Join me Wednesday as I will breakdown my concepts and thoughts on each sister and the wherefores and whatnots as to why I created them. We’ll have a full ‘Sisters Buckingham’ cast panel next post. Thanks for reading, as always.

84 thoughts on “Ginger

  1. Someone hit the shift key for the boys.

    And who would have thought that the grandmom would have to have a book on where the wild things are. . . She had what, seven daughters?

    1. Yes, you could consider those boys the shift key with the first four prime numbers, but I prefer to think they’re what would be signified if four special characters showed up in a row in print comic.

      Rusche, thanks for four instead of the obvious two, as four is a lot more choices, though they’re MUCH too you to know what that word means.

        1. Case insensitive?

          I had just assumed that Ginger mated with a programmer, but there are far too few brackets and semi-colons among them. So it’s far more likely that the boy’s cheek marking are actually a curse word, censored in traditional comic fashion.

        2. Correct on case, but I figure my best way to avoid triple mistakes is to avoid correcting a correction.

  2. Yay, I’m so glad this updated before I went to sleep (I’m on backshifts this month.) I might have a worthwhile comment after I get some sleep.

  3. Man… those Nephews on grandma’s lap are going to fit in well, with the Twitter universe…

    You know, aside from the sisters, I didn’t expect to see more family members with symbols and letters on the cheeks… is this a trait passed down from the father? The mom doesn’t seem to have any letters on her face.

    (Unless you could somehow mistake the lines of her nose as forming a “J”…)

    1. Grr… I wanted to be the first person to mention that! :D

      I noticed that too. I’m guessing that since “poppy” hasn’t been seen yet, he must be the progenitor of all the weird facial markings. Maybe it’s been in the Buckingham family for generations, or perhaps it came from Mr. Buckingham’s mother? In any case, if Ellie’s father is in fact what has caused his children to all have those markings on their faces, then he HAS to have a big, weird marking on his face! Like… I dunno… the Windows button! XD

      1. Oh My GOSH. What if, in their ancient history, after Gutenberg’s death, an ancestor had an accident with movable type, caused by a bolt of lightning. . .

        1. And so, a superhero was born!
          And he shall be named… “Font man!” Villains beware- Font Man has his sights on you, and you’re about to get “stamped” out!

  4. GUNSHOT… Who’s a clever bunny who solved Wheel of Fortune weeks ago? Who? It’s me isn’t it! Now. Is the boy with the hashtags on his cheeks Junipers? If it is, I see what you’ve done there!

    1. I was wondering which “one” they called her before she had all the kids.

      Even “The Fertile One” would have been awkward.

      1. I was just thinking that too. Either they gave each other these nicknames somewhat recently (in the past decade rather than when in elementary school which is what I figured) or Ginger had a very interesting childhood.

      2. 5 years late with this I know but…

        …I’ve known families that big, the oldest is often also 2nd mother for the younger ones (and then goes on to have a litter of their own), so by the time there was enough of them to need names like that the die was already cast.

  5. So is Ellie’s comment about her dad going crazy literal or facetious? I’m kinda curious because we’ve never seen him in this comic yet.

    1. Good question. Ellie did try having a conversation with off panel before her mom cut her off but you’re right, he hasn’t actually appeared yet.

      1. Well based on the girls I think it’s safe to assume he’s a blonde with blue eyes since most of them have that trait. Based on the rather “strong” role Momma Buckingham plays in their lives, his broken emotional state could be literal. Poor guy.

  6. It’s funny the general setup of the cover of that book is all I need to know which book it is. I just sorta passed by eyes over it without looking close and knew it right away. I’m sure it was the same for most folks here, honestly.

    1. It’s good, since I had to really dumb down the details of the book to where I didn’t want even the title ‘readable.’ Obviously as a tribute to the awesome book, but also to avoid copyright issues.

      1. The one drawback about this is for international audiences like me. I never saw that book IRL and I would have no clue by myself. Thankfully I can always rely in my fellow shufflers (and the author’s somewhat constant presence in the comments — thanks for that) to explain references I wouldn’t get otherwise.

  7. Mom probably doesn’t stress because the grandkids are
    1) boys, and
    2) grandkids.

    Also – since Mom doesn’t have any symbols on her cheeks, I’m assuming that must be a trait the girls inherited from Dad’s side of the family, and Ginger passed on to her kids? And are the symbols always Roman? Or if one of the girls had kids with a Japanese dude, would the kids all have kana on their cheeks?

    Still, I can see now why they kept having children. Have to keep having more til you solve the puzzle (they lucked out and got a 2-for-1 deal on Cinnamon and Lavender… sounds like a sales ad for Yankee Candle Company). Or maybe that’s what drove Dad crazy; he discovered that his daughters carried with them a secret message. And nobody would believe him.

    I believe you, Old Man Buckingham. I believe you.

    1. The lady with six sisters says: My momma is the exact same way around the grandkids. She just adores kids, and has actually mentioned she would have been cool with having 12 or more of us, so of course she will be thrilled with having many grandchildren. And now we’ve got three more born this year, bringing the total up to seven, she is happy as can be.

      1. Yes grandkids are great because you get to spoil them and watch them play and have fun and be kids which is just awesome and then at the end of the day somebody else takes them home to handle all the stress and chaos and tantrums and projectiles.

        I can only imagine how nice it must be for my parents when our daughter starts to get cranky and we say, “Well, she’s cranky so I guess we’ll be going now.” We get to take her home and have her be cranky at us, while they get to relax after a fun day.

    1. Considering which numbers you’d have to shift for to get those characters, that would certainly be my guess–seems to fit their appearances.

  8. For those of us who havent noticed yet, taking the letters in the sister cheecks we get
    Juniper= S
    Anise= H
    Tarra= O
    Ginger= T
    Pumpkin= G
    Dumb sis= U
    Ellie= N

  9. Hahah, okay honestly was not expecting this but it did make me laugh I think because I can relate. I only guessed 2 kids at first so I was pleasantly surprised at 4 of them. Also, the little baby with the @ symbols is just too adorable for some reason. hahahah.

    Ginger drooling is pretty hilarious as well…”ahh yess…..a break!”
    drooling = sign of an extremely good sleep. LOL

  10. I’m just wondering how such diverse hair color is genetically possible. If dad is the blonde…one or two of the kids would be blonde possibly since blonde is a recessive…but then the lighter brunettes with mom being the darker? Genes don’t mix like that. But whatever, this is fiction. XD

    1. I had friends who had a daughter with lighter complexion and blue eyes and blonde hair, and then a daughter with a dark complexion with dark eyes and dark brown hair. It is pretty freaky when you look at them but they are completely sisters through and through.

    2. Genetics from mom and dad are going to include the genetic markers they inherited from previous generations.

      My husband and I have the same color of brown hair and very similar eyes, but our sons have three different hair and eye colors.

  11. So Percy is the percent sign… hmmm….

    Anyone else wanna guess the names based on the signs?

    Ampersand(&): Andy
    Hashtag(#): ….Tag?
    At(@): …Attila?!

    ..This got really hard all of the sudden…

    1. The hashtag also used be known as the “number sign” or even the “pound sign” but that doesn’t really help…

      Calling your kid Hash just sounds wrong, so does Tag, Pound or Number. Hash Pound sounds like a very fattening McDonalds breakfast food. Hmm…

    2. Andy, Ash, Aaron(alternate name for the @sign is the arobase), and Percy, shorty for Percival. Also, Ginger’s face on the cast page is epic.

  12. Well, she certainly went out of order :P She completely skipped !, $ and ^ on her kid’s cheeks.

    But then again, the first one doesn’t make for as interesting a cheek mark as the others…

  13. Been reading this for a while now. The web comics I enjoy always have the most interesting characters so keep it up (hopefully for a long time). But I am curious – “Shotgun Shuffle” how did you come up with this name?

    1. I’m going to guess he’s borrowing the the song title. There are a lot of musical references and homage’s going on in this strip. (Like the Ellie and Quinn’s last names for instance.)

        1. COME ON. After the music reference, I practically threw that stuff out there. Not until TSG said something about it in the same post. Arrrgh.

  14. Pumpkin looks older than ever, strangely… I’m getting the feeling that she’s getting older every time we see her, despite such a little amount of time has passed.

    Interestingly enough, it seems as though Ms. Buckingham was only capable of giving birth to girls, while her oldest daughter seems only able to have boys. Is this an interesting coincidence, or is there an actual reason??

    And since I’m being SOOOO observative here (not really, but just play along!), I might as well mention that in the first panel, it kind of looks like the girls just saw something really amazing. They have somewhat surprised expressions- especially Quinn. They kinda look like they’re leaning forward, as if they’re right about to start running.

    Also, apropos of nothing, I saw a game a little while back called “Mighty Switch Force” which is about a cop chasing down several criminals. All of which are blonde, sisters, and get into various forms of trouble. I couldn’t help but think of Shotgun Shuffle.

    1. Gender is determined by the man’s genetic contribution (Y or X), so the gender imbalance would be due to Mr. Buckingham and Ginger’s hubby.

      Some guys offspring do seem to be heavily slanted one way or another, though I only know one or two families large enough to have sufficient data points for the odds to be showing strongly one way or another.

      I can say a family that eats breakfast in the same restaurant as my family each Sunday has 5-7 girls (I don’t count them, they just take several tables) and 1 boy, so I’ve seen similar real life ratios (and those kids are fantastically well behaved, I have a lot of respect for their mom).

      1. Ok, despite what science and genetics say, gender is NOT determined by the father’s X or Y chromosome. That is merely a convenient sidebar that people use to explain nature. What REALLY happens is that all the little swimmers get there and and the mother’s egg makes the choice.

        Think about it, all things being equal, what possible explanation could there be for my having a son and then five girls except……(wait for it)……the egg (which is an X chromosome entity) is sitting there doing girl stuff and along comes all these little X’s and Y’s swimming frantically, striving to get her attention. “Pick Me,” they cry! Some of the Y’s flex, try to schmooz, rev the engine in their low rider, harley, muscle car, whatevs. But no, it’s always “All you boys get off the porch! Me and my girlfriends gonna have some quality time. Yoo hoo….over here, girlfrien!”

        That’s the way it really happens.

        1. Kinda. Mostly I’m bitter. Instead of boys to go hunting with, I’m stuck with conversations like “what’s wrong with her? She started this week. What? I thought she started last week. No that was the other one. Well, what was her problem last week? You wouldn’t understand. Oh, bloody hell!

        2. More like they are lost in the Labyrinth, and the first one to not get stabbed by the flying silver orb wins.

        3. Good retort – the egg chooses who it will accept, like a job interview or something. I’ll have to remember that. I hate it when people say, “The father chooses the sex of the baby because he contributes X or Y.”

          Um, no. I contribute millions of swimmers, of both the X and Y variety. But there is no actual choosing that takes place here. They all start from the same starting line. And once the race begins, it’s out of my hands, so to speak.

  15. With Ellie’s comment, and Ginger’s sister-dubbed title indicating that names were sufficiently recent for her to have multiple offspring (# looks like three at the oldest to me, and & can’t be older than seven), is Pumpkin “The Last One”?

    1. Typically they’re called “the baby.” My brother still gets called the baby and he’s pushing 30. My mom is still called the baby and she has grandchildren. It’s the horrific nickname that keeps giving.

  16. I love how despite saying how Tara would beat them all up and cut their hair so her’s was the longest, Juniper and Ginger have pretty long hair.

    1. Eh.. doesn’t mean she cut it to the scalp. Or that she cut theirs recently. The only sister that may have had theirs cut, from what’s been shown, would be Ellie Cinnamon and possibly Pumpkin.

      1. I thought Ellie already said that all the sisters have had their hair cut outta revenge, except Tarra.

        But yes, it makes the most sense that Juni and Ginger simply haven’t had their hair cut recently. Maybe if we get to see more of the sisters later that will change. I for one hope we do, and not just because I sorta have a thing for Tarra.

        1. Just means they didn’t fight ‘recently’ when we saw the other sisters.

          The idea was Tarra never lost a fight involving the cutting of hair, so she wears it longer than the others as a taunt.
          The other girls can have long hair, provided they don’t piss off Tarra.

  17. For a reason I’m still pinning down, the last panel just seems really, well, sweet. Grandma is taking care of the little guys, while her daughter the mom catches some Zzzs, and Pumpkin is playing with her nephews and wowing them with her much older and cooler gaming skills. Guess it’s just neat to see the generations interacting and being a normalish family.

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