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Notorious L.E.B.

UPDATE: Guys, forgive me. I rested/slept most of Wednesday and Thursday. I'm basically going to just sketch out next week's comics today and get caught up on a few misc obligations that keep getting pushed out. Back on Monday. Thank you so very much for your patience. _______________________________________________

I made this whole comic in a spinning room. My family is recycling the same cold. I used to laugh this never happened in my home, but it is. I don't know how else to say it, but I've been perpetually sick for almost two months. I really haven't talked about it much. Mostly because my grandma reads this comic and she'll assume I'm dying. I tend to avoid that since she's not the type to dole out sympathy. She's more the type to tell me it's because I'm screwing up my life and unhealthy. Unless I'm a Supreme Court Justice with six pack abs, I seem to fall short of some imaginary bar of expectations. (I know you're reading this Nana, and now you're mad at me..) There was a point, as a grandchild, I could do no wrong, and everything I produced was AMAZING. Eventually I got to an invisible threshold in my twenties where I didn't turn out like she expected. What's expected I'm not sure of. If I skip breakfast, I don't eat enough. Then a hour later I hear "Nana said you're getting fat." But I love my grandma. She's the biggest promoter of my comic within the family. My own mom doesn't read my comic. When we had the March Mix Madness contest last year I asked my step-brother to vote for me. He does, then goes "What the hell do you do?" I show him the comic. Him seeing the site: "So... what is it?" My uncle used to have a massive comic collection. Went to art school. Use to illustrate coloring books. Now he makes maps for Triple A... Doesn't read this. Not sure he ever has. Not a word about it. The cool uncle I idolized as a kid. Zip. But Nana still tries within the family. God bless her. That's one of the hard lessons you have to learn when you embark on your own projects. If you find people to give you an encouraging word, stay in touch. If you find people who actually take interest in what your doing, don't ever let them go. If you're lucky enough to have individuals actually promote your work for you, then you've got someone pretty fantastic who genuinely cares for you. That's how I know my grandma cares, even when she's alluding to my ever-approaching death... everytime I visit. But seriously, if any of you are thinking of starting something new, or have... don't get discouraged if even your closest friends aren't falling all over your project. Comic, youtube channel, patreon, kickstarter, whatever. You can't make people care or take interest. Most of them will glance, but don't take it personally if they don't keep up to date with it. Many people I know are in the midst of launching a new venture. I see it a lot, and I think it's worth mentioning. Out of all my longtime friends, maybe 80% know I do a comic. 15% of that have actually SEEN it. 2% read it regularly and comment on it. Don't let similar results discourage you. Like I said, I see it too much. It can be hard to find those who are just as into what you do, as YOU do.. You'll realize it's not all about whose with you at the start, it's who joins you along the way. Having a base of support is important, yes, but it's not a sign of how successful you will be. Some of my closest friends now are people I met from this comic. They're honestly my best friends. Even when the comic's done and I'm making zero dollars from it, those people will still be around for me to annoy. So keep trying. It always feels like you're trying to entertain a ghost town at first.

116 thoughts on “Notorious L.E.B.

  1. I love the direction this strip took today lol. I’ve been a longtime reader but never commented, but know that for the rest of my life at least Ellies adventures will remain in my mind:-) also maybe first??

    1. Biophilia takes first by a nose over Stormchaser. What a race that was people. Coming from behind the pack and passing Stormchaser right there at the line. Will we ever see a race like this in our lifetime…probably. Tomorrow perhaps or next week sometime. Check back everyday to see the mighty “Who got First” here at the Shotgun Shuffle comments. Better entertainment can’t be found anywhere on the interwebs.

  2. A for effort. D for lying face. Hopefully he’s either great at taking a hint or really gullible.

    Also, application for first. Over ten words complete!

  3. Jeez. I don’t care if a family member was writing and publishing “Garfield.” I’d still support it and promote it. Because family.

    Rusche, I’m sorry your family does not understand the quality brightness you bring to the lives of us readers.

      1. Medication is so much fun. Especially when your on strong pain meds and they’re asking if you take drugs. That is such a loaded question. I always answer with a resounding YES. I love watching them as they process this. Then they ask if I’m taking any illegal drugs. I just look at the ground and give a wimpy “no,” as if I’ve failed life because I’m a ‘good little automoton droid and believe everything we hear.’

        1. Well, because of the long time since, it was a bit of a mystery to me first. Which made me rather furious. Until I finally manned up and went through my memories until I found it.

        2. Should have gone with some “sorted out my cutlery”, “was completely bowled over” or “shoveled it out of my memories” line there.

  4. She’s internet famous! Yay?

    If he was in the figure drawing class there is no way she’s going to sell the mistaken identity thing. Even if he wasn’t it be a hard sell, the birthmarks aren’t her only distinctive features.

    1. I don’t know…I’ve seen that “You know, I get that all the time, but that wasn’t really me” reaction work more than once. It does the job of acknowledging the “similarity”, and how “amazing” it is, so the believability factor shoots straight up. It’s reasonable. People can buy it. Especially given the nature of the Internet.

    2. I’ve gotta’ agree with Steve. I’ve met a minimum of two other look-alikes for myself, and I run into them for other people all the time.

      Without the birthmarks, she might’ve pulled off a, “…you know, confusions like that can happen when you don’t realize my eyes are up here”-defense. With them, and him probably spending enough time in the figure drawing class looking at more than her boobs to notice them, they’re a dead giveaway.

      1. I’m betting trying to look through her hair and verify her N’s. I’m assuming panel 2 is supposed to be from his view.

  5. It’s going to take her a while before THAT kind of fame dies down. If nothing else, she can parlay it into occasional gas money.

  6. Older Guy is like “I’m gonna wait over here, out of earshot.”

    Also Rusche: I thought you said Ellie would not become a celebrity – you must have meant not more than she already is?

    Also Rusche’s grandma: It’s wonderful that you support this guy who makes this comic, and I personally apologize if any past (or future) comments from me on this site contain violent imagery or swears. I know that many grandmas are not overly fond of the swears.

    1. I get the feeling she and her “date” were moving in that direction (probably to be briefed about what’s what exactly), then Damien stopped her with that comment.

      That was my impression anyhow.

        1. He’s kinda preoccupied.

          And not listening in to someone else’s conversation (unless they are talking so loud that you can’t help but overhear) is the decent thing to do anyway. ;)

        2. Maybe Older Guy has always dreamed about being that extra in a zombie movie that is nonchalantly doing something like reading a newspaper with no awareness of what’s about to happen as they zoom in on his reaction of surprise and terror when a horde of zombies shambles over the horizon.

          See, I bet he’s trying to beat Ellie to snag the best walk-in part for himself. He wasn’t really into this date in the first place, so considering “ladies first” as laughable rather than required in this situation is quite possible.

  7. We love Banena, Nana, Jessica, Pumpkin Spice Lattes, and Lying Ellie Buckingham. This may be the first step of the breakdown’s precursors. I mean sure, being in proximity to the eyebrowed dork of the ice cream truck was the detour towards it, unless it was quitting Kohl’s….

      1. mR. Blue’s colorful facade dips, revealing the ‘Pat’ persona that is a someone/somewhat attempt at a digital equivalent of abstract absurdity. He hops into the other webcomics, tilting at them with a sharpened windmill while astride his late father’s Chevy truck.

        “Onward Matrix,” he cries to the unfeeling steed…

        (To be continued)

  8. I don’t comment much on here (I am stealth) but I read every comic (sometimes early – benefit of being a colorist) but Chris knows James and I support him… through telepathy (or was that Facebook Messenger?). He knows James’ mom supports him because of pecan sandies and the fact that when I met her she said “You’re an artist? My son James’ friend Chris is an artist.” To her, “artist” is synonymous with Chris and that’s means something.

        1. I think no matter what the customer said, and how much it might look like a tabby or a Siamese or another common house pet, the average vet would insist that a 300 pound feline was not, in fact, something they were going to treat.

          Also I’d bet those would be much more dangerous freaking out in the car on the way over.

  9. Much love to ya brother! Fight them germs.
    My family is more awkward-ed out by most of what I make, but I’m lucky enough to have most of their support.
    There isn’t a single comic I recheck as frequently as this one, btw. I’m following this puppy until Fox or Adult Swim finally pick it up for their Sunday line-up!
    Also, have I mentioned that draw the absolute best facial expressions?

  10. I’d forgotten Damien was in Alex’s drawing class, and I think someone even brought it up in the comments back at the first convention.

    Rookie mistake on Ellie’s part. Don’t immediately lie expressing certainty. She should’ve looked surprised and a little weirded out and tell creative portions of the truth instead. Something like: “I …. don’t recall setting up or agreeing to let someone else set up any kind of cam site. If you aren’t confusing me with someone else about that … well that’s not good. Damnit! How long ago was it you saw that? I swapped apartment’s recently and if it’s in the current one I’m going to have to go tear my apartment apart tonight before I can sleep.”

    Rusche – Evolution of germs is always an irritating phenomenon. Good luck on that cycle getting broken. I’d usually shrug and ignore things like “grass fed” or other things hinting not factory farm raised as hippie garbage, but more and more I’m getting leery about the degree factory farms are helping breed antibiotic resistant germs. Also sorry to hear lack of interest by family and old friends but glad to hear you’re at peace with things now.

      1. She can say that she’s not allowed to say anything about it though. And hint towards her being somehow a victim in this and not culprit. But yeah, anything further would be breach of contract. And she’d have to be very careful with her words when trying the latter.

        1. There is leading people on, and then there is jumping into the Mariana Trench with a Jeep tied to each foot from the height of Olympus Mons.

      2. Implying, but not outright stating, a lack of knowledge about something is not talking about it in a legal sense. Additionally, doing so in a way to make the person bringing it up likely to feel uncomfortable continuing to talk about it could be considered to be an attempt to go past following the letter of the agreement but also encourage the spirit of the agreement by attempting to squash notice.

      1. A fresh direction for development would certainly be handy, however I’m not convinced that method would stop antibiotic resistance so much as it would just give us more different types of antibiotics for germs to slowly become resistant to.

        Though, I’ll grant that cancer research may be able to fill the gap at some point, as it is moving towards targeting certain DNA and not others. Once that gets far enough along, and we have faster analysis method for detecting and isolating pathogens, then all antibiotics could conceivably become customized.

  11. UH…er….SMOKEBOMB! *pshhhh*

    And Chris, I am bound and determined to get as many people as I know to read your comic. It’s my number 1 most recommended.

    1. mR. Blue would like to tower over James’ height and politely whisper a nice request to vote for SHOTGUN SHUFFLE over at TWC. Its that little black box just under Ashliii’s bytes of digital wittisdoms.

    1. (extended script)

      Damien: Well, I spent a few hours studying your face and body before meticulously copying it onto paper, then watched you and your roommate argue in all manner of dress, so —

      Ellie No no no, see, I’m part of one of those… real life stealth advertising campaigns! The ones where you don’t realize it’s advertising!

      Damien (dubious): For what?

      Ellie (clearly fishing): It’s one of those movie remakes nobody would ask for and everyone would hate for.. uh… um… you remember that clone movie? The one everybody loved even though it wasn’t dumbed down? The one from really long ago– the 80’s I guess?

      Damien (horrified): They’re remaking Blade Runner?! Oh of course! Those Ns on your face are for “Nexus-6”! Why would they do that? Everyone would hate it!

      Ellie (delightedly reeling in the fish) Yes! That’s the one! They’re giving it to Michael Bay! So I’m just one of a bunch of similar girls all over the country with Ns who are– hey! Are you all right?!

      Damien (his back is facing the panel as vomits off-scene) *hurling noise*

      Ellie turns and slips away quietly.

      1. Giving it to Michael Bay? Do you think Uwe Boll would’ve been too unbelievable, or would’ve caused death rather than vomiting?

        1. Well I picked Michael Bay because he’s been on an 80’s and 90’s bend. Uwe Boll wouldn’t do a remake; he’d be making a live action version of the video game which, itself, actually had video acting in it (if I recall correctly). I ruled out George Lucas because I think he may have retired from ruining movies. JJ Abrams might have been a good choice because he’s done a great job sucking the science fiction out of Star Trek and injecting PC into Star Wars, but what he did isn’t even in the same league as the other directors mentioned.

        2. Given that he was basically given a well established franchise of decades and told “Now make this hip for the youth of today! But don’t anger the old fans! And it must be a financial hit as well, so you can’t just cater to the sci-fi fans! But we need to get the sci-fi fans with it!”…

          He actually did a very decent job with both.

        3. Oh, I’m not saying JJ Abrams made them into bad movies. Quite the opposite, really. He did a couple things that disappointed me (mentioned above), but I was mostly happy with what I got. I was explaining why I left him out of the running for who should defile Blade Runner because nothing he’d do would be on par with the others I named.

        4. Though one has to wonder just how many lens flares you can put into Blade Runner. ;)

          And whether they’d be allowed to say “Well, suck on a horsec(not “u”)ck,…” again in the remake.
          (Though it was in Hungarian in the original, which is probably why it went past the sensors of the censors.)

  12. I follow my brother’s YouTube videos with semi-regularity. I don’t care about all of the games he does for LPs, and sometimes I think he can be rather boring on camera (sorry big bro!) but I share what I think are his better or relevant vids so I don’t spam everyone with it. I know my parents do too. I can’t imagine not even telling people in a cursory way that a relative does creative endeavors!

        1. okay it should alright first intron
          futures for March of your onion I’m get that saw chain so that by the time
          that starts at a rest with regard to the islands just chop not dice
          or anything like that chapter rounds okay him.

  13. I still read the comic. It’s been years now. Patreon too. And in a family full of engineers and the such, I stick out due to my interest in art and a retail job. I have learned to do what you enjoy. Everything else doesn’t matter.

  14. Faithful follower.
    As to your continuing efforts in producing it, I fully understand. I also do a page and it is always nice when someone comments about it. I do have a modest following, 3 to 4000 page views a month. You gotta just keep plugging along. Thanks for the strip.

  15. The passion that I bring to my project does not have to result in interest or participation as a condition of our friendship or family, otherwise it is doomed.

    Yup. Nailed that one. It is nice when they read it but can’t take it personally that most don’t.

    I hope you manage to ditch the cold. Antiseptic wipes everywhere maybe? I avoid con crud by never touching common surfaces like door handles and escalator rails…

    1. It is SOOOO cool!! Next stop interstellar space travel! I wonder if the universes’ road map will be as complicated as Boston’s….

      1. Are you kidding? It’s going to be like driving in Miami blindfolded. At least in Miami you have X and Y axis travel. With space you’ll probably have Z axis too….

      2. If the universes’ road map turns out to also have been created based on literal cow paths, then I think we all owe Gary Larsen an apology for failing to realize the full extent of his visionary genius.

  16. Feel better soon, Rusche! Based on what little you tell us about your health, your Nana is right that you’re unhealthy. I’m sure I’m not the only one who worries about your health when comics are running late. Take care of yourself, man. Your kids need you.

    On a separate note, Poor Ellie. I suppose it was too much to ask that most of the viewers were from out of town. He’s coming across as a little stalker-y there, too (has he been there for EVERY embarrassing thing from Ellie’s past?).

    1. Lavender Erinn Buckingham

      (reference comic Fusion Dance, currently dated February 7, 2014, I looked it up in the wiki when I was trying to remember if we’d ever found out Ellie’s middle name or not)

  17. HEY HEY People!!! We got SHOTGUN SHUFFLE to sky rocket back into the top one hundred, plummeting past the top fifty, thundering past the top 40. We got into the 38th slot on the TWC list.

    We got our average daily voting up to 70.75 votes per day!! This is excellent. If we can get that average up to around one hundred votes per day, WHOA. That should get into the 20th spot according to today’s numbers.

    1. I think the Valentine’s Day Sex Drive will throw off your math. The site said they have 48 participants this year, and many of them post as their TWC incentives. You’re likely to get a lot of additional votes throwing off totals for those sites this upcoming week. (I noticed Delve already has theirs posted, though Grrl Power & dream*scar didn’t, and I don’t normally check Out of my Element until Monday, and I don’t regularly read any of the rest).

        1. vdsdaction.com is the site for the Valentine’s Day Sex Drive. That should explain something. If you were asking about the point, well, if reading that site doesn’t answer you questions in that regard, I’m afraid I can’t either.

        1. Meh, it’s just what someone decided to do with their comic as a random tradition (much like some artists may have a tradition of dressing their characters up in costumes for Halloween), got tired of it, and had a fan convince them to keep going and expand it. Now a bunch of people do it too. Some of the people put it behind TWC vote, others don’t. Some of the artists have NSFW comics anyway, some don’t and post warnings, some don’t and make sure there are strategic objects keeping it cheesecake-y but not showing anything.

          Of the three of the four comics I follow that participated this year and have already posted their entry, only one of them put a pic with nudity as their VDSD entry and TWC incentive, and that comic (Delve) is generally NSFW and generally posts a new (usually NSFW) vote incentive along with every new comic. But considering that the artists put work into drawing the pictures, I don’t see an issue with them using it as a vote incentive. A lot of people like a comic but won’t bother to vote with TWC in less there’s something to make them curious to see it.

          No reason to get too bent out of shape about it or anything, I was just mentioning it so you’d have an explanation with random comics having spiking vote counts this week since you’re tracking it.

        2. That would explain a shift in the vote compared to other months. Some people can turn out an image in under an hour, some in a day. Some individuals know what some people want, and do it within the scope of their character’s world. Others would sketch something add an outlier because they are forcing their characters into the artist’s personal views of what people should find acceptable in society.

          But them maybe an artist comes up with a way too increase traffic no matter the cost and plays the past of the Pied Piper.

        3. [sigh] Now it’s 3-to-1 posting through TWC (Out of my Element switched theirs to TWC and dream*scar posted as TWC).

          Art is not something so rigidly defined that it’s all that easy to say what’s an extension of art and what’s a betrayal of it. I figure if the artist is happy with what they’re doing, then it’s an extension of their art. If they change so much I don’t enjoy it, they never created it for me in the first place, so it’s not something I have a right to be upset about. I might stop paying attention, but that’s something that the artist doesn’t have a right to be upset about. All just part of life.

  18. Sleep is one of the best ways to get better when sick. Taking time to take care of yourself is much better (and more efficient) in the long run.

  19. The numbers you threw out there about personal friends and family is probably about right. I am/was on the cusp of writing something similar on my own comic (though a family member doesn’t like my comic because of the half-nekkidness, despite the practical nature of the attire) but that in the end, it really doesn’t matter. Anyways, that’s all to say, Well Said.

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