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I'll be reiterating this on the next post cause I was late getting it done, but a few things... Anise Fanart Fan art page is finally up! Got a few new ones on there. I am truly blessed with great fans. I have, bar-none, the best readers and commentors involving webcomics. I hadn't checked comments for this particular post for the first 8 hours it was up, and it had already exceed 100-something. Wow. Thank you all for letting me immerse you in my goofy little world here. :D   And Thank you Dimitri Grimm...



and Pat greyfat by Pat

  and Miss Banena Anise by Nena Quinn by Banena Ellie by Banena I've also been posting some of my older stuff (that I actually still have) under the following icon in the right sidebar. Index Man Av   I'm unloading,  little by little, some art and older comics that led up to the Shotgun Shuffle you're reading today. Lastly, I'm a huge proponent of the Choose Your Own Webcomic aspect of this site, which I'm able to incorporate here and there. So there will be another vote, for this specific story, and probably within the next week/weekandahalf. It will involve what's currently going on with the cast page, and I'll explain more when we get to it. Thanks all, as always!

294 thoughts on “Ratchantulas

    1. By the way, anyone who had me (I’m looking at you Mr. Grey) for the “first sister to get arrested this shopping trip” just lost. Not that I won either I had Cinnamon.

      1. Technically they’re not arrested yet.

        However, I had my money on the tiny one. I figured she didn’t have any strikes yet (I assume), you’d all use her as a scapegoat.

      2. Can she actually be under arrest when it’s just mall cops, or does that just count for the purpose of the betting pool?

        1. When it’s the mall cops, it should be considered a citizen’s arrest. They are the agents of the mall, or property owners and therefore they have some vested interest in keeping the peace. However, since what Mr. Black has done does not constitute theft, just disturbing the peace, they could be just simply escorting her off of the property for the rest of the year.

      1. “Hateful Bloodlust” maybe. Unleashing a new predatory species on the unsuspecting holiday shopping public?

        OK, I’ll allow it.

      2. For Nerf This references, I was thinking running into this one ( http://nerf-this.com/comic/05-04-10-nerf-this/ ) over the weekend was too late to comment regarding Anise considering beard = manly goodness, because I think Anise would absolutely be into Mr. Mills (not that I think Mr. Mills would have much time for her, and Destiny would kill her if Tarra didn’t intervene).

    1. That isn’t Cinnamon as we know her. Nor am I going to go all Pinky and the Brain either. I’m going to strongly suggest that Cinnamon has a split personality disorder, or multiple personality disorder.

      Either that, or she’s possessed.

        1. I’m NoT |-|3rE |\/|R. 2t3\/e. |>134sE (4n |_| p!aAAY \/\/iTh ()uR |>3sS222sTszzzss?!?!?!?!

      1. I really like the idea of Cinnamon being a split personality and the other personality being “Sister X.” Though I think if this were the case she would much more likely be known as the “one with the split personality” because that seems more character defining than dumb.

        1. I wouldn’t think so. Anything that the other sisters might do to her could set her off. However, being spurred by Anise on Black holiday shopping while almost going Hulk seemed to have been the trigger for her change.

          Why prod the bear when the bear can kick Ta– Mr. Redhead’s ass one on one?

          And it also seems to kick a few things, always blaming Ellie for the stuff, because she may not have been fully aware of those times.

          OH crap, the most evil thing that she can be doing is taking the Lavender moniker for herself.

          But then, I’m borrowing from “Batman Beyond, The Return of the Joker.” and some of the other psychopaths in the Batman universe. Seeing as how Mr. Yellowish-Red just got a statuette.

        2. Multiple personalities that she isn’t aware of is a nice theory, and might play out, but not for this scene. She had to ask Ellie some time ago for the ratches, hybrid abominations of nature do take time to spawn and develop, and she deliberately brought them and carried them around all night, and they’re being active enough that it’d be hard for her not to have noticed earlier.

          She’s been planning this for a while and has at least been intending to carry it out since they left Casa Buckingham after dinner (that’s assuming she could talk Ginger into stopping by her place, otherwise she would’ve had to have been planning it since before dinner) and has had it in mind through the whole mall trip.

        3. Well, when I did mention the Batman Beyond movie, the Joker was in control of Tim Drake’s body for short periods of time, and only getting more experience as he was able to spend time in control up to a point where he could be present more and more. But that’s technology and other stuff.

          We could borrow from Two-Face’s psychosis and suggest that with multiples that there might be a time when they can come out and play, (Danny) so to speak and be either the dominant persona or perhaps for evil manipulations the so called subconscious planting things to do in the meat bag, like asking for souvenirs.

        4. Regardless of where she lives (which is at “home” with her parents and Pumpkin) he’s making the point that the pre planning needed for this makes a sudden emergence of a heretofor supressed personality due to shopping stress pretty much impossible. In other words Cinnamon is just a straight up horrible person. I look forward to her trying to break new ground and blaming Anise instead of Ellie though.

        5. Okay, but the problem with that is the emergence of a new sister on the cast page breaking through the ceiling in a totally un Mr. Rainbow Judd Nelson approach. No jokes, no salamis, no naked blondes.

          I’m just floating a theory for now based on my presumption of a limited number of sisters (finite body) and a plausible possibility of a limited number of shares in one of those aforementioned bodies.

        6. Could be a sister given up for adoption. If one of the earlier kids were also twins or Ellie/Cinn were triplets, it’s quite feasible that Herb & Rosemary weren’t financially prepared for that many kids. The thing that would fit with Rosemary’s character in that situation would be give the child up for adoption (and most likely screen the adoptive parents as thoroughly as possible first too).

        7. Given Rosmary’s religious beliefs, I doubt that she is an only child. I believe that the sister council was inherited from an earlier generation and that their cousins are involved, (the sisterhood of Buckinghams).

        8. Could be, though to be sisterhood of Buckinghams it’d need to come from Herb’s side. I’d expand your statement a bit and say chances are strong that somewhere within the set of Herb’s parents, Rosemary’s parents, and their aunts & uncles another large family exists (I wouldn’t limit to Rosemary’s parents).

          On the other hand, there are still a lot of other possibilities that haven’t been closed off yet, too. Such as the Buckingham’s trying for a boy and just being fantastically stubborn about giving up on it.

        1. Oh yeah, hmm…was the cast page always like that? There seem to have been some…additions.

        1. I was thinking it’d be a lot like the majority of photos I’ve ever seen or taken, actually.

      1. Darn you for posting exactly what I was going to say, a whole quarter hour prior to me! Grrrrrr…

        I’m digging this sudden turn of events, though… and glad this is just a comic, and not real life.

        1. I noticed in the comic where Cinn is being jostled around and she’s like “Hate….People!”, it almost seems as though she’s not so much dumb as extremely resentful of the human race but has been forced to bottle it up so it’s always on a low simmer. With her anger towards people taking up most of her mental processes, she would miss simple things more easily and, hence, be considered dumb.

    1. The Cinnamon would definitely be the herald for the dark one. And her name shall become pestilence, and her horse the force which destroys a third of the plants, crops and green things of the Earth. For she shall have become one of the Apocalyptic Horsemen, er. Horsewomen, and I don’t mean that she’s got a frog in her throat. I mean that she’s one of the heralds of Meggido, Ragnarok, the Apocalypse, the big dance to end all dances. The end of ends. Unlike this description.

    2. @Tales

      I may do one more mutation if a later story allows for it. But yeah, it breeds with anything. An exaggerated take on the movie Arachnophobia. If it does it again, it’s either with a snake, or a centipede. Ratchantculapede? All signs point to YES.

      1. As long as Alex Ratchantula Jr. doesn’t show up, I’m good with whatever abominations of nature you want to depict.

  1. I sense disaster movie spinoff: a cross between Them! and Tremors. Get Kevin Bacon, but have him killed by the Ratchantulas in the first part of the movie, and Blind Guy has to lead Ellie and Quinn to safety. Terra will, obviously, single handedly clean up the mess, and deal with Cinn at the same time.

    1. If we’re talking movies this totally reminds me of “Relic” where the monster was created by mixing and matching DNA from many diverse species.

        1. Oh come on. Look me in the eyes and tell me that the SyFy channel wouldn’t be all over “Taroachurat Terror” if The Asylum coughed up such an affair for them. Especially if a tornado were involved for some reason.

        2. That’s the thing, I think that Rusche has started a new omega trend. Night of the Living Dead – Mall, okay, so I can’t think of many other examples, besides Arthur Hitchcock’s The Birds, or a few other creature features.

          But instead of being the b list horror, with Rusche’s writing skills etc, the Omega Pestilence could be a movie worth spending $17 bucks a pop on opening night, without soda and/or popcorn.

        3. I’m not saying I’d find it odd to see roach/rat/spider hybrids on the channel formerly known as SciFi, I’m saying the quality comparison between the writing for that made-for-TV movie and this comic would be similar to comparing a wall monkeys flung poop at with the art style.

    1. also i just realized she’s turn the omegapestilence from scavengers into predators. were boned. i am curious how they evolve to start raising the dead for tarragon to defeat in comic 12,957.

      1. Two words: “Dead Rising.” Seriously, they covered this. All you need is one small enough to get inside a human skull, interface with the brain stem, and you’ve got one ready-made walking corpse. Lakeland will be Santa Cabeza in no time.

    2. It’s not nearly as bad as it could’ve been. After all, there’s no sign of Alex in that ratchantula at all. You can sleep soundly.

      1. True, there is that. But the bad thing would be a ratchantula controlling Alex’s body in order to defeat these creatures… and Mr. Reddish-Yellow, along with the Florida National Guard, United States Marine Corps, U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Army, Centers for Disease Control, U.S. Air Force (unmanned drones), United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps, TSA, Civil Defense, and NORAD.

        1. I don’t care so much if Alex gets possessed in some way, it’s really the prospect of propagation of his genetic material that I find objectionable.

  2. The more I see Anise’s coat the more I want it in real life. Cinnamon looks creepy with it though. All that black doesn’t help.

    Sister X on the cast page how spooky

    1. It does exist in real life. I messaged Chris a while back asking about it because I totally wanted to get one for my wife, but it’s out of production now. If I can remember/find who made it I’ll drop you a link. Though to be honest Chris draws it cooler than it actually is.

      1. It’s called the “Dislocation Gothic Winter Jacket” http://www.stylehive.com/bookmark/dislocation-gothic-winter-jacket-for-women-by-queen-of-darkness-1612861

        and it was made by “Queen of Darkness.” https://www.queen-of-darkness.com/ but is no longer for sale on their web site and seems to be out of production.

        I found a few different places online that USED to carry it like the black angel http://www.the-black-angel.com/ they still sell stuff in a similar vein.

        You might be able to get lucky finding one used though I’ve yet to see one pop on on ebay or something.

        Currently a similar looking jacket called “Laugh at Death” seems to still be available and I plan to nab one of them when I get my income tax return money, assuming they sell out in the next couple weeks. http://www.the-black-angel.com/gothic-coats-jackets-women/762-queen-darkness.html

  3. Brrr. Can you imagine having to share a womb with Cinnamon? Ellie is lucky she wasn’t strangled with her own umbilical cord.

      1. Oh shoot, now I have to correct myself. Since they are fraternal twins they naturally did not share amniotic sacs, therefore Cin wouldn’t be able to strangle Ellie in any way in the womb. And any attempts to sabotage Ellie’s sac would have risked her own, so that was out of the question.

        1. You could still speculate that Ellie’s womb-learned survival trait of ignoring her twin’s death stares (even before eyes developed, of course) led to her ability to ignore all manner of responsibilities and heralded her future as the lazy one.

        2. How ’bout just good old fashioned fighting in the womb? Even if they got their own sacs, I know my twin niece and nephew got plenty of hits on one another in there. Ellie leaned self-defense in the womb.

        3. Theoretically, if her sac had enough give, she could have gotten it over Ellie’s head and sac intact and strangled her without ever puncturing her own sac. Both sacs and the cord would be around Ellie’s neck.

          ….aaaaand that’s incredibly morbid and disturbing. Damn you, brain, for being unable to leave logic/spatial puzzles alone!

        4. Maybe Ellie’s fetus figured that out and choked Cinn’s umbilical cord and the reduced oxygen and nutrients is the cause of Cinn being the Dumb One.

          Ellie saved us all, because imagine how awful Cinn would be without the developmental damage causing her to botch her own plans to some degree.

    1. Pretty sure that’s Cinnamons bag, she’s been carrying it since Sisters of the Moon part 1. And if I had to guess it’s either a byproduct of the Ratchantulas or eggs.

      1. In “Did I mention they also fly?” (01 Jan 2013) Caz describes the ratch eggs as something he mistook as spilled cole slaw at first. Additionally “The Day We Were All Fired” (18 Oct 2013) has some amount of green slime coming from the hatching ratch eggs.

        So safe bet that green goop is related to the ratchantulas in some way (from eggs or maybe they just secrete it or something).

    1. Probably because Brown Recluse and Black Widow spiders are too dangerous to keep as pets. A tarantula is a good choice for Cinn here, as it’s large and creepy, but not poisonous so the mistake she’d inevitably make wouldn’t have severe medical consequences.

      Also, I think you have to have a soul to be creeped out, so Cinn is immune.

        1. Well, all spiders are poisonous to a degree. It’s the ability of their fangs to be able to pierce the human flesh that gives a few of these arachnids their bites severity on the morbidity scale.

        2. There are also tarantulas that are considered safe enough to let kids play with them without any form of protective gear (honestly I don’t know if it’s because their poison is too weak to harm even a child or if it’s due to what Pat’s saying about fangs not able to penetrate human skin far enough to be problematic, I just know I was around some of those as a kid and we were allowed to let them crawl on us at age 5 or so). That sort would tend to be easier to obtain as a pet.

      1. Are you saying Cinn’s pets aced law school and passed the bar already? No wonder she needs help entertaining them and their offspring are so anxious to get out and about a bit, living with Cinn must bore them out of their minds.

        1. Thanks. It really seemed to be crying out for a lawyer joke. I waited a day to give someone else the chance, but no takers.

  4. This comic is creepy as hell for a lot of reasons. I sort of found the ratches amusing before, but adding eight legs to them makes me want to set fire to my monitor. And I totally called it, Cinnamon is evil. EEEEVVIIILLLL!

    1. You know, remembering that Rusche declared Juniper to be the worst one of the bunch not so long ago makes me wonder what we haven’t heard about Juniper that makes her worse than the one who would do this to a shopping mall.

      1. I have a hard time picturing anything worse than “crossbreeding the omega pestilence and releasing in a crowded public place.” “Scatter brained drunk” isn’t even in the same sport much less the same ballpark.

        1. pretty sure the abandoning of her child to be raised by her sister is still a pretty damnable thing to do. assuming it was her decision and not ginger or mom taking said child

        2. Abandoning a child because you’re clearly in no position, largely of your own making to take care of it < Infecting a public place with a known and extremely hostile biohazard.

          One is the work of an irresponsible woman that still has the best interests of a child at heart. The other is the work of Cobra Commander. I don't think the two really mesh.

        3. I say giving a child up because you know that you’re going to be an unfit mother is more admirable than becoming a ___ ____ ___ _ _ _ woman who abuses the kids because you can’t cope with them or your station in life such that… Even with the blanks, rage fills the pupils of life’s interpretation via the matrix. Even Neo would have a hard time.

          She gave the kid up for adoption. That took responsibility to allow the kid to have a chance at life better than either she was able to or willing to. Being a lush drunk 100% of the time is a self destructive phase that she’s going through for some reason or other. Or, she just likes being drunk and bonking everything in a band. Makes me wonder if the Fat Boys ever got out of NYC. But Mr. Reddish-Yellow doesn’t look like a person who enjoys rap music.

          Everyone is damned.

        4. i think were getting into a semantics arguement. cinnamon is evil by history’s standards and thus shall be remember as the Queen of the Ratchanulas. but she’s probably still get a visit from mom while at the World’s Court. The way everything has been hinted at about Juni….it seems her violations are more personable and thus unforgivable. if it was just the child thing and even just the drunk thing, why would she be reviled by the other sisters as well as strict religious mom. so i think thats the arguement really. history vs personal

        5. I suspect that Cinn got some extra benefits of the doubt at home, treating the lack of mental filter like a learning disability of sorts. Something that’ll irritate you and they get in trouble for, but that you’re obligated to forgive. Juniper appears to be rationally telling people to shove it if they don’t fall in line with what she wants, so that is somewhat more likely to burn bridges with people closest to her, as they wouldn’t feel compelled to forgive her.

          That said, I can’t imagine that Juniper had any expectation that the child she gave up would be anything but well cared for. I think we know he’s not Ginger’s oldest, so she would’ve seen both Rosemary and Ginger as possible new mothers for him and would’ve known that one of them would’ve taken him.

          So the only way I can see Cinn as less evil than Juniper is if you’re granting forgiveness for ability to refrain from being evil, which Cinn might not actually have. However, from a societal stance, that does make her more evil and more of a menace that needs to be kept on a short leash in one way or another.

        6. Typical. This is sort of thing I hear from mom all the time. “Your sister probably destroyed all of humanity but you showed up drunk past curfew and puked on the couch again so you’re the bad one.” Whatever. This is me not caring. This is… crap… what did I do with my flask?

        7. Personally, I’d rather use the PCL-R


          Factor 1, Facet 1, Interpersonal: Score 1 – reasons: superficial charm, grandoise sense of self worth, cunning.
          Factor 1, Facet 2, Affective: Score 1 – reasons: Emotionally shallow, callous, Failure to accept responsibility for their own actions.
          Factor 2, Facet 3, Lifestyle: Score 2 – reasons: Need for stimulations/proneness to boredom, parasitic lifestyle, lack of realistic, long-term goals, Impulsivity, Irresponsibility.
          Factor 2, Facet 4, Antisocial: Score 1 – reasons: Poor behavioral controls, early behavioral problems, juvenile delinquency and criminal versatility.
          Other items: Score 1 – reasons, promiscuous sexual behavior.

          Borderline Personality disorder, or just plain addicted to alcohol/drunk.
          Evil – human levels.


          Factor 1, Facet 1, Interpersonal: Score 2 – reasons: superficial charm, grandoise sense of self worth, cunning and manipulative.
          Factor 1, Facet 2, Affective: Score 2 – reasons: Lack of remorse, guilt, emotionally shallow, callous/lack of empathy, Failure to accept responsibility for their own actions.
          Factor 2, Facet 3, Lifestyle: Score 2 – reasons: Need for stimulations/proneness to boredom, parasitic lifestyle, lack of realistic, long-term goals, Impulsivity, Irresponsibility.
          Factor 2, Facet 4, Antisocial: Score 2 – reasons: Extremely poor behavioral controls, early behavioral problems, juvenile delinquency, revocation of conditional release (would apply if her juvie crimes carried over to now), criminal versatility (ability to gain access to the ratches).

          Other items: Score 2 – reasons, promiscuous sexual behavior.

          Using the PCL-R in my opinion between these two shows that Cinnamon is the worse of the two. Given that she’s let loose an Omega Pestilence, oops, wait a second. Omega Pestilence, there. No, I’m not going to go back and edit it. This is real time. What am I? A teleprompter?

          Anyway, Cin’s worse than Juni. Personally, I blame the jerk who introduced her to the drink.

        8. If higher number is worse, shouldn’t the promiscuous lifestyle for Juniper be higher than Cinn? With the way they’ve been portrayed so far Cinn doesn’t appear to be particularly promiscuous and Juniper presumably is by her title.

        9. Well, my interpretation is, it’s not evil if it’s just done for fun, supposedly. And that seems to have been my overall impression of Juniper. Cinnamon on the other hand, well, she’s manipulative to a T.

        10. I guess “promiscuous” just suggests a lot without any definite motive but fun being definitely within bounds. I wasn’t reading it as “sexual manipulation” or anything along those lines.

          All we have from Cinn regarding sex is that she cut Derek off and I think was a bit pent-up since moving home. There wasn’t anything that seemed definitely out of the ordinary for sexual manipulation, though with judgement of her personality in other areas, it wouldn’t be surprising in the slightest.

          Juniper’s statement about coming from the manager’s wildest dreams hints that she’s not above using sex to get what she wants either. Also since she was at the point that she pawned a gift that she’d wanted for a long time, I suspect that she may have been financially hard up enough that getting some extra benefits from her favorite pastime probably occurred to her, and happened, already as well. Granted, all we have solid for Juniper is getting knocked up in high school and her sister council title, so there are definitely a lot of inferences here, as well.

          Now granted, sexual manipulation to make someone squirm because you get off on having and exercising power over others is absolutely morally worse than sexual exchanges for survival-related items (or substances you’re addicted to for that matter).

        11. But actually my categorization/classification would be more that Juniper’s tendencies are in the self-destructive direction, and other people get caught up in it at times (such as Ginger raising another kid), but that’s incidental. Cinn’s tendencies are focused to be externally destructive, and they only catch her because she’s dumb, but the point is what impacts other people.

          That’s where I consider Cinn a bad human being that at some point (now, if not earlier) should be seriously looked at to determine if she should be locked up and maybe never get out again. Juniper is just a person I would bet would make bad decisions and so wouldn’t trust if I had any choice in the matter, but society could be generally protected from her activities in alternative ways, such as revoking driver’s license if she’s prone to DUIs. Managing Juniper is just a matter of making behavior of hers that adversely impacts others to be something that will get in the way of what she wants, and she’s intelligent enough to route around it at that point.

  5. You know, I was going to say “I’d leave but they drove me here,” but I’m starting to think it’s safer to walk the streets at night.

      1. I’m tempted to change it, but a raised eyebrow with a sidelong glance just seems so appropriate when dealing with this family.

        Unless I can find an “oh God, what’s wrong with you?” one.

        1. Well I guess you can if you can’t figure out how to embed pictures in these comments. Which apparently I can’t.

        1. …I was going to go on a long speech about something, and then my brain got caught trying to figure out /who/ would want to pick up someone like that on Black Friday, and if people who do that have special post-Thanksgiving discounts.

        2. From my competitive ballroom days, extremely heavy makeup was normal because the goal was to be noticed from across the room (and at that distance it doesn’t look as bad). I presume catching attention from far away is the purpose in other endeavors prone to heavy makeup as well.

          Going for discounts instead of a ride home is wise. I don’t think you’d want anyone who might pick you up to have an idea of the general area you live in, either. I’ve heard that sort can be clingy in a way that sometimes requires a restraining order.

        3. Well, I was addressing that to the [clears throat and makes air quotes] “roommate” .

          What can I say, I like Ginger’s style.

  6. …she just turned a cross-bred Omega-level pestilence on a mall full of Black Friday shoppers.

    You know, I was kind of thinking “sociopath” before, but man, this cinches it. There’s something very wrong with Cinnamon Buckingham and it ain’t the stupid. I’m now quite convinced the stupid is a cover. No one expects the stupid ones, and as long as she can keep up the stupid facade she can do things like this and leave no one the wiser. For crying out loud, look at her! She’s DISGUISED! She had enough foresight to use Anise’s coat and pigtails, and no one’s going to remember that those pigtails were black while they were running from a mutant horror outbreak!

    1. Yeah, this is actually where her being dumb comes in. Everyone in sight of the santa court remembers Anise a fair amount about what Anise wasn’t wearing, and she’s being taken into custody. Someone seeing her old coat and hairstyle won’t think her. It would be a good disguise in and of itself as making her look different, but we’ve seen teen-tramp Megan at Ellie’s place of business and that looks like Caz behind Mrs. Claus, both of whom probably remember the ratches and Ellie. So what any eye witnesses to Cinn will see is someone in her one sister’s outfit and hairstyle (with black hair, which none of the others have) releasing something similar to the pestilence that took out where the other sister used to work (and that other sister just told at least one witness that Cinn wanted a souvenir to keep her tarantulas company). So her possible attempt at a disguise really turned into a giant spectral foam finger pointing at her as guilty.

      Granted, Ellie will probably get in trouble for smuggling Omega Pestilence out of quarantine, too.

      Also, yes Cinn has shown signs of narcissistic psychopathy pretty much every time we’ve seen her. She likes to prod people to watch them squirm. This is just more flamboyant/ballsy/hazardous than most.

      Look up the psychology on psychopathy and you’ll see they usually come in one of two flavors, the hyperintelligent and the incredibly dumb. We know which she is, and there’s a decent chance she’ll be watching people run around in glee when the cops arrive.

      1. Ellie can’t be touched so much as unhireable for being that stupid. However, since they were taken before the health department shut them down, what could she do? She may have figured that Cinnamon would actually be smart about it. But some of that … She was under their mind control.

        1. I was assuming post-shutdown, but it would make more sense for Ellie to have collected them before that.

        2. You know, Ellie did think that the place would only be shut down for a day or two while they spray. So, I don’t think that I could throw the book at her for aiding and abetting the OMEGA PESTILENCE reaching forth once again, coming live from beautiful downtown Lakeland, Florida.

          So, I don’t think that she rated them high enough on the threat meter to worry about what Cinn would do with them.

  7. Oh, and it’s good to see that whatsisname–I’m thinking “Tommy”–from O’Jack’s found work, even if it is temporary.

        1. I find myself wondering if, perhaps, Ellie might later be brought in to attempt to fix the two up.

        2. I think Caz is over 18, so much better for him to have a crush on a female too old for him than too young. Also it’s not like Anise would be less interested in him than Ashliii was, just probably more amusing (to the audience) with the rejections.

        3. I just remember that Caz was with KK & Tommy and whomever else from O’Jack’s at the O’IHOP (guessing the name, and the I & P both have to be there from Tommy’s decision) after the shutdown, where Ashliii was heading into class. So I assumed he was post-high school.

          He might’ve dropped out, have a work-study deal, or a first period study hall allowing him to get in late, though.

        4. Also possible. I call it better than 50% odds that he’s over 18, but definitely not certain.

  8. When did The Wieird One get her to ves back? She lost them while waving her hands, and I do not see the mall cops leting her find them and put them back on.

      1. Yep, Shotgun Shuffle’s world is populated by a group of magic users VERY strongly opposed to flashers who wear gloves and aren’t shy about magically enforcing it. They put them back once she was in custody so they wouldn’t accidentally lose track of who they belonged to.

  9. Either Tarra wants one for herself or she wanted to prove she could do it, or she didn’t like Mr. “only pink is canon.”

      1. I’mma answer CivD666 here. The girls took the fat one’s pink board as punishment for instigating the toy store riot. Therefore, since Ter– Mr. Redhead defeated him in shopping combat in the fiscal arena, Mr. Redhead is able to lay claim to his cart, wares in hand pre purchase, or whatever it was that his heart desired. As per the rules of Black Holiday Shopping Combat, version

        1. Where can I get the latest version. My version 1.2 does not include anything about heavy artillery or tactical nukes.

        2. I’ve just checked the distribution logs. Level 2 clearance shipped to Barnes & Noble, Amazon and Steak and Shake.

          Level 3 clearance versions were shipped to Best Buy, Hastings and McDonalds.

          Nothing was shipped to Wal-Mart, Get Mart or Target.

        3. Costco and Albertsons alone have the security clearance to clear individuals on a need to know basis if they can pass the clearances on site.

    1. Correct me if I’m wrong, but weren’t there two pink ones? or is the on in Mr. Canon’s hands supposed to be red?

        1. I was considering fat guy claiming pink to be a statement that the other one was red, not pink. Now that I go look, the other one is in shadow somewhat so I can’t tell if it’s supposed to be the same shade or darker.

  10. Euuughhh!!!! I’m going to have the worst nightmares!! Cinn is a regular Willard…or willfred ?? I dunno I never actually watched the movie, BUT I KNOW. She’s definitely the creepy one. That should be her true real name. *shiver*

    1. Willard, yes indeed. Personally, I think the remake was better. You get Crispin Glover and R. Lee Ermey under one roof you got SERIOUS cool points.

      1. She’s already there. Unleashing horrific mutant abominations on the unsuspecting populace is super villain territory. She just encountered a minor setback now that her sugar daddy dumped her, so her plans for a secret lair has been postponed.

        1. Operating from a secret base somewhere under the local arcade, the woman formerly known as Cinnamon Buckingham plots the downfall of the human race and her installation as queen of a dead planet. With her army of mutated horrors cross-bred from an omega-level pestilence that shut down a local burger joint, she will one day rise up and send her army across the globe, reducing humanity to terrified, groveling husks.

          Once she was Cinnamon Buckingham. Now she is…Cinnamon, Queen of the Ratchantulas!

        2. I don’t know what this one’s name is, but I do know that it’s isn’t going to be Cinnamon. However, if the identity did adopt their mother’s proclivity towards culinary names.. I’m going to call Rue or Peppermint.

        3. I went with bitter herbs and took it from Passover, seeing as it’s Florida and all that. I mean, wasn’t one of the President’s wifes half Jewish?

        4. And then she built herself a powered armor exoskeleton that gave her the ability to fly, and named herself Airachnid.

    1. I checked the cast page after reading your comment to see if you were remarking that Rusche had changed her title. He hadn’t, but did anyone notice when he added the black fist punching down where Ellie is looking and her saying “Uh Oh..”? This is the first time I noticed it.

      1. i noticed, Cin also said that their mom had 8 daughters, but no one mentions it. My guess is that she actually has some evil split personality that she thinks is another sister.

        1. I was actually hoping it would be a long last daughter of Rosemary from her wild mispent youth before she found religion. Then her and Juniper could have a reconiliation where Rose realizes her daughter isn’t so different than her and maybe there is a chance for redemption. With this new found hope Rosemary would then attempt to connect with all of her “rejected” children and they would embark on a bonding trip to the local club. That trip would of course go horribly askew at which point hilarity and hijinks ensue. This hijinks is body count optional. (I know, you never thought I’d say it.)

          I just like the idea of Juniper, Cinnamon, Sister X and Rosemary getting hammered together. Throw Anise in their for some extra fail potential and you have a comedy gold mine that may never run dry.

  11. I like Cin now. She’s very dumb, rather weird, rather evil. In other words, she’s going to be a lot of fun.

    Oh, shitsnap! She would be the perfect super villain! With the impractical lairs, incompetent minions, and the horrible habit of spilling her evil plots to the heroes and thus ensuring her own downfall! Look, she even already has the mutant critters to terrify the masses!

    1. I don’t see Cinn monologuing very well, though. So I’m wondering if Supervillian Cinn is more likely to give herself away by saying “…as long as you don’t pull that lever over there” and it not be a trap or if she’ll just have the “stop all the madness by pushing this button” button clearly labelled with a sign readable from 100 yards.

      1. The lack of mental filter shall be her ruin. Be it monologuing or just having random helpful tidbits slip out, her mouth will be her undoing.

      1. Yup, yup. Bonus points: if she offers minimum wage for her lackeys, Ellie may end up working for her. And when her plots are foiled? “Ellie did it.”

        1. Maybe when sitting on the throne in her lair she wears a ratchantula as one and idly pets it as she’s contemplating her evil or ordering lackeys to do ill-advised activities.

        1. It’s so dead that we’ve been reduced to beating the indendation in the earth where its decayed corpse once rested.

        2. No longer beating a dead horse, but rather, a distinctly horse-shaped crater upon which a dead horse once rested.

        3. And yet, it’s amazing how just a few discouraging comments can have a reverse effect, breathing new life into the poor thing so it can be beaten some more. And here I’d hoped anon would give up on the whole whales bit.

        4. I just finished the dang purchase order for your horse’s tombstone. Boog paid for the first ten letters, I paid for the second set and Steve, TLO and TOG chipped in for the simulated gold and marble overlay.

      1. For the definite answer, you’d have to ask Anonymousanonymous, it’s his(?) inside joke. All any of the rest of us could do is ask you what color your shoe laces are.

        1. Well there’s your problem. You focus on both eyes, not just one. I can see how that would be disorienting. I think it’s why cyclops aren’t invited to polite dinners.

        2. Just thinking about it turns me into a worse spastic nerd than Koothrappali. I’d be staring at the floor so hard, she’d think I couldn’t look away from them and call me something worse than Alex got with “Dirty Hippie.” So, I went with the movie quote, “Now, can you look me in the eye and say that you’ve got this under control?”

      1. Well, we don’t know what state Wheel-Chair Ninja was in when we last saw him, so the Ratchantulas very well could have made use of him to further their twisted hybrid/evolution/orgy thing.

        Poor Wheel-Chair Ninja.

    1. Don’t worry about it. If anything ever came of it you wouldn’t have to worry about living with being wrong for very long. She’d eventually take care of that one for you. She’s actually very helpful and generous that way. You’d probably even get to see more excitement in her eyes than you’d ever seen before as your final sight.

        1. I was thinking that if the manicle (or manacle, according to spell check) laugh was insufficient, she should try different body part accessories and go for a monocle laugh, which I understand is just a lot of stereotypically stuffy British-sounding exclamations such as “I say!” or “jolly good, old chap!” and then follow it with a golf clap.

          This suggestion may be due to finally doing the full Nerf This archive crawl last weekend, so I do have some monocle and top hat anchoring going on with my thinking right now.

        2. Actually I meant manacle, because that’s how I read it first. Everyone knows what a maniacal laugh is, but I’m clueless about manacle laughs and am still trying to figure out what would make a good fit (monocle was easy). Captivity just isn’t as prone to merriment, so it makes an interesting thing to ponder for a couple of days until I either get an answer or forget.

          I actually like to keep a few things like this at all times so I can trot out when someone asks me what I’m thinking and I want to give them an honest, but not at all serious, answer.

  12. For those keeping count, The Dumb One here just used a bio-weapon to get her what she wants.
    Waylan Yutani has been trying to do for something like 1000 years.

    1. If all Weyland Yutani was after was blind chaos they could have suceeded on day 1. Whether Cinnamon actually had a goal beyond that is unclear but if she did she hasn’t achieved it yet. So currently they are still even.

      And wouldn’t that make Ellie “Burke, Carter J” in this scenario?

  13. I’m wondering if Cinn’s motivation for asking for ratches was hoping she could get ratchantulas or if she just likes creepy things and thought they’d be a good addition.

    Granted, bringing them to Black Friday shopping and releasing them is evil regardless. Criminal too, as it would be expected that the panic would lead to some tramplings even if the ratchantulas were harmless.

        1. What? I thought Pumpkin might appreciate the warning before putting on that wig Cinn borrowed a month ago.

        2. No, but borrowing things without asking and returning them without notification if they’re effectively booby-trapped seems in character for Cinn.

          Hell, if I lived in the same neighborhood as her after seeing these things I’d be decontaminating everything and seeing about putting up a whole property fence that’s an industrial size bug zapper to keep her experiments away. I wonder what kind of zoning or building permits you’d need for that sort of thing.

  14. Chris, Damn man.

    2. Congratulations on getting over 100 responses on day 1.

    3. Keep the movie rights until you can hear from Warner Brothers AND&&& Tim Burton.

  15. The current main motion on the floor is for Quinn Nicks to buy the purple dress that is currently 50% price. The motion has been seconded and discussion closed. All those in favor of the motion, please respond by saying “Aye” with a mention of dat booty.

    1. She tried that before, but the fabulous Mr. Redhead offered a quite respite of conversation in her office. Mr. Reddish-Yellow recanted the moniker. Who knows now.

  16. Also, trust me Ellie, after this little adventure I’ll likely be avoiding all of your family at all costs.

    One more reason I don’t need to know their classifications.

    1. Aren’t you in Forensic Science? I’m sure you’ll be using some of Tarra’s inventions, and profiles on Juniper or especially Cinn would absolutely give you high marks on a thesis. Additionally the family birthmarks would make for some good doctoral work regarding multi-generational genetic markers.

      After all, you’ll need some higher quality research to offset the amount you’re already planning to perform on flashlights and hoodies.

      1. You can’t perform good science if you’re already biased towards an answer. Trust me, with this family, there’s going to be a bias.

        1. Science starts with bias, but then the bias is put aside in order to perform the scientific process to test if the bias was correct in the first place or not.

        2. Alternatively it could be that you are fabricating reasons to justify continuing to push others away.

        3. Do you define good science as noteworthy, common amongst your peers, headline grabbing, and career enhancing? Or do you define it as correct/accurate? From what I hear about reproducibility, a lot of modern science is embracing the first option over the second.

          Also, bias is inherent in the human condition, even good science of the second form has bias, it just attempts to identify and call it out at the start to allow for others to fully examine and determine if bias played a roll in conclusions or not. Besides, that’s why we have error bars for graphs and p values for final results.

        4. I’m trying to get through a book right now, called Good Science, Bad Science, Pseudoscience and just plain bunk. Media outlets and headlines grabbers are not real science nor scientists.

        5. From http://www.nature.com/news/independent-labs-to-verify-high-profile-papers-1.11176 :

          “In March, a cancer researcher at Amgen pharmaceutical company, based in Thousand Oaks, California, reported that its scientists had repeated experiments in 53 ‘landmark’ papers, but managed to confirm findings from only six of the studies.”

          I didn’t track down the studies, but from what I can tell they’re scientists that are taken seriously. While I’d like your statement to be true, it’s a more of a no true Scotsman fallacy at the moment than I’m really comfortable with.

          Not that I lay the whole blame with this on the scientists, and I saw a recent interview with a Nobel Prize winner ( http://www.theguardian.com/science/2013/dec/06/peter-higgs-boson-academic-system ) that jives with the issues I’ve seen (I worked a little under four years as a researcher and my current position of about 6.5 years is supporting researchers).

          I see stories about scientists trying to push back every so often, but they never seem to go anywhere, and unless they have something else (like a Nobel) guaranteeing their continued employment, they’ll either have to ignore what they believe or get sacked. It’s one of those inefficiencies we’ve built into the system in an attempt to monitor it that has gotten out of hand and sabotaged the whole thing.

        6. From what I’ve seen, it’s not so much lie as do more work in “PowerPoint Engineering” and be forced to have things to show for each contract period, regardless of whether that makes sense for the problem. It’s the reason I got out of research because to me I saw the full answer or half-assed, and I just couldn’t see the spot between the two which was significant but doable in the time/money available. I’m much happier supporting researchers, as I can still talk about the stuff and do a bit here and there, but I can avoid needing to make that decision myself.

        7. Didn’t explain “PowerPoint Engineering” very well. The reason we dubbed it Engineering at my first job, was when you did a 20 minute presentation, you could count on it taking about a week of your time, half to a full day of your tech lead’s time, potentially up to a day of time for arbitrary other people on your team, and certainly a few hours of your manager’s time. That was just for an intermediate sponsor presentation with a relaxed sponsor. I never had to deal with the garbage for proposals or final reports or press releases.

          At my old job, it just seemed like 30-60 percent of the funds for a research contract went into the presentation of the results as opposed to the actual work (though I hope that is an exaggeration in my perception). Additionally research directions would be chosen/shaped based on the need to do that later. New job seems much better about the time doing work vs time presenting work ratio, but that may be partially a facet of being in a somewhat different field and having a different culture between sponsors.

          It all comes from the political pressure to justify the money spent on science. And while that’s certainly necessary to some degree, I do sometimes wonder/fear how much basic science we need for stepping stones is being missed due to incremental science being easier to justify for funding. I do still see some speculative stuff that gets to be fairly honest, and I’ve never done any kind of survey, it’s all anecdotal, so possibly I’m being overly pessimistic in some ways here too.

  17. I just noticed. Is that Ellie’s ex co worker dressed as an elf? The not gay one with the sarcastic wit? If so I’m happy he got a show this season.

      1. Dr. Z’s suggestion that Ani– Mr. Black dies her hair Platinum Blonde to become the sexy Mrs. Claus seems to be a bit of an identity problem. We have to wonder what Mike thinks about it.

      2. Chris mentions it in the compilation of sister mini bios he did right after they were all introduced during the conversation with Quinn. I think it’s the strip “Odds are.”

  18. Not related to the comic, this one at any rate, but I would like to thank That one guy as well everyone who informed me of a number of webcomics when I complained about the lack of homo/bi-sexuality in media, including that of many comics. I’m reading a few of them now and they’re really good. Again, thank you all.

    1. Happy to help. A lot of times things are simple/easy when someone else can point the initial direction. I try to build karma by pointing directions to others where I can and hope others can point directions to me when I’m looking.

      Aside from the links each author likes, pay attention to the Project Wonderful ads on the comics and you’ll discover more of interest in time. Certainly not all, but as people create new comics they’ll frequently advertise on other comics they think are similar or would have an audience that would appreciate what they’re trying to do. I probably average about ten new comics added to my WebComic bookmark group each year (after the first year, which grew much faster).

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