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Right to Silence

Next comic will be Wednesday. External forces, as you know, are still hindering me from 3 posts a week. So expect Wednesday and Friday to still be a go. Two posts is better than nothing. :) ________________________________ This comic seriously kicked my ass. omg. This is the Easter Special ending of a holiday that happened like 6 months ago. :D Yay. We made it.

114 thoughts on “Right to Silence

    1. Agreed. She has a reason to be blocking her face, but if one were to remove the menu you would have a cool shot of all the sisters.

  1. And somehow I have a feeling that this Black Friday was not even close to being the worse for these sisters

    1. He’s waiting for you to start catching them in the air like usual. He’s too young to recognize, “Sorry, almost killed a little while ago, not in the mood.”

  2. I wonder who’s going to be the first to crack.

    Enjoy your Easter, Rusche! It must be nice to finally have Black Friday over with… (checks calendar)… 5 months later. :)

    1. It almost seems like Tarrakin are protecting Anise as well. . . Ginger is deflecting the perfection of the mom glare. I wonder how well she’d stand up to the full name effect. Ellie was just a bystander, but is involved for dragging Quinn into it. And I think that Juniper has to hide behind the menu because then the whole thing will break into chaos.

        1. This is likely why Rosemary will be hearing nothing about this. What do they explain first? How she briefly had six daughters thanks to an arcane dance technique that temporarily bonded the two together? How her second eldest daughter’s future self came from the future to kill about 43 percent of her daughters? Or perhaps how said second-eldest daughter summoned an eldritch horror to consume said future self via the ENORMOUS GAPING MAW LOCATED IN ITS STOMACH before hitting on the remaining six daughters?

        2. Yes, and her roommate. Yes, mom, Ellie’s roommate is catatonic because she was hit on by an eldritch horror named Dheu following it opening the massive, tooth-filled maw in the middle of its stomach and consuming whole the alternate future version of your second-eldest daughter. How’s that for an explanation, ma? You sure you want to hear the rest of it? Or maybe you want to just SHUT UP AND EAT YOUR GRAND SLAM ALREADY.

        3. Rosemary raised them. Half of their DNA comes from her. I doubt she’d have the levels of shock that a normal person would. She probably caught Tarra experimenting regarding Dheu in her teenage years causing a “there will be no demon-summoning in this household, young lady” talk that led to Tarra usually letting David do the summoning. I’m guessing similar on the fusion dance with an “I don’t care if it’s not fornication, you’re still becoming one flesh, and Biblically no daughter of mine is doing that under my roof” talk. She’s probably already exterminated any of Cinn’s remaining ratchantulas, too.

          They don’t want her to know for the same reason most children don’t want their mother to know they’ve failed to live up to her expectations.

        4. Well, just being there in the van would definitely make Quinn the 8th Sister, if only by experience and living through Black Friday. I wonder if the Sister Council will call her the “colored one”

        5. “I’ve SEEN things, man…things you can’t imagine.”

          I think I prefer “The One Who Isn’t A Buckingham.” Sticks to the “Not Mine” theme.

        6. to which her mother would probably reply, ” That’s just another Tuesday for us. Sit up proper and get on with your lives!

  3. In hindsight, I think I might have preferred Ginger’s version of things after all (I voted for Tarra in the poll).

    I was expecting more kung-fu fights and explosions, not full on fantasy and time travel. It was still enjoyable, just not quite what I had imagined.

    Oh well, I guess next time I’ll know what “the Tarraverse” includes.

    1. Sister X lives! (Cause the boss said no one dies in this arc)
      She will return! (Maybe to her own timeline? Who knows?)

      1. There is a difference between dying and being trapped in a dimension of eldritch horror. Most DnD players will tell you that.

        Though the difference is technical and rarely is any comfort to the player who’s character is now effectively banished forver. Even if she isn’t dead I doubt we’ll ever see Sister X again. Retire her character sheet. It’s over.

  4. I gotta say, with seeing Ellie and Pumpkin next to each other, Pumpkin looks like a mini Ellie with Tarra’s hair color lol. I can’t wait to see the next one, especially with how Juniper’s looking at Tag.

    1. This is the end of the story arc with the next comics being transition to the next arc. So next comic will probably involve a time skip.

  5. It’s not like they started the thing at toy store. The conflagration had begun already, when they arrived.

    The coat factory, ya, that’s all Cinnamon. But nobody but us knows about that.

    1. They might not have started it, but Sister X certainly finished it with that bazooka/rocket launcher. Not that that’s their fault. So far… in this time line, anyway. Though Pumpagon was not exactly a strategy designed to keep the toy store intact.

      1. It’s not a bazooka, it’s a flame thrower, of a sorts. M202A1 66mm FLASH weapon, that launches rockets, with a warhead of combustible materials that ignite after detonation.

  6. I absolutely love that picture of the girls. Their faces and postures say everything (except who Kaiser Soze is). It reminds me of the silent argument between Ellie and Quinn about who should go in to the electronics store. Fantastic non-verbal communication.

    1. Face reading, from left to right…

      Ginger: Sheeeit! You know I’d didn’t have nothin’ to do with that bull$@#%! I’m too responsible. Ask these cagey b@#%^es.

      Ellie: What’s that over there?

      Pumpkin: I am a kitten. Your human words are strange and alien to me. This is mah blank look.

      Anise: Unrelated sad face :'(

      Tarragon: My face is lead. You can’t pierce lead with your guilt vision.

      Cinnamon: *the sound of television static*


  7. Don’t mess with mama. Her Guilt-Trip ability is not to be trifled with.

    And don’t worry, Quinn. The first is always the worst. Next year will be much more fun. There’s only a 30% chance someone will be eaten by unnatural abominations from the nether realms every given year, so thems good odds by Buckingham standards.

  8. I didn’t realize Quinn was so affected by the experience….hahaha
    Also, is that Ginger’s hubby on the side?

    I want to eat Denny’s now…..Or more likely, I just want food now.

    1. Wouldn’t you be freaked out if Death smiled at you and tipped his hat with as much charm as an eldritch horror can summon? And yes, that is William, Ginger’s husband, looking at her, wondering just if he’ll ever hear about it later. . .

      1. I’m seeing concern more than curiosity in William’s expression. Ginger does appear to be someone who bottles things up to keep up appearances. I’m betting William’s reading her as bottled up to the breaking point and trying to decide if he should try to get Rosemary or his parents to look after the boys to give Ginger some peace and quiet to unwind and vent however much she might need to.

        1. I would tend to concur. However, It may be that Herb would come in three hours later, after having turned the scene over to the CDC, USAMRIID, ATF, DHS, and the Florida Swift Responce HazMat Team, along with the Florida National Guard and it’s respective branches.

          At that point, either the glare stare from mom onto the girls may either intensify or just revert to nominal background levels of interrogation. She may even switch towards Quinn and seeing as to how she can be made ok again.

  9. What is Rosemary’s profession? I’m thinking of something along the lines of professional. And yes, I said it that way, counselor or therapist. Perhaps psychiatrist. That’s got to make enough money to either pay for the girls at birth (maybe just Ginger) or the insurance to cover their births and stuff afterwards. I thought of that, and I kind of got a Mike Seever’s Dad vibe, but more serious, more paternal and less sit-com.

    1. Ginger was described as stay-at-home mom and “recreating the experience in bizarro world” so I’d assumed Rosemary was a stay-at-home mom and the financial means for having that many children to be mainly a fictional convenience. Although, public employees usually have at least decent health benefits, so I would think most of the delivery costs would’ve been covered by Herb’s insurance.

      1. Maybe Herb’s on the take. The Colombians have been paying him to look the other way for years while they run product into Lakeland, making that critical connection between Tampa and Orlando.

        1. Or, Rosemary’s parents, having fled Cuba before the time of Castro, took their belongings, savings and such and fled to Miami. Where they sent their daughter to the best high school and college and graduate school, where she worked until meeting Herb.

  10. That is a hell of a strip, Rusche! The lineup of the family as the sisters are questioned by Rosemary is great, but I especially liked Juniper’s sneaky glance at the end. The feels, man, the feels.

    Man, I hope Juniper’s arc turns out well. ;_;

    1. This. So this. Those last two panels. No dialogue. Two characters total. Yet, so much feels. So very much. More than most strips manage in their entire run, and all done while the author is dealing with his own troubles. Rusche, I salute you.

  11. If this is the last strip of the storyline, that means Black Friday ended on Good Friday. :) I hope not, because I want to see the rest of this confrontation…

        1. I think previous comments on some of those confrontations (specifically Juniper/Ginger/Tag issue) was they’d be backburnered for a while but eventually would get resolution.

  12. Dude, Tag, that paper is upside down. Hey grandma, how does… HOLY CRAP WHAT HAPPENED TO AUNT TARA!?!?!?

  13. Okay, something been nagging at me. Since it’s been established that Ginger took the son that Juniper didn’t want, is that him with the green crayon in the bottom center panel? Anyone else think that’s him?

  14. I find it interesting that Ellie, arguably the only sister not to break any laws, is most blatantly avoiding eye contact (others avoiding are at least looking at menus instead of off into space).

    Also, this story arc has taught me something. It’s bad to be a right eye in the Shotgun Shuffle universe.

      1. But that means she’ll be available for cuddl- ah, comforting, yes comforting, later. Perhaps in the purple dress…

      2. Yeah, don’t know. My first read was that she thought that she figured Rosemary would read her too easily and was trying to look away for that reason. Roommate trauma guilt is certainly a possibility too.

        Mainly, I think it says something about her character, but I’m not sure exactly what it says yet.

  15. Also, since I missed posting on the last comic while it was current, very happy to hear Lily’s doing better.

  16. Poor William is just like “uhhhhhhh Ginger?”. Anyway Chris I know this is late hut I’m glad things are working out for your daughter and I hope she recovers quickly!

  17. Bad form for three in a row, but I’m curious how long has Juniper’s face been her Flickr as opposed to the wiki (which did seem abandoned-ish last I looked, including by myself)? Also 251 pictures at the moment, so someone put some good effort into that.

  18. I think we need to have another poll- is Juniper about to have a moment of quiet contemplation, where she looks back over her life and her past mistakes and decides to mend her ways, or is she about to say something really, REALLY dumb?

    1. I think that Juniper is going to break down, mentally, I don’t know if she’s going to implode to a level where Quinn is at or worse. At least Quinn seems to be going through the motions of looking at a menu. I don’t, however, speculate that she’s going to be very communicative at all for some time.

      Juniper, that’s a gamble.

    2. I’m not seeing a vote likely there. I think votes are reserved for coin flips in Rusche’s mind. The first one was “which of these two things that are going to happen should happen first.” I can’t remember if the Tarra vs Ginger handling X was second or third (I’m thinking third but can’t remember the topic of the second), but that was a vote for “I’d been planning one option and writing towards it, but another idea came to mind so I’ll let a vote decide if I go with original or change to new.”

      I’m pretty sure Juniper’s path is well decided. There might be some flexibility for if it comes a bit sooner or a bit later, but I’m guessing we’re a good while out from any possibility of resolution. I think we’re back to Ellie as central for a bit, as we haven’t even gotten to the scene from the first vote (which I privately believe is Ellie and the guy she’ll start dating and Tarra will be Envious of).

      1. well, we had the vote between Indiana Jones and Marty McFly, Ginger/Tarra vs. Sister X. I can’t recall what the third (or first, was it) vote was on.

        1. First one was someone who looked like Indiana Jones and a kid that’s on the cast page against Ellie showing cleavage and a guy in a stocking hat that’s on the cast page with which would be told first (cleavage won). I’m hazily thinking there was a vote between that one and the Tarra or Ginger vs X one, but not certain and not feeling like trying to find in archives as I don’t remember enough to make it easy with Google.

  19. Course, there are plenty of credible explanations that could be used and would even have enough truth to not be lies. Quinn’s catatonia? She’s not used to Black Friday and all it represents. The toy store? Massive nerd brawl. Power Wheels were involved. There was a guy in a Spiderman costume out there. There was a guy in a ninja suit. A NINJA suit, can you believe it? And the epidemic…hey, they live in a city. Who knows what’s in the sewer system?

    All of it technically correct. Which, as any Futurama fan knows, is the best kind of correct.

  20. Don’t forget the possibility of a Christmas Vacation intervention. Some dork ran out of gas, and hit the wrong switch, and the camper’s septic system somehow shot everything into the storm sewers right next to the network that was fed by the toy store’s storm drainage system, venting methane gas to a level that was just ready for a flash point situation where some toupee wearing, cigar smoking, gruff and grizzled voice character would be standing complaining about stars and lights over some sewage treatment plants.

  21. I love their expression in panel 2.
    Guiltily waiting for another to answer first*
    Fearfully looking at menu (IBS?)*
    To Beat Up To Care*
    Hiding and ignoring*

    1. Cinnamon’s strikes me as more of a “Charlie Brown’s teacher” moment.

      All she hears is “Waah waahn WAAH wah, wah WAAAHN.”

      1. That’s probably a good description for a pretty substantial percentage of Cinn’s life. With her mental filter issues, I wonder how often she’s came out of one of those with a, “Sorry, were you saying something important?”

        1. OMG, that’s almost what Dr. Cox’s chink in the armor is all about.

          But for me, I see Anise as, “I was almost killed and no one gave a shit to stop her.”

        2. Damn it, I hit enter too damn soon. I see Juniper hiding behind the menu trying to not confront either her own guilt or what her sisters might be thinking of her for giving up Tag.

        3. I saw it more as she’s staring at the menu because she knows if she puts it down, she’ll stare at Tag and then Ginger will set another full-cannons assault on her

        4. Well, I kind-of implied that. I think that Juniper might break down if she just looks at the lad. I don’t think that she’ll be able to go back and buy three more birds at this point in time. Not at that store anyway. Rosemary said that it’s a hole in the ground. But when giant nerds get together, the singularity forms, and Homer Simpson gets to look at naughty cakes.

  22. And this arc wraps up.
    It stared near a day celebrating Jesus’s entrance into the world. And it ends on near the day we… um, celebrating Jesus’s entrance into the world.

  23. ok perfect transition
    tardis appears out step David Tennant and Tommy lee jones. david tennent goes over to rosemary looks at the girls and says “My friend here is going to show you a neat pen not as nice as my screwdriver i dare say but cool just the same” Tommy lee Jones flashes his neuralizer and says ” this was just one heck of a black friday a gas main exploded under the toystore eat your breakfast and have a nice holiday”
    they return to the tardis and poof

  24. Oh, Juniper.

    I know not everyone is necessarily redeemable. I know for her to not be would be potentially realistic.

    She’s far from my favorite sister, but I find myself wanting her to be redeemable.

    Oh, Juniper. -_-

  25. Okay seriously…if I had a crew like this to roll with…I might just brave Black Thursday-Friday again.

  26. I can’t help but wonder if Juniper will ever talk to her son and try and make things right if she hasn’t spoken to him by now and make or improve herself as a person

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