128 thoughts on “Skillset

    1. Looks kinda like Ginger stopped in her tracks because maybe she is surprised/impressed at Ellie’s levelheadedness and preplanning for the ‘sitch’.

    1. Had to look that one up. Apperentlly, I don’t go into the wrong parts of the net. My heart is broken.

      In retrospect, though, it works well with Pumpkin.

      1. I too required a stop on Google for that one. When the first entry was “Know your meme” I knew something was up.

    1. If there were free food, Sailor Moon would likely stick around.

      Free drinks and you’ve got Sailor Jupiter.

      Sailor Venus will stay on general principles, and Sailor Mars will stick around to punch anyone who looks at her funny.

      Sailor Mercury, meanwhile, will squeak slightly and not move.

      1. Well Venus is hopeless when it comes to finding and retaining a significant other so she’d probably be all over this event. And while the other Sailors are already in relationships with mostly each other they’d probably stick around for emotional support.

      1. When it’s arranged for Cinn to hold someone, what’s the usual time before they start uncontrollably screaming or clawing at her to get away.

        1. She lived with a boyfriend at some point so a while? Testing may be required. And no, I am not volunteering as tribute.

  1. I had a feeling Pumpkin was going to walk, perfectly fine what with her being 15 and all.

    Though the others might be less than willing to stick around for this too.

        1. From Ginger who knows?
          But there’s probably one or two on Ellie’s phone from when it was bugged.
          And also..the internet never forgets.

        2. Ok so Ellie manages all the back room stuff, Ginger calls her single mothers club and helps out where she can (assist Pumpkin), Tarragon works crowd control while “flirting” around. Anise goes for the lumberjacks and hairy hipster crowd. Juniper set up shop somewhere and does what she does best (a whole lot of nerd will get to touch boob tonight) Cinnamon does whatever (just not burn or infested the place) and Sailor Pumpkin is on diaper duty (Ellie owes her BIG!!!)

        1. Yes, the birthday party is reputed to be an epic storyline in and of itself. I’m hoping that Quinn shows up. It would be all sorts of awkward, considering the last we saw of the interaction between Quinn and Pumpkin, and it could be even *more* awkward, considering the current Patreon storyline about the interaction between Quinn and DJ Loserboy, which means I’m hoping that we get to said epic storyline soon.

    1. Yes indeed, Red Stripe Ambassador. Hooray update.

      Now that we have an update, we have every reason to go to TWC and vote for Shotgun Shuffle. It’s a great comic and deserves our support.

      As my good friend above might have said, Hooray Shotgun Shuffle.

      1. I can’t stress too much how right you are.

        It’s the turn of the month. As I type this, SS is 46th on TopWebComics. The higher we push it, the more new readers will be drawn here which is always a good thing for Rusche.

        1. That also depends on how many rabid fans the other top 100 comics have at their disposal. What time of the week it is, is school in session, do they employ email spam bots to get people to vote, or does the specific comic just pander to their audience while prancing around the kitchen in their undies.

  2. I was wondering why Ginger’s had all single mom friends until I remembered she takes poll dancing classes and her character is explicitly ‘Juniper plus responsibility’. So no surprise she’s rolls with the Cool Moms. The not-single moms probably just can’t handle all that Buckingham ferocity.

      1. I’d like to see the arguments about vote miscounting there.

        “Clearly that young gentleman’s 15 second spin on his head indicates a vote for my side!”

        “No, that’s outweighed by his 19 seconds of twerking at the registration table, clearly that’s a vote for us!”

        1. Sure, but doesn’t cause nearly as many injuries as when you encounter “Ballot Box Stuffing.”

          Though either way, I bet the youtube hits on exit polls surrounding either could rival Super Bowl commercials in view count.

    1. I’d guess its more than non-single moms dont want her or her sisters anywhere near their husbands. Whether she would do anything or not she is still hot.

  3. Random thought popped into my head the other day, mostly about Ginger do you think that she was the voice actress for Kim Possible based on her outfit and that in the previous comic her line was “what’s the sitch?”

    1. So far tonight they have desrtoryed a downtown warehouse turned into apartment building, a sunroof, a large panel of glass and ripped a hole in the side of a hotel.

      1. Yes, we know that’s too little for these girls, but give them time. The night is still young.

        I’m confident that by 6AM they can have leveled this hotel, several other buildings in the neighborhood and kept the police and fire departments “entertained” for hours.

  4. Yeah I saw that one coming. At least she still has 6/7 sisters helping out.

    Also it just occurred to me… Ellie walked out on two jobs before, and this is the one she is fighting hard to keep. The one that had her going on fake dates with random Internet men. heh.

  5. as cool as the destress call pages were, i feel like this was a bit wrong. i get it was an emergency, but she could have just quickly dont a mass text to them, asking for help, and that it is an emergency of sorts. most likely she’s going to owe favors so just could have put that in the text, showing just how ready she is to sacrifice for this situation to get their help (not to mention she is probably gonna help anyways.)
    idk… just rubs me wrong that she pushed an emergency only button with no other context, knowing her sisters would come running, expecting something more dire (especially given how bad ass these girls already are)
    i’ve had friends who called in friend group emergencies before and even then they at least inculded the nature of the problem and how desperate they are for help.
    ._. im not wrong in being anoyed right? because i generally/normaly sympathies with Ellie, do to similarities x_x.

    1. Well, you’re interpreting the severity of emergency that’s acceptable for using it. That’s unknown, and possibly they have an ‘owe you one” system and Ellie’s up on all of them for never having used it before. So the fairness or unfairness of her using the emergency button is up to interpreting character reaction to decide. I expected a worse reaction, myself.

      As for her being able to text, not with her cell plan shut down for non-payment. She would’ve needed to have memorized numbers and borrowed someone else’s phone for that (and while likely the older three have cell phones, the younger four might be lacking if Cinn’s hardship involved getting fired and Pumpkin got hers taken away after Kat).

        1. At 15 years of age, parental punishment can potentially include temporary loss of access to something the 15 year old is paying for. So Pumpkin footing the bill for the phone does not keep it safe from punitive confiscation.

        2. Ok, I can see that.

          Rosemary: I’m taking the phone. Hand it over.
          Pumpkin: why, it’s mine. I paid for it.
          Rosemary: ok. How did you pay for it?
          Pumpkin: I sold costumes and wigs.
          Rosemary: And how did you make those costumes?
          Pumpkin: I sourced material, took measurements, cut pieces, sewn pieces, hot glued pieces, and sewn outfits and pieces into costumes. With a great profit margin, I might add.
          Rosemary: Dearest, while I applaud your entrepreneurial spirit, your manufacturing facility is your room, with power provided to you buy your father and i.
          Pumpkin. Oh, ok.

        3. This isn’t exactly the same thing, but I just got to have a conversation with my kid that my father had with me a few decades ago. His room was a mess with the usual junk along with food wrappers, and other vermin attracting debris. His main argument was that it is his room and he should be allowed to keep it as he likes. I informed him, as my father did me, that it’s not HIS room. It’s mine and his mother’s spare room that we happen to let him live in rent free along with utilities and food.

          Becoming a (step) dad has brought me so much closer to my own dad.

  6. Shotgun Shuffle is a work that combines satire with elements of magical realism and absurdism. Having a ridiculous Sister Summoning button is no more or less absurd than a swarm of cross-bred rat/roach spawn, or Tarra and Pumpking merging into a Pumpagon gestalt state. And let us not forget a perfectly spherical cat, floating mobile phones, or cardboard standees interviewing for jobs.

    It’s a fantasy fictional element, and like most fantasy fiction elements, it will not stand up to logic or scrutiny, so for your own enjoyment, it is best not to apply either.

      1. To be fair, saying “first” as the first comment should not be the norm *anywhere*. There are, in fact, forums that have scripts that check for the word “first” or any variants thereof, and if the scripts detect it, the post is automatically re-time-stamped 12 hours in the future, and do not show up until then, where they are mocked by all the regulars, as is right and proper.

        1. I find people saying first ridiculous in its own right. I’d probably do similar to what Thor suggests.

          Though another option would be to set a first cookie for the person and replace every single comment on every single page with “First!” or “I got first this time, right!” or “First again suckerzz!!!!!” or the like, hide their comments from real commenters, and leave it that way until they clear their cookies, upon which time they ‘d be able to see the real comments again until they transgressed again. A part of me likes the, “This is the world you’re asking to live in. Do you really like it and think it’s a good thing?” approach.

      1. Also, pretty much all the guys it there are sweaty and desperate middle age dudes that don’t know how to talk to a lady.

        1. “Fighting the forces of evil with truth and love” doesn’t quite work so well when the forces of evil in question are best described as “several dozen sweaty neckbeards and a few decent guys who’d be great if they weren’t so awkward.”

      2. Perhaps if Sailor Pumpkin is overwhelmed by her babysitting duties, she can call Ashliii and/or Bubbles for back up. I’m all for as many recurring characters packed into this storyline as possible.

      3. Given that she left before she found out she’d be on babysitting detail, it’s more likely that she left when she heard “very noticeable shortage of females.” There has been more than a little speculation about Pumpkin’s sexual orientation over the years, cemented by the Patreon strips and, of course, the whole Katrina mess.

        1. I didn’t think the patreon strips cemented anything other than more fan speculation/hope because they have to have their girl on girl fan pairing. :p All she showed was a desire to have a friend.

        2. The Patreon strips, now in the archive, gave many suggestions that Pumpkin is either demisexual or homoromantic asexual. She’s also shown no interest in dating boys her own age and has never been seen to be interested in older men either. She definitely has no interest in being drooled over as a sex object.

          So her finding the concept of being filler/bait in this situation as disgusting is quite expected and telegraphed.

        3. Except she was never expected to be a filler/date and just a baby sitter, and if she was smart, she’d have been like her oldest sister who said “I’m married.” and instead said “I’m 16.”

        4. No that was after she left, clearly the disgust is for the idea of playing parade candy to a room full of strange men many of whom will be more than twice her age, I really don’t understand the confusion here.

  7. Ellie has had it with Tired Guy’s schemes of fake dates and false hopes. Ellie then employs the same tactic with other girls. It’s like a dating pyramid scheme.

    1. Oh hush. Tired Guy never intended for anyone to actually get anywhere with his site. Ellie at least is leaving open the possibility; remember, these are the “desperate singles” she knows. Plus, she’s got Ginger calling in her single mom friends. Nothing may come of this, but it won’t be for want of effort or possibility.

      1. Maybe I’m being to harsh here. However, I don’t typically use phrases like “employ any other forms of sexiness,” and “give the impression” when I’m doing honest stuff.

        1. She’s covering the bases. All this effort may not work, so all she has is what she has right now. If the guys start thinking its 800 dudes and five women, they’ll leave in droves. If the five women are making it clear others are coming, they’re more inclined to wait.

        2. “Give the impression women are arriving while we work to get more” isn’t explicit, but that could go either way in terms of asking her sisters to pass themselves off as interested singles vs site employees.

          Though, considering the sisters and what we know of them. Anise might get interested in someone with a nice enough beard. Juniper might easily decide “good enough for tonight.” Cinn will likely enjoy toying with and leading on various guys in order to destroy their souls. At that point Tarra might very well start feeling competitive and join in to show her superiority. That’s not covering the whole room, but more than any other group of four women might.

        3. “Give the impression” isn’t explicit, but “flirt, fraternize, employ forms of sexiness at your disposal” sure is. I don’t think there’s any interpretation here. Ellie is clearly asking them to pretend to be interested females looking for boyfriends.

          Whether her sisters are actually single or not isn’t relevant here.

        4. While I wouldn’t say it’s a business model I view in a positive light, I’ve certainly run into business models where female sales staff could be considered to “flirt, fraternize, employ forms of sexiness at your disposal” as part of their usual method of operations in order to degrade male patrons’ critical thinking facilities and/or get them wanting to impress them.

          Note that “employ forms of sexiness” is in the flirting/flaunting/tempting/teasing realm and doesn’t actually imply following through with anything.

          I actually think Ellie doesn’t want them acting specifically interested anyway, because she wants them to work through more of the room than that would allow.

  8. Aside from helping out family, what’s in it for the other sisters? I wonder if this is a kind of “do this for me and I’ll owe you a big favor” sort of thing? Or if maybe Ellie has a few favors she can call in already.

      1. Chance to meet single guys? These are “desperate singles,” as I recall. Remember, five out of seven Buckingham sisters are both unattached and legal, so there’s a definite plus here. Yes, this pool is likely not the best of masculinity, but with 800 dudes in a room, even five percent means eight guys per Buckingham to choose from.

        1. Steve, you’re like that mom that just can’t deal with her twenty-something child being single, and keeps setting up awkward meetings in an uncomfortable attempt to play matchmaker and solve the “problem.”

        2. Oh, not at all. I just consider this a legitimate use of Buckingham skills is all. They may not come out of this hooked up, and that’s fine, but there’s no reason they SHOULDN’T be there.

      2. I don’t know how accurate the comments of the “meta” sisters are but Juniper has been dropping hints in the comments for a while now that she’s all about the free drinks.

      3. We’ve seen Anise’s response to cookies before. Good snacks and a decent beard here or there might be enough for Anise.

        I’d be shocked if Cinn’s eyes don’t light up with unholy hunger at the potential for emotional, mental, and even physical damage she can perpetrate on these poor saps. She might also find a sufficiently affluent boyfriend who’s desperate enough for her to move in with and torment, too.

        I can’t see Tarra interested unless she gets competitive with showing up her sisters, if David shows up and she spots him, or if she decides to snoop into D52’s doings.

        1. I’m curious as to how that sounds accurate, as I don’t recall us actually getting much of anything on Cinn other than the comment on the cast page.

        2. Just look at her appearance in almost every strip. She messed with the kids at the arcade, messed with Quinn, obviously enjoyed tormenting strangers with the ratchantulas. She’s a sociopath AT BEST.

        3. Yeah, the “eyes light up” part was explicitly because comic Ratchantulas (current post date January 27, 2014) is the only time I remember seeing Cinn looking like she’s really enjoying herself and what’s going on around her in more than a passing amusement sort of way. She seemed a little like she was warming up to it in comic It Pleases The Court (current post date November 25, 2013), but didn’t quite get that far before Sister Council rules handled her.

  9. Hi there, mR. Blue here with the current TWC vote position for SHOTGUN We’re at 53 baby. Once again, we’re in the double digits at the first of the month. Now, what can we do to keep it in the double digits for the rest of the month. And at least we didn’t have a Sammy Hagar reference.

  10. Pumpkin is the smart one. :-)
    And the one with the long hair is going to punch Ellie for abusing the sister alert function.
    I want to see what happens if someone else hits the alert and Ellie has to run away from her current plotline just like that.

    1. It would be very surprising if Tarra punched Ellie. A hair cut would be a more likely traditional manner of expressing her disapproval (as shown on her intro comic). She might do something else, but punching isn’t NEARLY over the top enough for Tarra.

      New current plotline is my first guess if Ellie gets an alert. Noodle Incident or future Patreon arc would be my second guesses.

  11. Something in that last panel makes me think that Cinnamon and Pumpkin have or are working on a bit of sisterly interaction with understanding and inside jokes. Or that Cinnamon is becoming Pumpkin’s barb and foil as a bit of exrension for Pumpkin’s wit whip and lash.

    1. My guess is Cinn owes Pumpkin in one way or another by now after months of living back at home when she could easily be kicked out & Pumpkin brings in cash on her own.

      That or Cinn enjoys tormenting Ellie much, much more and Pumpkin has grown good at taking advantage of that.

  12. I noticed that Tarra, Juniper, and Anise are all in their trademark outfits (i.e. what they’re wearing on the cast-page), and in fact it seems like EVERY time we see those 3 they are wearing the same thing. Ginger, Cinnamon, Ellie (of course, because she the main character), and Pumpkin (of course, because cos) all seem to get more outfit changes.

    I haven’t done a full, extensive archive analysis of course, but I hope someday we get to see what Anise looks like in a color other than purple, what Juniper looks like in something other than a red cocktail dress, and what Tarra looks like in a not-a-wifebeater t-shirt.

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