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Sorry guys. Don't have an update for you until Monday. Had to go out of state (and back) after work Thursday and came home to a corrupted file I hadn't yet backed up. Let down? Yeah me too. I could reword the next strip that was planned for Wednesday, and finish it up... you know, just swap em.. but the pace would end up too wonky. I'd rather give you what was intended for today (Friday) on Monday. I just don't have enough time to redo all the coloring for you guys and keep the strip the quality it needs to be. I've (somehow) posted consistently for a year now. So shrug it off as my one sick day. =P Bare with me as I continue my 'learn by doing' noobery. But until Monday, as I suggested, here's my Googlemaps plotter for Shotgun Shuffle as it relates to the real Lakeland. I'll probably update this here and there. But for now... these are the essential locations we've come across thus far.   View Shotgun Shuffle Plotter in a larger map   I got a couple emails wanting to know what my avatar was in the discussion as well. It was one of my original takes on Ellie for the cast page, when I was still tinkering with what her outfit would look like. So I just sampled the guitar. Ellie Guitar And a few others I did... The one of the left actually WAS used when the site was down for maintenance for 15 seconds. Ellies

93 thoughts on “Tarragon

  1. D’awww… Quinn finally took the first step into not being an obnoxious !

    And I have a feeling I’d like Tarra… I wonder why. :P

    1. Really? Tarra has an almost drunk look about her. She just cut her sister’s hair, and is posting her sister’s humiliation on facebook. All this, just to bask in her own triumph.

      Something tells me I just may not like her… But who knows- I certainly can’t judge her based on the appearance of one panel. Still, I get a kind of Valley Girl vibe from her. Her cast image says that she’s “the perfect one,” but I wonder how. Does she already have her life together? Or is she perfect because she projects the airs of being perfect?

      1. Don’t be too quick to judge her, sometimes family traditions can seem cruel (and are, in fact), but if everybody is doing it to everybody, you get used to it. Big families can be freaky like that (take it from one who knows).

        1. Hey, it’s me Nick, but I don’t think my login works on my phone.

          Anyway, I was Rereading my comment and I realized I sounded WAY too judgemental and harsh, when I’m not really like that (I must’ve been in such a bitchy mood!). So, I hope folks didn’t take me too seriously- no harm was meant by my comment.

          And really, I was thinking about some of the rather judgemental comments concerning Alex, whom I actually like. So I don’t want to come off as an ass. It’s far too easy to sound like that on the Internet.

        2. Yeah, internet comments don’t allow for ‘tone.’ But no, I take no offense to any comments. People should be able to tell me if they love it or hate it. =)

      2. In the most cynical view, she’s perfect “just because.” For a while, my brother inhabited that spot in my family, for no reason I could discern. Considering the violence in Ellie’s family, she probably occupied that spot, and now uses her superior fighting skills to kepp it that way (possibly along the lines of, “cover for my screw up, or else”).

        Or, she might just be a master of the behaviorial 180, seen in tsunderes and such.

      3. “The perfect one” in the sense that everything she tries. she’s successful at. Originally going to be called “the favorite,” but I was concerned readers would assume she was the favorite sister of the other sisters. She’s in fact, the one their parents are the most proud of. While the other siblings have countless vices and personality flaws, she’s the one that seems to constantly avoid life’s missteps. Based on a sibling of a similar family I’ve know with countless children. She’s the one child that doesn’t succumb to cardinal sins, graduated college, started a business, etc..

      4. Something tells me… she’s a character in a comic. I’m quite sure I wouldn’t like her in real life (and not just on account that I don’t like most people in real life), but it seems to me that if she was ever introduced into the story (and not just single-panel flashbacks), Cammy- err, I mean “Tarra” would provide us with a lot of entertainment. Especially if she can give Ellie crap and walk away grinning.

        Let the hair-cutting and facebook-humiliation commence!

  2. talk about violent sister relationships!!
    Then again, having a brother who’s 2 years younger then me,i kind of know how it sometimes could get when we were young :)
    And hair issues is a girl thing so it makes kind of sense.

    And Quinn finally seems to have gotten over herself a little :)
    Love the way how Ellie made sure Quinn said her apolegies in the right way hehe

    1. Eh, not that violent. They weren’t stabbing each other with the scissors. I was raised by wolves in a den full of girls. It’s fairly accurate. We weren’t allowed to call each other “bitch” or “liar” so we’d get around it by issuing the commands we gave the dogs. In the most insulting tone of voice manageable. “Go lay down!” Actually meant “shut up, bitch!” “Off the couch” was “that’s my seat(bitch)”… “Drop it” meant “that’s mine! Give it back(bitch)”. My parents never caught on. Physical altercations were punished though. So make it count. I was the omega in the pack. I hated it and really had to be pushed to get physical. My distinction was that I wouldn’t slap or scratch, bite or pull hair. If it came to blows, I’d punch and kick. Face was a primary target. Trust me Weert, Houseful of Females can be a savage environment. This doesn’t even begin to touch the constant more subtle dominance games.

      1. I posted this from my phone, apparently my Gravatar log-in isn’t on my phone. I don’t know how to fix this. So. It’s the bit about growing up girl raised by wolves is not an anonymous comment, it’s more along the line of a true Bunny Confession.

  3. Looks like Ellie is going to “School” Quinn in ‘being a REAL Girl.’

    This MIGHT help with her attitude, maybe.

  4. Somehow I KNEW the one with the braid was gonna end up a fighter…
    But she’s the perfect one, huh? Must mean she was so good at the fights, they were over before mom/dad even knew anything happened.

    Memories… =D

    1. It’s all part of being raised as part of a group. Once pecking order is established or a particular issue is settled, you kind of have to move on. Otherwise, there are too many variables(people) to nurse grievances with. It is immobilizing.

    2. I am too, but just a bit. I doubt that Ellie really wanted to live in KK’s living room. A bedroom, even with someone who’s less than kind, is certainly better than no living space. Besides, I think that deep down, they share some similarities that they’d rather not agree that they have.

      I also agree with Bunny- you can’t really dwell on the past, or else nothing would ever be REALLY resolved. Quinn apologized, and that’s that. Besides- Ellie cut her hair. I’m a man, and even I know that that’s a big no-no. And speaking of cutting hair, look at poor li’l Ellie getting her hair cut by…. a possessed little girl with… safety scissors? That’s hilarious.

    3. …well, she never actually said she was moving out – only that she was going out for a walk. When Quinn confronted her about the packed luggage (a well-crafted psychological manipulation, btw), she diverted teh conversation without confirming or denying the fact…

    4. We saw KK talking some sense into Quinn. We didn’t see it, but I think it is reasonable to think that KK talked to Ellie as well. (How did Ellie just happen to have that envelope made up and ready to hand over?) And Ellie really did want to be friends with Quinn, even if her attempts were completely wrong.

      I might have been less forgiving about Quinn’s final insult (about taking government charity for a bunch of children) but then I would have paid rent for each day I had lived there. To quote Heinlein, “Debts must be paid.” People are different.

      1. I’m of the thought that it was Ellie who was doing most of the talking between her and KK. And like KK acknowledged earlier, she had an idea who it was even though Ellie didn’t name names.

        As far as paying rent for each day living there, I would agree with that, but each day would be paid 30 days late if I were in Ellie’s situation and kicked out. The interest would be kept as justification for sleeping on KK’s sofa.

  5. I was looking over the cast page a little while ago, and the one that always stuck out to me was the person with the super long braid and big anime hair spikes. Guess we know who that is now. I guess her keeping her hair THAT long, is less about actually having her hair that length, and more about sticking it to all the other girls. She’s saying “Hah! You can’t beat me, and Imma wear my hair long, JUST to prove it to you on a constant basis.”

    Woah…. if she’s wearing her hair long because she never lost a fight…. that makes her a Dothraki!!! :O

      1. Haha! Would you believe I’m playing Bayonetta RIGHT NOW!?

        But I doubt that’s true. Her rope braid isn’t part of her clothing. Still though… that’s a funny concept.

  6. Yay! A Buckingham sister! I’m definitely curious as to who the “dark haired sister” is as well, but looks like I’ll figure that out soon enough.

    I wish I could say from experience that I know what it is like to get in sibling fights because I came from a nice big family, but to be honest I don’t remember too many intense battles. But then again, by the time I would have been at the age to remember adequately most of them had already moved out and gotten married so I mostly just had 5 sets of parents most of my life. I guess you could say those were sibling quarrels. Haha

    1. I didn’t get in a lot of sibling fights either. Well, a lot, but few that became physical. Any physical fights were always with my little brother – my little sister was the youngest, the perpetual “baby” (which makes me wonder: from how many sister fights did Pumkin escape unscathed?). And of course me being the oldest meant I always got in trouble (because I should know better).

      I guess it has something to do with how attentive and consistent the parents are when it comes to enforcing rules. My parents rarely let us get away with breaking rules – I’m guessing Ellie and her sisters didn’t have a lot of rules growing up, or their parents didn’t do a good job enforcing them.

      1. Although, if I had to choose a second one, it would the the girl with the silhouette outline of a purse. She looks a little punk (tank girl) in that. So, as the possible black sheep of the family, those are my two choices.

        1. I actually think it might be the one between Ellie and Pumpkin. She looks a little bit younger than Ellie, and I find it amusing if her younger sister did a number on her. Hahaha

  7. A few questions though, will Tarra be visiting Ellie anytime soon? It would be funny to have Quinn meet her at the door and recognize her by her hair. (So many interesting conversations can spring from that meeting)

    I have also seen the cast page and noticed that Ellie and Tarra are the only Buckingham girls colored in. Shouldn’t Pumkin’ be in there since her appearance predates Tarra’s? (The little one sounds appropriate… or the baby)

    1. I’m showing the sisters as they’re specifically mentioned. Same reason there’s a minature version of a sister in this strip that hasn’t shown up.

  8. Alright, it seems Ellie is still firmly rooted in ‘how I grew up is how the world is’ land which, while annoying and self-centered, is far from surprising and hardly inhuman.

    Not a fan of her continued assumption of superiority, though. It would be nice (though I’m reluctant to expect it) to see Ellie’s flaws pointed out and analyzed in the strip as it seems it’s been awhile, and she really is getting a bit full of herself which is largely circumstantial. Her alternatives weren’t too rosy either, it’s just that Quinn’s were (it seems) quite a bit worse for personal reasons. Not that I trust KK ‘not here for the drama’ not to have spilled everything mentioned to Ellie at the first opportunity.

    Perhaps Quinn could sock Ellie in the mouth and shout, “We’re not sisters! So don’t steal my shit, don’t go in my room, don’t wear my clothes, don’t wear my food, and don’t cut my hair!” since that appears to be the level Ellie reasons on? And if that seems harsh or unfairly judgmental towards Ellie, bear in mind I recognize that Quinn needed what was probably a much sharper blow even though it was emotional. I doubt Ellie cried over any of this.

    1. I guess the ‘you were being a complete twit’ accompanied by the smirk is what rubbed me wrong. I’m not even sure Ellie realizes much less would admit how much her own behavior has led to this crossroads too, and to what extent she fucked up repeatedly as well.

      1. You could argue that Ellie’s flaw’s have been exposed throughout this entire web comic. I mean, you’ve obviously been able to recognize and point them out every week, so there is no reason to say we aren’t seeing them constantly. I think the main thing is that the focus of the story arc has been on Quinn’s development for the past couple of weeks so it is easy to think that Ellie’s faults are being glossed over, when in fact the focus just happens to be on Quinn so that is where we, as the audience, is going to put most of our attention and talk the most about.

        I think that the author did a perfect job with what I feel he was intending to do, which is, make us focus on Quinn. If we were trying to go through Quinn’s development while focusing all on Ellie and her horrible faults in life, we would never learn to hate, learn about, love, forgive and respect Quinn for the person that she is. We’d be too busy being buttheads to Ellie to noticed Quinn’s change and growth, which is substantial to the comic storyline.

        Also, no where does the story (at least to me) make excuses for Ellie’s actions, it is simply explaining them.

        1. Hardly every week, though I can see how it would seem that way. I haven’t even been reading every week or even most weeks (by which I mean I came to the comic later than many of the other commentators).

          And ‘perfect’ job? I suppose this is part of why I tend towards the critical in this context. I could go on about the various things I like-and I do mention them-but then I’d be just another person remarking ‘omg this is awesome!’ and what is *that* worth, once a certain critical mass is reached?

          I remember when the comic was more strongly focused on Ellie and her various flaws, but I suppose the difference then is that her flaws didn’t of themselves elevate her opposite number. That’s not at all been the case with Quinn, who until recently nearly every downward step she took was another chance for Ellie to appear even better-both in her own eyes and in the perspective of other characters and the author. Until recently it was clear we were meant to think Quinn was just an obnoxious bitch and the most important thing that could happen was that someone would come along and put her in her place, and man wouldn’t she deserve it when that happened.

          Granted I’ve a subjective impression of things just like everyone, but I don’t remember it being like that with Ellie. There has always been a feel-and maybe it’s only as simple as meeting her first-that we were meant to be rooting for her.

          As for excuses for Ellie’s behavior, well they are manifold particularly in the comic but also (much less frequently) in writer remarks but perhaps now that Quinn was (eventually) humanized that wil change.

        2. OMG is always warranted because it’s the interaction between the observer and the creator. Anyone else may be able to overhear or read said interaction, however, they would not be entirely privy to it because each and every interaction between the creator and a specific observer would only be just that, between the two of them. Therefore any and all instances of OMG are warranted because each and every one is a specific and individual one.

          If those are not entitled to have an instance to share with the creator of something, then why be out there? Just go all Holden Caulfield and bicker about the falseness of it all without offering anything constructive based upon an interpretation.

          The critical mass, in what aspect? The author/creator (Chris) has been taking several risks in putting his work out there and sweating the audience’s approval, disapproval, interpretation and reactions. Personally, I feel that this is a work that is not off the cuff, is well written, thought out, has a unique artistic style to it, and quite frankly, is worth paying more than the admission fee charged.

          If anything, a person commenting on a work is going to allow the author the feedback that they might need to get it to the next qualitative level. If I had any chance of predictions and knowing where this was going, I’d say so, but personally, I feel that Chris is better than Scott Pilgrim and on par with John Hughes.

      2. To be honest, I don’t think Ellie is miss-innocent – and Quinn calls her on that. I think a lot of readers get that too. It’s just Quinn is SO up-tight and superior, everyone wants to see her get her just desserts. Both girls have things to learn from each other, and this is the beginning of that. I think the “Quinn-hate” is from it being a weekly web-comic; read it as a novel from the beginning, and they have equal “fuck-up” times roughly. Same for growth – Ellie had Blind-guy and KK, Quinn has KK… *GASP* maybe blind guy too?! I think the girls are even, and simply put, human.
        Of course, you are entitled to your own opinion, but here’s what I think of your individual observations. Not an attack, mind, just a dialogue:

        I agree Ellie is a little superior-minded – look at her Facebook drama in the very beginning – but with Quinn’s past attitude, and Ellie not knowing the change has begun, it still makes sense in a human way. And what 18-21 year old ISN’T sarcastic and superior nowadays?
        Some of Ellie’s attitude also comes from how she was raised – it’s not so much “This is how the world must be” as it is “these are the experiences that have made me who I am,” meaning she can see how it has shaped her in the past. She can see the benefits of how it will effect her in life – she can hold her own, she can have a will of her own, she understands actions have consequences that can hurt (Quinn DID get a good hit or two in, if we believe her story), and she understands that once something is worked out or a compromise is met, that issue is almost always resolved – no grudges.
        Lastly, regarding Ellie’s behavior when she first moved in: from what we saw, Quinn yelled not to eat any more of her food, and it never happened again (Cat doesn’t count). She got yelled at for the computer, and same thing. With the skirting of the rules – “Don’t set foot in my room” and using her hands – that’s from her past experiences again. At the end of the day, I’d say Ellie has learned not everyone gets treated like a sister, and not to push Quinn too far, but Quinn is just starting to learn about dealing with “regular” people, period.

        (Sorry if that got overlong or if i missed a few points, I wrote this over 2 hours at work lol)

      3. Personally, I think that a person acting of their own and irritating someone to the extent that Quinn reacted is one thing. But Ellie went in there with zero interface time and got the riot act read to her, ergo, she was a few points of passing the Quinn test.

      4. Um, Ellie isn’t smirking. She looks disgruntled if anything. She is looking away from Quinn and saying this while…scowling. Something like a “Well, you did sorta deserve it” not anything ‘triumphant’ like you are implying. So nothing to get your panties bunched over, I’m not getting any ‘superiority’ vibe from her.

        1. Panel 3, Ellie is calling Quinn a complete twit and…that’s a scowl on her face? Well, you might be right I suppose, but her eyes aren’t glaring and her mouth is a bit crooked. It seems pretty clearly a bit triumphant to me, though that’s subjective-and again, I don’t insist that’s a damning criticism of Ellie. It’s a very human reaction.

    2. It seems a lot of people are firmly rooted in that land, world experience being practically the only thing from which one’s worldview is derived. Ellie has very little world experience. So does Quinn. McFatFat has more than ten of them combined.

      Maybe Ellie should google the phrase “how does the world really work?”. I wonder if, among the 600,000,000 hits, there might be any contradictions. I plan to read through them tonight and see for myself. I estimate this to be an excellent use of my time, as I have heard knowledge is power and I am usually power-hungry in the evenings.

      But for the sake of the comic and its readers, I hope Ellie doesn’t google “how the world really works?”. If she did, she would obviously transform overnight and lose all her bad habits instantly, which would deprive us of watching her develop as a character, where she does stupid things and makes bad decisions and has to deal with consequences and annoys Quinn (and you, apparently) all the way. And I, for one, would hate to miss out on such an opportunity.

  9. I always liked Cammy from Street Fighter.

    Quinn! You only slightly furrowed your brow at Ellie’s “twit” comment. There may be hope for you yet!

    And Ellie, granted you’re treating Quinn like a sister, and that’s really sweet and all, but now that she’s acting less psycho-ish, you could maybe start hearing her out regarding rules and stuff – almost a necessity for any roommate situation. I’m not saying you should make a roommate agreement (a la BBT), but you guys should at least have an understanding.

    Besides, you’ve never had a roommate before, but Quinn’s had two before you, so obviously she knows how this works.

  10. One thing that strikes me funny: Tarra has now been introduced in the Cast of Ellie’s sisters, but why hasn’t Pumpkin? We’ve already been introduced to her. Love the lakeside view, by the way. Absolutely gorgeous :D

  11. Ugh, this week. I am sad I showed up late to this party but you didn’t think I’d miss it entirely did you?

    Anyway… good to see Quinn sort of manning up (wommaning up?) and Ellie being surprisingly nonplussed about it. Good for her, holding grudges takes a lot of effort (and I should know.)

    I see the cheek mark theme continues… (should a fiendish laugh be inserted here? I almost think one should.) This is probably one of the hidden themes/tics of the strip that I’m most interested in though I really couldn’t say why that is.

    Today I am known as… nowhere near enough coffee man. Services are provided as is and no refunds are available.

  12. If there’s one thing this page shows it that the starting line for Ellie and Quinn to live together has finally been drawn and that they both are on normal speaking terms again.

    As for Ellie’s arrogant behavior on the page, thats just her savoring the moment while she still can, not unusual in this kind of situation and i would probably do the same hehe :)

    1. Don’t. in the real world, you can never be sure how many bones can get broken for cutting a woman’s precious hair. And by ‘broken,’ I most likely mean ‘sawed off in your sleep.’

  13. Ohhhhhhhh saaaaaaaaaaaay can you seeeeeeee myyyyyyyyyy eyyyyyyyyes if you can then my hair’s too short

    1. Uh, grew up with two older brothers, and I would gladly have taken having my hair cut vs…. a. having evey new wrestling move/submission hold/judo throw/leg kick tried on me. At least my well-honed fighting tactic of curling into a ball may have possibly thwarted the hair cutting.

  14. I’m afraid i don’t understand the child with the black hair (She’s a small child, so I’ll assume it isn’t dyed). Is she adopted, or did she inherit coal-black hair from on of her parents, or…?

      1. Ah, yes, that would explain it. Thank you for clearing it up, I haven’t quite pieced this whole comic’s storyline together yet. The little intricacies and old details that are brought up are amazing and show a very strong writer. I’m definitely going to have to re-read this one sometime.

  15. Aww, I’m sorry to hear that. Losing a lot of work like that can be such a bitch. All the time an effort gone to waste. I really do feel sorry for you.

    Do you know how the file became corrupted? Maybe if you knew how it happened, you could prevent it from happening again.

      1. Do we need to hold an intervention then?

        Dear File, your drinking hurts me because I can’t stand to see you this way. Also, it has made my Friday unbearable. At least Rusche was nice enough to give me laughs with his map.
        Please stop drinking File. It hurts all of us. We’ll help you through it with lots of funny comments relevant to you.
        Wraith T_T

    1. Nick, don’t forget knowledge is power, and power corrupts.

      If Rusche learns how to prevent the file from corrupting, he’ll be corrupt. Our leading ladies will be reduced to stick figures!
      I’d only wanna see Shotgun Shuffle stick figures if the master of stick figures, Rich Burlew of OOTS fame, does a guest strip for our dear Rusche.

      Of course, that would also mean Rusche became unwell…. OH DEAR GAWD, WHAT HAVE I DONE?!

  16. Hm, that one map point way in the southwest…if that’s where I think it is, I’ve actually stayed in one of the hotels in front of it a few years back.

  17. Btw, i love the cast page update u did Rusche, especially the one showing Ellie’s sisters who will probably be revealed in the future.
    Can’t wait! :)

  18. I’m going to bed (hours after I should have stopped reading), so I apologize for commenting before actually reading most of the comments on this page, but, before I forget:

    Huh. Ellie’s new shirt is cleavage-licious, contrasting her favourite shirt (which was actually quite modest). Intentonal, on her part or yours, Chris? (I still like the old shirt, but the new one makes her look like an adult who can dress herself for a fancy restaurant instead of a teen who always wears her favourite t-shirt.)

    I like Tarra. She’s attractive, scrappy, tall, has SUPER-long, ash-blonde hair, and appears to be drunk off of either alcohol or the thrill of victory. The only think I don’t like so far is her “amateur barber” hobby, and that’s a product of how she and her sisters grew up. I’m guessing that if someone managed to cut off her braid in a sisterly battle, she’d accept and probably even compliment the fair win before getting her revenge, which makes it WAY more tolerable.

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