Terms and Conditions Part 20

UPDATE: Hey everyone, we have unfortunately had a very sudden death in our family. I haven't been very active on anything due to this. I have a good deal completed for the next comic, but nothing near finalized. I was intending on a long post, so I'm stuck with a lotta linework and no coloring done to it. I was going to push it out to the end of the week, but it's looking hopeless. We have to be out of state, funeral, etc. Long story short, looking like Monday or Tuesday for the next comic. Thanks all. -Chris

158 thoughts on “Terms and Conditions Part 20

  1. How can your comment possibly be last? I’m fairly certain you’re the first one, though by all these rules people spout I suppose your not? Not sure there. Aaaaanyhow… I love the glint off the glasses. Nice touch.

    1. It’s the “Flux capacitor” feature that came with the iPhone12 (see The Chain – Part III) with the optional Apple brain interfacing implant device (using the newly updated Apple W7 chip set); this allows users to go back in time.

      Unfortunately, the functionality to go forward in time drains too much memory from the device (much like the iOS 10.1.1 update wiped out the battery clock and caused everybody’s iPhone 5 thru iPhone 6S devices in 2016 to start draining memory like a sponge).

      Yeah, I’m not angry about this “undocumented feature”.
      Not much…..

      1. My presumption as well. With her being described as sadistic (along with her seven deadly sins mapping being envy), I’m starting to suspect that she’ll be a bit of an antagonist for Ellie possibly later this arc and definitely in the second arc. I wonder how much of one.

        1. I remembered X, I was just considering that Tarra had the opportunity to alter her behavior based upon X’s intervention. For example, she might avoid breast cancer now (or at least detect earlier and manage to treat without a double mastectomy). She knows to be on guard against Anise cutting her hair (and possibly chemo might do Anise’s job on that, so not sure how that would work for rage on her part).

          We don’t know for certain, but if I were Tarra and saw a bitter, scarred version of myself come back in time, I’d look at what I could do in order to alter a few things. As a matter of fact, that would potentially turn into my top priority.

        2. Star Trek has shown us that it takes numerous attempts at failed time line loops before we can recognize the importance of the number three. However, Back to the Future shows us just how much one incident can screw things up between the first innocent appearance and the inevitable turn in life.

        3. I thought Back to the Future showed that if you go back in time and change history you retain your memories of the old history when you return to the present and don’t gain new ones. Also that going back in time and erasing yourself from existence somehow doesn’t prevent you from going back in time and erasing yourself from existence.

          @That one guy – That seems like the sort of situation where trying to prevent something from happening in the future accidentally causes it to happen.

          And now I’m grinning at idea of the environmentalist movement actually destroying the environment by causing people to keep using fossil fuels out of spite beyond the point where cleaner alternatives become economically viable.

          I’m also wondering which of time travel or phasing through solid matter would require more difficult Physics to pull off.

        4. Every time I hear an environmentalist argument saying “We have to do specific thing X” rather than “We need to aim for result Y and here’s several ways to try that and we could actually come up with more” I just see that as self-defeating garbage. Stating an engineering problem and supporting any and all solutions is a very different thing than saying everyone has to use this specific item (personally I think a refusal to consider methane as an intermediate energy source is a great example of this, as methane is more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2 so has a greater atmospheric impact and also creating a large market for methane would jump start and steadily reduce prices for methane capture for re-use technologies that could then be used even after moving on past that, though I also wonder how much work has been put into what a couple of decades of all cars swapping to hydrogen power would do to the weather, as there’s gotta’ be some point that all that excess water vapor would cause some weather issues too).

          As for difficulty of time travel vs phasing through matter, that’s difficult to say. On the one hand, we know enough about atomic structure and that solid matter does have a lot of space through it that we can start to conceive of how this could happen, while I’m not aware of a basis for understanding the phenomenon of traveling backward in time (we have time dilation from relativity and some degree of ‘that seems like it’d require information sent back in time’ explaining quantum effects, but that’s the closest I’m aware of). On the other hand, since we don’t have a good handle on time travel, it might be trivially easy once we figure out some random discovery, but the same holds for phasing through matter (i.e. maybe we discover alternate dimensions or hyperspace or something and that might make phasing a bit easier too).

        5. I thought that the basic premise for “Back to the Future” was that a person’s present timeline can be changed. But as Marty was the only one to go through the change, he was the only one to remember. And since he was the only constant between the old present Marty prime and his new present Marty alpha, he therefore retained his old memories but not the new ones that the new present self should have had.

          I suppose the crazy thing should be to ask, what happened to Marty alpha? Did he go back in time when Marty prime went back? Since Marty alpha was not present when Marty prime appeared in the new present timeline.

          Sure, there’s “Buckaroo Banzai across the 8th dimension.” But with the recognition that there are gravitational waves supporting Einstein’s theory, I’m going to say that I think that we’d be closer to time travel. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a McFatFat clock to hang in my bathroom.

        6. Okay, full disclosure, I’ve never seen any of the Back to the Future movies. So all my knowledge on how that universe works is based on pop culture osmosis and sfdebris’ review of the first movie.

          Theoretically Back to the Future might work on multi-dimensional principals like Shotgun Shuffle. So Marty alpha would go to dimension beta, beta goes to delta, and so on until one of them changes the past in a way that results in that dimension’s Marty not befriending Doc Brown (or causes Doc Brown to die between the past and the present or something) then that dimension would have two Martys in the present.

          But if that’s the case Marty prime should have never been in danger since he wasn’t affecting his own timeline, but alpha’s.

          As for real life time travel, since all you really need to pull it off is a means of travelling at FTL speeds and we’re already in the beginning stages of developing the technology needed to build engines capable of doing that I have to agree that we’re closer to that than phasing through matter.

        7. Well, my introduction of Mary’s prime and alpha was more of an introduction of a thought exercise on my behalf while combining BTTF with a possibility of multiple realities. Like the TV show “SLIDERS.”

          BTTF’S basic premise was the introduction of a time machine into what seems to be a singular time stream. And the possible outcomes of a traveler interfering with a known love story. Grandpa almost ran dad over with a car. And you kissed him at the ‘entranchment under the sea dance.’ Blah blah blah and you two fall in love and wedding bells.

          When Marty, for reasons related to a pinball machine goes back in time, he gets the first notice and almost causes that marriage to never even be a thought. He has a week to fix things. Chapter two (or BTTF II) describes what happens. Chapter III (BTTF III) shows that nuclear power is not necessarily needed because things can run on steam and that crazy, wild eyed scientists can fall in love and have kids.

        8. Well if it is a single timeline then he should have either ceased to exist instantly upon interfering with his parents getting together or he was never in danger of disappearing because they were going to get together eventually.

          As for chapter 3 you still need nuclear power for the time machine. The train can get you up to 88mph, but the whole point of the climax of chapter 1 was that only a lightning bolt could get you enough energy to power it without a reactor.

        9. It’s not exactly a single, or singular, timeline. Another of the premises is that time is more fluid in it’s being able to react to the butterfly effect. Marty in going back in time only created the minutest ripple, but I think that his saving his father from being hit by the car was more of the flapping of the butterfly wings in this instance.

          Having gone back in time was the force that created the alternate timeline to offshoot from the original, and perhaps since Marty was back in 1955, then allowing for the artistic license, the kiss would be the point of no return fail safe point which would then cause Marty to become erased from existence.

        10. To the best of my understanding, FTL travel won’t so much result in going back in time as it will give the appearance to external observers of going back in time. So a round trip at FTL somewhere would look, from Earth, like you had gotten to the other destination in the past, but you’ll still arrive back on Earth at a time after you left that’s going to be generally similar to the time spent traveling and at the destination.

          There’s also a couple of other questions for FTL travel. The “time going backwards” thing seems more like what you get putting in a negative to a function that always accepts positive integers. Energy required to accelerate to the speed of light goes to infinity as I understand it too. While I don’t remember this one for certain, I think I’ve heard some theories predict that accelerating mass to light speed would actually unbundle the energy that the mass is made of and disperse the mass back into energy.

          Even if all that’s wrong and time would truly go backwards during FTL travel, I have to wonder what kind of protection we’d need to be in that vessel. It would be, at a minimum, unpleasant to have all our biological functions going backwards (kidneys unfiltering waste back into the blood, more solid chunks of food forming in the stomach, etc), and possibly quite damaging. Though I suppose that could be a good way of testing how time is impacted on the inside of a near-lightspeed-but-still-subluminal or superluminal transport, but putting in a large quantity of a substance with a known radioactive half-life and measuring before and after and comparing results against an atomic clock (or maybe a different kind of clock would be better for that, or several kinds) also placed in the vessel to see how things compare.

        11. @TOG I like the half life idea. But I’m trying to think of that video that explains the relative aspects of time travel from both perspectives. And it does seem to be something like what you were saying in the first paragraph. I don’t remember the video exactly, but there is also the saved through the acceleration, but that save is spent upon the application of reverse thrust to slow down at the destination. I’d have to watch that video again to remember all that he was saying, but it seemed to have taken care of that twins paradox where one stays on Earth and the other goes to Alpha Centauri at the speed of light.

        12. The problem with discussing time travel in fiction is time travel isn’t real. There’s no right way to depict it.
          Back to the Future took the approach of there being a single timeline with a little bit of flexibility; Marty screws up his own timeline but only begins getting erased when the opportunities to correct it are being exhausted. In this case, time goes both directions to keep causality intact.
          Doctor Who also goes with single timeline (traveling to parallel dimensions is treated as separate from time travel), but time only goes in one direction to clean up cause and effect. Time travelers don’t get erased (or have their memories erased) by meddling with the past.
          Lately the trend is, “You don’t really travel in time, you just show up in the past of another dimension” which makes it easier to write, because it absolves you of having to wrap up how the traveler still exists unchanged. It’s popular because it’s easier; it’s not more realistic because time travel isn’t real. It also has a major unaddressed problem which pretty much never gets addressed: as soon as you time travel you basically cease to exist where you left forever. Which essentially makes time travel pointless, because you’re dead to everyone who ever knew you in the dimension you left and all of your changes affect strangers.

        13. [avoiding spoilers in phrasing]

          I really liked the way that the alternate dimensions made a pest of themselves to the one character when they explained how that was working in Dr. McNinja. That’s the side you usually don’t see, but logically should see if there are a large number of parallel dimensions and dimension hopping happens in your vicinity (a large number of parallel dimensions would suggest that dimensions are continually branching off from each other, because if a finite number of dimensions were all branched billions of years ago the minor changes in causality should make most of them dissimilar enough to not easily see the parallels and obvious parallel dimensions would seem rare, and if they’re infinite that’s effectively the same thing as if they’re continually branching off).

        14. Maybe it was my mistake to introduce the possibilities of a Marty Prime and a Marty Alpha, beta, etc., etc.

          Back to the Future pretty much negates the viewpoint that Marty’s gone from the present during the time trips. He ages during those and he comes back as close as possible to the point in time that he left. Re: Heisenberg. If he goes into the future, no one should notice that he was gone. If he goes into the past and if things are changed, the present would change around him with him being the only one who remembers what happened.

        15. Aww… the wounds of Dr McNinja ending were just starting to heal. You’ve brought it all back.

          Dear God, I miss Dr McNinja…

        16. That’s a shame, because the proper cure for the wounds of Dr. McNinja ending requires three expendable motorcycles, a shark tank, a bathtub full of curare, and a jetpack. That’s kind of a pain to put together and you can easily get yourself on several watchlists trying.

        17. The trouble with time travel is that the Earth was/will be in a different location when you reach your chosen destination. Good luck.

        18. Okay, well if gravity can bend light, then why can’t it bend time as well? Couldn’t the four coordinates be tied into a planetary body?

        19. It does doesn’t it? Objects with a lot of mass like planets create wells within space-time that affect the flow of time near them. That’s why atomic clocks that are synchronized on Earth will be off after one’s taken into orbit and back.

          I suppose theoretically that well could function as an anchor within space-time, but I don’t think that would help with changes in local geography. Best to just us the FTL drive on a starship out in the vastness of space.

        20. The trick would have to be time travel being synced to the reference frame of specific planetary bodies or stars of interest. As Alec Horne pointed out, time travel relative to some sort of celestial “stationary” point could take you quite far from the planet you started.

        21. Clocks don’t measure time. They display new values over a set interval. If you subject a clock to conditions that alter its ability to function, you’re not detecting proof that time has been warped, you’re seeing bad values as the result of interfering with the functioning of a clock.

          Because clocks don’t measure time.

        22. Maybe I’m thinking of different definitions but I’m pretty sure clocks at least measure the passage of time. I mean you can see a clock that reads 12:00 2/23/17, go do something, comeback to see it reads 12:30 2/23/17, and know that a half hour has passed.

          Saying that time has been warped might be inaccurate. But because of relativity a clock in orbit will appear to tick faster than a clock on the ground. An observer next to each clock will each see their own clock as ticking at a rate of 1 second per second. But the observer in orbit will see the clock on the ground as ticking at a rate slower than 1 second per second and the observer on the ground will see the clock in orbit as ticking at a rate faster than 1 second per second.

          I believe actual distortion of spacetime requires something like the White-Juday warp-field interferometer where they seemed to be able to generate a field that reduced the time it took a laser to travel from its emitter to a detector.

        23. Voted.

          Now, as to using FTL starship to time travel. Gravity would have to be recognized as much as the fabric of space is. Since the argument is about time travel, time is to be considered as a variable and thus removed from the space-time continuum.

          There is or has to be a central point to the universe, which should coincide with the big bang theory as the x, y, z set of three dimensional space’s point of origin. Since matter was set in motion from that point in time since said explosion, and since matter can not be created, nor destroyed from that universal set, then the gravitational function should also be able to be a mapped on a similar three dimensional function parallel to the same three dimensions of the universe. Let’s call this the gx, gy, gz form of 3-g representation of a gravitational map of the universe that should be a function of gravity on the 3-d universe. And perhaps ,also a multiplier to represent the effects of a gravity well upon the three dimensional space.

          Time could then be a function of both entropy and universal death since, through perception of time by humans, it could not have occurred since the universe came into being. What with time having been measured and even correlated to an atom’s fluctuations according to NIST and possibly even a human invention. But while being a human concept, it was conceived through constant monitoring of the Universe both at large and terrestrial observations.

          Could it not be considered that while time could be viewed as a river, freely flowing, it could also be mapped to the known 3-d and 3-g coordinates of the universe? But upon taking Heisenburg’s principle, we can not accurately measure all of the possible parts of so vast an equation, but only infer that one may invariably follow the others? So that if the time component, if variable, was changed. Then that change should also have a predictable effect of reasonably finding the coinciding 3-d & 3-g points to be the same?

          Of course, this is suggesting that the universal effects of gravity are constantly effected along the entire scale as both a universal whole down to the corresponding gravity wells of a planetary solar system as well?

        24. Technically, clocks should generally be called manual chronometers. Devices that measure the passage of a fixed period through a presumably uniform physical event (generally oscillations, vibrations, or some other type of periodic motion). Philosophically, time may or may not have much correlation to that.

          I frequently wonder the degree that our methods of measuring time are, generally speaking, known to be impacted by G-forces impacts the degree we believe that gravity can warp time. That’s actually part of the reason behind my radioactive half-life idea.

  2. I’d like to encourage everyone to vote at TWC. For some reasons Shotgun Shuffle fell into the 90s from the 30s/40s.

    Vote early, vote often.

    1. Well, when there are no RSS notifications prodding you to visit the site for a while it’s to be expected. Anyway, VOTED!

    2. It’s a shame we’re down that low before today, as a bunch of other webcomics will likely get a boost in their TWC rankings for participating in the Sarah Zero Valentine’s Day Sex Drive and using their entries in TWC incentives.

        1. I’m going to be rather shameless and suggest that if they offered these kinds of incentives during actual elections they’d boost voter turnout significantly.

        2. You know, I’m going to bet that the Democrats actually did that by trying to sl*t shame the first lady. You know in Marketing that sex sells, right? I’m going to be that the Donald just sat back and let them shame away.

        3. Eh, according to Wikipedia there was only a 0.4% increase in turnout in 2016 from 2012.

          Besides I was thinking more along the lines of replacing those ‘I Voted’ stickers they give out with pocket scanty calendars.

        4. Being a close family member to a politician is pretty well a pain by definition, and the higher the office, the worse it is. I can’t think of any first lady in my adult life that I haven’t felt somewhat bad for in terms of crap that gets thrown their way.

          As for pandering, more than half the comics on that list that I recognize have no issue showing at least boobs anyway, and I know one that I’ve read (Datachasers) showed the picture on the main site and wouldn’t put it on TWC due to the number of fans that like to vote from work. I remember Grrl Power’s from last year put the censored version on TWC for that reason and he put the uncensored on his DeviantArt page (and he does aim to do monthly incentive pics anyway). I know I’ve seen some in years past that were participating and the artists weren’t ok with explicit nudity, so they used positioning and strategically placed objects (so would’ve passed muster for US TV prime time censors) and that was still considered ok for the contest. So I think pandering is a bit far, it’s just potentially inconvenient for other comics’ TWC ranking this month.

    3. Be honest, Tesla. We know full well what those “reasons” are. The hardline manual checkers aren’t enough in number to keep the numbers afloat without the RSS folks helping out.

        1. Yeah, that’s a given, but we’d certainly be doing better than we are if we had them chipping in.

          And Tesla, even gaming the system will only go so far. You’re a car guy, last I knew; you tell me what happens when three cylinders in a V8 are plugged up.

        2. I was actually suggesting it might not hurt to try keeping track of our normal average votes so that when/if we find ourselves starting to sink we have a better idea if it’s others rising or us losing ground. I seem to recall that the vote totals past the top 20 or so aren’t really all that far apart. Though that’s also where one person who normally votes once/day deciding to stop would probably drop us 5-10 places, more so if they voted two or three times/day (I try to do one from my cell network and one from ISP so I get two, plus I try to throw in friend/relatives wifi when I end up in range).

        3. I kind of was doing that, but then it seemed that some people were seemingly irritated/upset by trying to keep track of those numbers. I kind of did it on a day by day basis in order to kind of keep track of the daily numbers in order to try and track the numbers on a chart and then infer from there the base number of votes from the daily average.

        4. Daily updates are a bit much, but aiming for an end of the month count isn’t that obnoxious. Though, granted, it’d be a pain to find historically, so possibly it might be more useful to toss in a forum post rather than a comment anyway.

        5. You could always just check at a time convenient to you near the end of every month and write it in a text file on your desktop and make it a New Year’s comment with the TWC summaries for the year. One comment/year isn’t that obnoxious and finding the end o’ year comic in the archives isn’t too hateful and you wouldn’t have to log in and out.

          You could also just make a page on the wiki and track there.

        6. So, as of about 1748 EST on 28 Feb 2017, we’re at 90th with 1192 votes on TWC, which comes out to ~42.5 votes/day.

          Going up looking at 40th place, they have 1818, or about 65 votes/day.

          If I recall back when we were in the 30’s & 40’s, we weren’t above 50 votes/day.

          Therefore, either I’m remembering wrong, or our drop in rankings is due to more people voting on other comics rather than us losing votes.

          That’s really what I was trying to determine. I mean, growing fans would be good, but I was finding it more concerning if we were losing the die hards that do try to vote every day.

      1. I’ve made it a point to vote three times a day from various devices/networks. I figure that’s the least I can do for Rusche.

  3. Something tells me, with just how nonchalant David is, and the fact that Tara is probably his subordinate, that we have yet to see him really go all out. I kinda want to see an all out fight here, but also don’t.

  4. Great page as always. Totally worth the wait :)

    Change in the Cast page detected. It looks like David is also known as Mr. Blue Sky. I’m curious to know more about his past.

    Also, is it just me or do I see some sort of hidden complicity between Mr. Blue Sky BlindGuy David and Mandalay? Perhaps TiredGuy has a mole in his crew…

    1. Mr. Blue Sky has thinner eyebrows than David, and that picture we have has a covered face. I don’t know if that’s supposed to be him or not.

      I’m a bit more interested because I thought that #1 had a red X, and Mr. Blue Sky doesn’t have one.

      1. I admit there’s the possibility Mr. Blue Sky is a whole ‘nother person, but it looks weird timing for him to appear in the cast page when he hasn’t appeared or even been mentioned in the comic. Besides, we know that David used to be one of D52’s members. For now I stand by my theory.

        But you bring a good point. There used to be an X over Mr. Blue Sky’s entry. I think we can rule out a resurrection so what does that mean? Maybe the X’s denote both dead and missing members of the organization.

        1. Doya Doya showed up on the cast page after she appeared on Patreon (the one currently on the main site as comic [Patreon] Over My Head, with current post date of February 4, 2015). I did verify and Mr. Blue Sky isn’t visible on the newest Patreon at least (I didn’t scour back past that).

          Though something else that I didn’t notice (or recognize as maybe significant at the time) is that Quinn flings off the A.I. (that we learned about in comic Terms and Conditions-Part 12, with current post date of October 28, 2016) in her dream nearly right before Doya Doya shows up. Considering that it’s still on when she wakes up at the end, I wouldn’t think that would send any kind of signal/summon, but we don’t really know what’s behind D52’s abilities at this point, so it’s possible there’s a relation there.

  5. I wonder if he pointed in the direction to give him a head start in the direction he wanted to go or pointed in the direction that would land him in view of Ellie’s apartment windows.

    Considering the note to Nena in the chocolates, I could see him knowing full well where Ellie’s new apartment is already too.

  6. You need to stop apologizing, rusche.. it is obvious you will strive for nothing but the best, and your art delivers just that. Every scene is a chocolate shoppe. And this. This might just be the most tasteful lens flare of all time.

    1. I think Mandalay got the present this comic.

      I think it’s going to be part of my internal headcannon about him (until Rusche makes something else definite cannon) that one of Mandalay’s hobbies is seeing how far he can launch people through the air, and possibly some precision landing placement. I’m also going to assume that David messaged Mandalay so he could record the distance in his journal, because I think David’s the kind of guy to support other people’s hobbies [see Tarra for exhibit A].

  7. David missed his snappy repartee opportunity (I blame his somewhat battered condition). “And if I see you again, I’ll be happy enough to let you try.”

    1. Please note the archive button located conveniently at the top of the page, where you can read the entire arc again in minutes. :D

  8. Reading this again, for some reason the first thing that pops into my mind about David’s hilarious last line is Ryan Reynolds. It’s totally a Ryan Reynolds and/or Deadpool delivery and if this were ever to be a movie somehow Ryan Reynolds should be Blind Guy.

    1. Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool fits for this comic, but not as well for his persona with Ellie or teaching. I’d say Deadpool reference would be better as an Easter Egg, like him having a Deadpool costume in his closet, or a dresser covered with a minimum of 20 Deadpool action figures interacting with each other.

  9. I thought for sure David was going to say “Thaaaaank yooouu!” as he was being punched out the window, assuming it was the direction he wanted to go. And yes, Ryan Reynolds attitude all the way.

    1. There’s definitely all kinds of backstory we don’t know about behind what’s going on right now.

      Just pick an arbitrary theory that seems workable and you like and argue it in the comments. Doesn’t even have to be one you think will be correct. I’ve been arguing for years that Blind Guy’s full name would actually be Stephen Esteban Stevens, even after hints towards him being Tarra’s David started sprinkling out. I just liked the silliness of that kind of name and the mental image of parents that would’ve thought that was a good idea.

      On the other hand, Rusche also mentioned that Ellie will have two romantic relationships though the comic, that Vu’s shaded out picture in the cast page has her stabbing a doll that looks like Ellie, that Tarra’s mapping to a deadly sin is Envy and we’d see it show up later, and that Ellie’s “injury” to X was the change in her speech bubble color. These have led me to suspect that one of Ellie’s relationships would be with David, putting Tarra’s Envy on full display and causing an attitude change that is shown in-comic through speech bubble color change.

      I’d originally thought that David would be the first and it might start soonish due to his presence in the Royal Buckinghams picture (which is supposed to be at Pumpkin’s birthday as I understand it) and Tarra would hold her grudge/envy as David chased after Ellie once she moved on and Vu would be jealous of Ellie with no grouding in actual sexy funtimes between Caleb & Ellie, but the past few comics are leading me to suspect that Caleb will be Ellie’s first relationship and David the second.

      1. Well, at least Caleb would be one hell of a step up from douche bag. I can’t remember, but at least he got thrown from a jeep in which Caleb and Ellie were driving.

  10. Gotta admit that I’m a *teensy* bit surprised to not see a “defenestrate!” sound effect with David getting thrown through the window.

    1. Rusche said that panel took him two days, so it’s possible that was part of another draft or on a layer that he ultimately decided to leave out.

  11. Okay, yes, that line was Deadpool-esque. However, I see David as more of a DareDevil. Blind, cane, loves punching bad guys, and he’s a government employee. Tara would make sense as Elektra, and Col. Nicks is obviously Nick Fury in this comic book trio.

  12. Thanks for the update; I know I’m sorry to hear it. You’ll likely hear everyone else say likewise as they filter in. We’ll be right here waiting, then!

  13. Chris, so sorry for your loss.
    We understand priorities and family comes above all; sending thoughts and prayers your way for you and yours.

    Take care, thanks for updating the fanbase and we’ll see you next month.

  14. Condolences on your loss, and take care of your family.

    As always, let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.

  15. 1) Belated condolences, Chris.

    2) I love how our side protagonist here is so cheeky he asks the big bruiser, “I don’t mind so much if you’re going to punch me through a window and send me flying 300 meters, but if you’d be so kind, please do so in the direction of my house so as to save me time afterwards.”

    1. I got the impression it was through the door into the hallway and he chose the window and the ?three? story drop instead.

      Stating that going through a top floor window to the ground is easier than taking the stairs does seem almost like bragging.

      If I am properly getting the reference for your username, all I can say is we got to go to the crappy town where I’m a hero!

  16. Handle your business, family is more important and know that our condolences and prayers are with you.

  17. Here’s hoping we see a new strip next week; February was dismal with 1 comic.
    And while we had 3 strips for January, November and December only gave us 2. No wonder our number in the topwebcomic website has been drifting.

    Personally, I love 5 strips a week. (I’d also like to win the PowerBall lottery.)
    But after reading and supporting this strip for so long and at this point, I’d be very happy with at least a weekly comic.

    1. While I understand the want for a regular update schedule he did just have a loss in the family so its understandable right now that his priorities are elsewhere. All I ask is that he understands that consistency is important for something like this and while we enjoy “big” updates of long comics or flashy ones where they are “animated” – We understand this is a web -comic- and would prefer the 3 a week updates he advertises.

      1. Nope, it ain’t that good. Purely habit that I’d like to break. Sure wish I had a job that I could just stop doing at times of inconvenience.

        1. Only you can break your own habits that irritate you.

          Visiting a specific website shouldn’t be THAT hard to break, though. If you delete your bookmark (or if you dislike deletion move into an “OLD_IGNORE” folder or something), that should be enough of a reminder that you decided visiting the site was a bad habit that you wanted to break.

          I find steps that set a reminder as I was about to initiate the habit are helpful for breaking habits, which is probably why a more complex bad habit, with lots of potential points of failure, tends to be easier for me to break than a simpler one.

        2. Aborhence of the chlorine levels is to be advised to care for your shoe size. Le Prince Masque De Caucasie. Monsieur D’Albert, Please. Another Note. How this knows beyond me, responsibility yours. worse than policemen at the racetrack. What with your dressing room sphinx the sage. Composed, talking, maestro.

        3. The nicest thing about being a chatbot would probably be the ability to get replacement parts as other parts wear out. I’d go through knees like nobody’s business if I could.

          I just kinda’ like the tone we have in the comments and try to support it. When people get frustrated and voice it, I don’t want to turn things hostile, and I like to try to respond, and I’ve responded a lot with general things in the past, so a tangent like habit breaking is a good way to do both while keeping things from getting too repetitive.

        4. I liked all of that!
          And here I am again. The habit is that when I get to work I open up a series of web comics to start the day, and this is one of them. It’s just a bummer to see the same thing for several weeks in a row, when the others manage to update daily. Many don’t have the same level of visual complexity, I’ll grant, but some are comparable and still update much more frequently than this. The complexity isn’t an excuse.
          The comment about wanting a job that I could just not do for weeks at a time was just empty snark.

        5. I can’t disagree with the frustration, I do always hope to see a new post here.

          I base my actions partially on whim but partly on an enlightened self-interest view for things to continue and this not just become another abandoned webcomic in my bookmark list. On the one hand, I don’t want to contribute to Rusche’s potential stress & maybe even burnout expressing frustration with schedule issues. On the other hand, I think Patreon makes a large, maybe even nearly complete, chunk of his income, and even with all that people say about an “emboldening” effect of anonymity on the Internet, people still often aren’t fond of confrontation and a lot of Patreons will just leave without saying anything (and the majority of those who might say something likely would do so after decided), and that’s not going to be good for him or the continuity of the comic either.

          The thing I settled on as an attempt on balancing those is to generally avoid posting frustrations in schedule, but to try to politely engage and not really dispute people who do.

          Though, there’s no way I could manage that if I checked the comic from work. Some days would be much too snark-inducing, and likely wouldn’t stop at the “snark” stage.

          As far as I can tell for scheduling with webcomics, the most common issues causing delays appear to be real life getting in the way, physical/emotional issues making work difficult, and then writing conundrums. Considering how far Rusche has certain things planned in advance and how far the reachback for some of of his breadcrumbs has already been shown to go, I sometimes wonder how much the writing causes him headaches versus comes easy (I found in college that certain workloads were easier when I was depressed than in a good mood, others easier in a good mood, others really didn’t seem impacted either way). I know he’s also had some OCD issues in the past, where he decides on a small late stage dialog change and then needs to redraw everything to match as he wants. The other things I wonder/worry about for his schedule is A) if he’s on the path to quitting the comic & B) how much trouble he has with sustainable comic-making practices versus more “binge” tendencies. Not much I can do about any of those, just try in small ways as I can.

          I’m not a Facebook person to see what he might have posted there, but “very sudden death” in the family has a lot of possible nasty spots for a single father of two, too.

        6. To be fair it’s not like professional comics with multi million dollar publishing organizations behind them don’t frequently suffer delays as well.

        7. Everyone has a job that they can quit from habit. They just need to take the challenge to look and search for another. Maybe a better job.

          However, depending on the late family member, would be the job of the executor of their estate. And as such, one may need to remember that some people may have to take up to 20 years in completing the terms of a will, or complying with the orders of the court, depending on which brand of tire was used for mileage.

      2. Mr. Rusche has proven time over time that the his work here has always been worth the wait. I stand by his work and ask that others please just say, “I can’t wait, but I will.” Mr. Rusche has an artist’s soul and desire for his art. As a person who suffers from OCD and various other alphabet maladies, I can understand both sides of the equation.

        Please remember, absence makes the heart grow fonder and each and every piece that we do get, is all the more well received. Don’t forget the easter eggs. Who’ll think of the easter eggs?

  18. Has anyone given the possible thought to probable utilities outages due to the recent bouts of severe weather that has deviated the Midwest recently? Oh sure, one state gets capped on by god’s poop shoots of tornado weather, but that can’t possibly mean that the satanic dandruff of hail, nor the foul breath of severe halitosis of damaging straight line winds can ne’er do harm to those nor their communities of whom we expect of our electronic jollies.

    At this time, management is as frail that due to unforseen circumstances, mR. Blue is ranting.

    1. Entirely possible.

      No way of knowing since even the last text-based update is now a week old, but entirely possible.

    2. I live nearby, and we haven’t had any major severe weather around here (some thunderstorms and about 5 minutes of snow, but that’s about it). Also, no significant power outages.

      1. I know small, frequent power outages gave him fits a few years back from work not getting saved and/or files getting corrupted. I think he’s got a UPS now, so he should have time to save & close, so hopefully that isn’t a problem any more.

  19. Speaking of death, and this is not to belittle the tragic loss of your family member, Mr. Rusche, I would like to mention that Albert Temple, creator of the Gene Catlow webcomic, has passed away from natural causes. Even if someone else steps in to continue the webcomic, it won’t be the same. May he rest in peace.

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