Terms and Conditions-Part 7

UPDATE: Guys, I had to take an impromptu bit of time off. Nothing super bad. Lots of family stuff and needing to catch up on misc that's been piling up. Be back Tuesday the 20th. Apologies for the wait and not informing you a bit sooner. Larger version of the final panel here: d13 Progression here: d12

206 thoughts on “Terms and Conditions-Part 7

    1. I was wondering if he found the paperclip.

      Putting a bug in there is possible, but unlikely to go unnoticed while they’re looking for the paperclip.

      It’s also possible he was just examining what he bumped with his feet. He certainly doesn’t seem completely blind, but that doesn’t mean he has good vision, so he might’ve needed tactile contact to identify.

      1. My thought as well; he found the “paperclip” although I suspect whatever it actually is he put it there in the first place…

  1. I’m thinking it’s some sort of mystic talisman, given how Dheu and Durkin seem to be “unnatural” to say the least. Also I love how Wilf is the only normal looking one. The tiny redhead scares me most, for some reason.

        1. I find it more disturbing because from my perspective, it appears that she’s staring at something just over my shoulder.

          Mind you, I live alone, so you can imagine my concern. DX

        1. That’s madness. There aren’t that many hobo chili recipes on Earth! If there were, why, we’d be BURIED under a flood of hobo chili!

  2. This is freaking amazing! I’m guessing gas mask dude is Tired guy.

    Oh man I really want this team to throw down with someone/something.

    1. There are lines leading over his shoulders, presumably to supply oxygen but the mask also has a filter like a regular gas mask.

  3. Looking at the cast page, left to right we have:
    Wilf the Propagandist
    Nena the Doomsayer
    Lecard the Cataloger (Shouldn’t that be “Cataloguer”?)
    Mr. Night the Breathtaker
    David Stevens
    Durkin the End of the Line
    Rebecca the Wallwalker
    Merrick the Interluder
    GG the Silver Cord
    Summer the Serious

  4. HOLY SHIT!!!!!1. whats with the mixture of League of extraordinary gentlemen and suicide squad lol and 2. don’t tell me blind guy is hiding some badass secret lol….don’t tell me he’s got “Blind Samurai” senses or something lol

    1. … then he takes off his sunglasses, golden light pours from his eyes and mouth, and everyone remembers he’s Tzeentch. Things get strange after that.

        1. Ooooo! Also good!

          Though the only jade-eyed girls are Ginger and Quinn. He might want to just wait a few more centuries…

  5. Is it just me, or does Rebecca look more irritated that they were interrupted than Merrick?

    I also wonder if Merrick is still under the influence of his Slow Jamz or not. I wonder if he can force his body to move fast enough to take advantage of that awareness shift or if he’s just going to have what feels like a year to try to fail to move his head out of the way as a punch is coming at him.

    Also nice of Merrick to give Wilf his sunglasses back.

    1. Hmm, wonder what Rebecca can do on a ground-level floor without her special boots and gloves on. The suit’s vibration *are* all or nothing, right?

      1. She might have her boots on, we can’t tell with the viewing angle. With David checking the pulled-up carpet, I think he walked into Ellie’s old apartment as opposed to out of it. So they should be above ground floor, though I’m not sure how useful disappearing through the floor and having to run back up stairs again would be. I suppose she could theoretically run at a wall, jump & phase, turn off before landing in the next room to go grab things for other people.

        Actually what might be pretty lethal that she might be able to do is if she can hold an object and have it phase and then let it go while phased into someone’s body. That could be quite lethal, depending on the object and where it was placed.

        1. She can dip her finger into polonium 210 and just wipe the inside of one of his organs. Lungs sound the last gross and quickest dispersal route.

        2. Sure, but easier would be to go to your nearest hardware store and buy a 100 pack of single edged razor blades meant for use in scrapers (costs less than $10 usually) and just dump those out on an arc through his body going from hip to shoulder.

          Not that you really need anything particularly lethal. A bag full of dryer lint to fill up his lungs would also be lethal. Hook up a garden hose to the kitchen faucet and lungs would be fastest but lots of other places with that sudden degree of water injected could cause lethal complications. Put a butter lid through his aorta & let it go. The list of possibilities can pretty much go on as long as you have patience to list them.

        3. She can’t grasp anything and insert it into his body at the same time. Her fingers would pass thru whatever she was trying to pick up.

        4. That’s what I was saying as uncertain to start with. If she’s holding something and then turns the suit on, does the suit phase it to match with her or does it fall to the floor at that point. This was all speculation if the suit could “carry along” some external elements.

          If it can’t, then I’m not sure how much the suit can be helpful in combat. I suppose with the gloves & boots on she’d be an odd target to fight with body & head blows being ineffective, but I’m not sure how badly hitting the back side of the gloves or tops of the boots would hurt, so she might be easier to take down that way. Or I suppose a last ditch kamikaze is also a possibility with that suit (turn off phasing while phased through someone).

        5. She was hired to look for something hidden somewhere in that apartment. And since she’s a part of David’s Rogues Gallery, then she may very well have the ability to pick things up while she’s inside the walls (or whatever she’s looking through).

          With that, we have to assume a few things based on this premise. We know that her gloves and boots are somehow acting contrary to the suit’s ability to pass through objects. We’ve seen that she can strip herself of her boots and gloves and still not pass through the ground because she’s been sitting on her boots and/or gloves. Probably why she can stand on the tracks and take an Amtrack Acela to the face and still be able to walk away. We don’t know her fighting capabilities, however, she may be able to leave things in places as well as taking them out of places. It’s just the opposite of what she’s likely able to do. Unless of course that she’s unable to pick things up while the suit is on. Then she’s just able to mark the spot on the wall where the doo-hickey is located. Then the normal job of tearing the wall apart comes into play. If it’s that, then she doesn’t have the ability to turn parts of her suit off, a-la the Human Torch or Sue Richards.

        6. We don’t know that she was going to acquire it while phased. Phasing may just have been to locate it and then do a non-phased retrieval (or tell Merrick & Wilf where to rip up the wall or whatever and walk away).

        7. That’s what I said in the last few sentances. But she may slap Merrick on the ass while he and Wilf get to tearing the wall apart while she walks away.

        8. My theory is that there’s a generator in her helmet and the suit material acts as a conductor for the phase effect. So she probably can’t hold anything unless it’s too dense for her to phase through.

          As for her gloves and boots being vulnerabilities I think a blade would just cut through them, but phase through her hand inside. A blunt instrument like a bat of hammer would probably be more effective and she might be vulnerable to having her feet stepped on.

        9. We have seen that the selector has several settings. So, the possibility is that she can set it for one thing overall in order to get through most obstacles, yet be able to fine tune the search by lowering the levels in order to possibly pick up the denser objects as needed.

          But this opens her up to possible injuries that way. Like if she’s phasing through a butt joint, or drywall screws. Would they just hold her in place, or injure her to the point of profuse internal bleeding?

        10. Even if she found something dense enough for her to pick up inside a wall she couldn’t get it out of the wall since it would still be solid. Also, whatever she was holding it with would be stuck until she let it go since she can’t phase through it.

          I think it would be very unwise to mess with the settings while she’s actively in something. If she suddenly occupies the same space as something else most likely either her body’s going to be shifted out of the way or their going to meld somehow. Neither of which seem like they’d be particularly healthy.

          My Lord Rebecca’s powers lend themselves to quite a lot of body horror.

        11. Since we know that she can appreciate the localized effects of the suit upon her physiology, I propose that she should be able to feel the materials that she’s phasing through. When she’s moving through an item as if she were cutting the wind, that would be one thing. However, as the material’s density becomes thicker and thicker it should become more apparent to Rebecca that’s she’s going from air to water to whipped cream to Jell-O halfway set to Jell-O pudding and then to Jell-O that is almost set before encountering more resistant materials.

          So, I’m suggesting that she should be able to have some tactile feedback for the materials that she moves through.

    2. I can’t imagine how long it must have seemed like to him between Rebecca running off and everyone getting into position. Putting his mask on probably felt like half an hour.

  6. Dun, dun, DUN!!!!

    Cue the dramatic hamtaro.

    Excellent work as always with the artwork. I especially like the “not the original Sandman” guy. :)

    I mean Mr. Night.

    aka TiredGuy…


    Ok I’ll stop now.

      1. We do think he’s the “cleaner of Tarra’s messes” and someone Dheu’s used to working with and seems to respect. We don’t know what he can do, but being an asskicker wouldn’t be at all surprising.

        Durkin can banish (though possibly David knows how to counter/avoid from working with Dheu). Wilf’s glasses might be able to cause a distraction (or maybe not if fully vision-based). Merrick might or might not get much combat advantage from his Slow Jamz, and might be able to slow down adversaries with Montage. Rebecca has her phasing, but I’m not sure we know what that would be good for in a combat sense yet. We haven’t seen any abilities out of Nena or Tired Guy, while Summer, Lecard, & GG are all new so we don’t know for them either.

        So David could possibly be a match for all of them. Even if he’s not, he can probably make it to the balcony door and escape if he needs to.

  7. I have the feeling that David is the tutor that Tara used to have and that he was involved in her adventures until he was hurt.

        1. Yeah, that’s what I’m thinking, but since she could take out all of them add if it was her in that Kentucky church, she probably moved on since it seems that her clothes may just be off of the rack.

          Buggers, I just noticed that pun of double entrende.

        2. English Combat… so the next comic will be David doing a slow turn, taking his glasses off, putting them away casually, and slipping into a stance while saying, “Prepare for conjugation,” then?

  8. Also, this is just epic setup….Well done!

    I’d like to make a call-out to the community: if you’re not supporting on Patreon, GO NOW AND DO SO. This level of excellent storytelling is why we support Rusche. Do it or McFatFat will haunt your dreeeaaaaaammmmmssssss…

  9. IF they end up in a fight, i BET ON THE BLIND GUY I SWEAR.
    the others are way to much idiots and goobers while he actually as a brain. he proved it several time.

  10. So the one guy that’s not interested in her because of her breasts…. is a secret agent, interested in the bug that’s at her apartment?

    That’s how it seems to me.

    1. We don’t know if his perceptual abilities allowed him to be aware of Ellie’s breasts or not, and the accident may have been before they grew in.

      I don’t think we know if David is after the paperclip or simply would notice D52 being after the paperclip. He brought chocolates, so I’m guessing he was expecting Ellie to be still in this apartment rather than finding her gone and it torn up. So I don’t think he came to the apartment to recover the paperclip.

  11. I’d say “the plot thickens” but I really have no idea what’s happening here. It’s like some Dali-esque mishmash of every comicbook ever.

        1. DBD’s gravatar? Or yours? Because they both look more critical than dubious.

  12. Most anticipation yet. I so want some David/Daredevil action here, but those guys have some crazy abilities, so his strengths must be more than just physical.
    And please don’t have Wilf make him all starry-eyed with his backup glasses.

  13. So did they leave some plastic on the floor so they don’t lose the deposit if someone bleeds out?

    I mean, that’s the first thing that entered my mind. “Dude, you hit your foot against the roll of plastic they are going to use to wrap your dead body in.”

  14. Heh, I love the symbolism of the carpet. Just a shame it wasn’t red :P

    In the end, poor David had to roll it out himself XD

  15. So awesome.

    Nena and Tired Guy both look really cool.

    Summer looks super badass. I can’t wait to see what her weapon is. I’m guessing a sniper rifle.

    GG’s title makes me think she’ll use high tension wires, but we’ll see.

    Lecard reminds me of someone I know personally so that’s neat.

    1. I was thinking Summer’s weapon looked like a ridiculously long rifle too. However a rifle like that would probably go through a couple of buildings, so doesn’t seem like a good weapon for an apartment fight, which is what makes me wonder if I’m wrong.

      1. I figure she’s either good enough to use it at close range or she’ll use it as a polearm.

        If it is a gun the fact that she’s not already aiming at him makes me think they have some reason to believe this situation can be resolved diplomatically.

        1. Comic physics, maybe. Real physics, I don’t think a bullet from a barrel that long would stabilize in that short of a distance. I’ve seen relatively normal length 30 caliber bullets fail to stabilize at short distance (I’m horrible at judging distance, but I think it was 25 feet). We were disposing of a friend’s old hard drives (his choice using that method, I prefer more boring but certain methods) and one bullet knocked one over without putting a hole in it (someone said it had actually rolled and hit with the side of the bullet, but my eyes aren’t fast enough to see that sort of thing, so I couldn’t tell you if they were right or not). When we moved the drives out to 100 yards, the same rifle/ammo made nice, neat holes (in the front at least).

          For using it as a polearm, that wouldn’t be ideal in case of bending throwing off use as a gun. Though it could always be made of McGuffin metal that cannot bend.

          Alternately she might not be planning to use it in a fight in the apartment, but just doesn’t like having it out of reach. Or she can teleport far enough away to get set up and use it. Or it’s a mind-controlled metal that can shrink down to a short pistol when appropriate.

        2. Well this is a cartoon so…

          My only real life experience shoot guns is with pistols. I’ve never heard of rifles having a minimum effective distance. I suppose it’s possible, but that seems odd to me.

          I realize using a gun in melee is a measure of last resort, but I consider it an acceptable break from reality due to how cool it would be.

          My personal “out there” theory for Summer is that since we can’t see the hand hold the gun it’s actually a built-in prosthetic.

        3. The time I’m speaking of was when some friends found out I’d shot pistols, shotguns, and 22’s, but never bigger rifles. They decided I was overdue and I didn’t disagree.

          My understanding of bullet stabilization is that it’s due to the rifling in the barrel that spins the bullet so that it’ll fly generally straighter. Closer to the barrel, it’s still a bit wobbly, but farther out it stabilizes. The 357 magnum put holes in hard drives at the first distance just fine, it was just the rifles that weren’t quite right. I’ve heard that having the bullet length the right ratio for the rifling in the barrel helps, and it might stabilize much faster that way. I’m not certain, as I’ve never gotten into it quite that much.

          I agree that a prosthetic would be very amusing (and quite inconvenient for Summer, with it being that big, but that’s part of makes it funny).

        4. I’ve consulted someone with more firearm experience than myself. He said bullet stability and penetration should only decrease as range increases. He also said accuracy might decrease at short range due to the sights being set for a longer range and that if the bullet it too big for the barrel such that the propellant is still expanding when the bullet leaves the barrel it can throw it off.

        5. I could see that as correct for perfect conditions, but I think if you have a manufacturing defect in rifle or bullet, then precession will stabilize a bullet given a bit more time that wouldn’t be stable at short range. As I understand it slight defects are expected, so I’m not sure how common the behavior is or not. I doubt I know more than your expert, but from what I understand (and could see in a quick search), that sounds like what the people I was talking to were likely talking about.

          Granted, the time I’m thinking of was outside, so it’s quite possible that a sudden wind gust was what threw off the yaw of the bullet causing it to hit sideways. I didn’t pay attention to wind differences earlier and later that day.

        6. Posting separate a reference forum post that seems to track with what I had heard ( halfway down the page in a long post by unclenick on https://www.shootersforum.com/ballistics-internal-external/61511-bullet-stabilization-down-range-2.html ):

          “If you’ve been following, the bullet nose has now moved all the way around the clock. It does not describe a square, as I did, but rather a circle, because I didn’t describe all the in between angles and changing directions of pressure as it moved around the clock. The actual result from precession alone is the nose describes a circle. Since the bullet turns around its center of mass, a line from the center of mass to the circling nose describes the surface of a cone, so this is called coning motion.

          When a bullet is marginally stable, having just the right rate of spin to avoid tumbling, the circle described by the tip neither grows nor shrinks as it precesses just fast enough to keep up sidestepping the force trying to flip it around. This barely stable condition defines a gyroscopic stability factor of 1.0. If the spin is too slow, the bullet doesn’t precess quickly enough, so the nose circle grows bigger with each turn, describing an ever widening spiral until it catches so much air that precession is overwhelmed and it tumbles. The gyroscopic stability factor in that case is less than 1.0. The bullet spinning faster than necessary for marginal stability will precess faster than needed to overcome air stream forces, and the nose circles will shrink with each successive turn, describing an inward spiral that gets smaller and smaller until it settles. This is the condition most stable rifle bullets fire under, and it defines spin fast enough for the gyroscopic stability factor to be greater than 1.0.”

        7. You think that’s long winded, you should go read all of that guy’s posts on that page. He’s definitely got me beat for any sort of long comment championship.

        8. Ahem. Excuse me for but a moment.

          ONLY a cartoon?

          Okay. All done. How are you doing?

        9. I didn’t say only a cartoon. Cartoons can be great. Shotgun Shuffle is great . But the reality of the situation is that it occasionally delves into the unrealistic in the interest of telling a good story.

          I’m fine. Nothing worth complaining about. How are you?

  16. If you squint just a small bit it looks almost as if Blind Guy brought his crew to dole out some karmic justice.

    Regardless, I doubt this ends well for someone.

  17. Let’s speculate.

    1 – They came in full force, suited-up and armed. They’re on a first name basis with him and they’re taking him seriously, so they consider him formidable despite his impaired vision.

    2 – They’re not attacking. Their body language doesn’t say they’re feeling particularly hostile, aside from Rebecca. Of course, this may just be Rusche wanting to do a big impressive ensemble panel with everyone looking cool.

    3 – I wonder if he’s a former member of this gang. Seems like they’re not exactly enemies, but they’re also not friends.

  18. So I did some thinking and re read things. So the Blind guy is David who is the one Dheu referenced when first summoned by Tarra, which to his surprise wasn’t david. Dheu asked Tarra when referencing David ”
    Is he not the cleaner of your messes?” David (blind guy) has go have some connection to Ellie’s family, or at least Tarra. I also find it weird that this guy has so many different coincidences of being in different areas where Ellie is or was. Also the fact he is teaching the class of both Ashliii and Pumpkin is suspicious to me too.

    1. Being the same place as Ellie so often was likely not a coincidence and rather by design.

      Recall Ellie said that he would show up and wait for her at O’Jacks and then leave when he didn’t perceive her, and on her first day when he ran into her, Ashliii later mentioned talking to Pumpkin about seeing her on the schedule (so why he showed up in the first place). Then he shows up at her apartment and punches Tired Guy. Then he’s in the store for one of the Black Friday gifts (which he quite possibly heard Pumpkin talking about in class). Then he is asking about Ellie at one of her holiday jobs (Kohl’s). He came here after she stood him up for a date on the site, so his being around one the former date with the T-shirt guy probably wasn’t a coincidence either.

      He’s quite clearly stalking her to some degree.

      1. Well, considering that this is Florida, and it’s not even December yet, so kids may actually be in the empty lot next door trying to get their baseball back.

        But I have to ask, do you think that Pumpkin is going to be mentioning everything with Ashliii in this class alone? I mean, I had classes (plural) with friends back in high school. And I had classes that I didn’t take with friends. Personally, I think that is the one of the few instances where it didn’t seem intentional on his part to “bump” into Ellie.

        But is it stalking or pitching woo?

        1. You can get a lot of black friday deals around 10 AM on Friday, rather than Thursday evening in likely even larger than normal madness as he was trying. Considering the degree the damage this past year was enough to irritate Rosemary, but not get her particularly excieted/worried, I think it’s safe to say that Black Friday is interesting enough for more than casual conversation, and Ashliii probably knew about it from the past. From what we’ve seen, they’re in Mr. Stevens’ class first period, so conversations started on the bus likely continue on into his class/hearing.

          It’s possible that wasn’t stalking, but with the pattern and the thought of a blind guy contemplating the trade-up between peak Black Friday crowds, lesser Black Friday crowds, snagging a Cyber Monday deal, or paying a bit more later to avoid the hassle; I find picking the largest crowd option less than convincing as his normal preference.

        2. There is one problem. The lists were not handed out until they got into the leased van. How could Pumpkin not only know what store had the best Blu Ray player at the best price? I posit that it was a chance meet up of what seemed to be all of the romantic possibilities for comedic foil.

        3. It could’ve been chance, but we know planning took place before entering the van, as Ellie’s job at Kohl’s was part of the plan. Pumpkin, as the youngest and still at home, might’ve also been privy to plans that older/busier sisters might not have known until the van trip. I’m not certain the Pumpkin chuck for the hoverboards was practiced or something they’d developed for fun years earlier.

          Regardless, it’s still reasonably feasible that Pumpkin might’ve know at least parts of the plans at school, which might’ve included Ellie working at Kohl’s (which Blind Guy also knew at least later) and her stop at the electronics store.

        4. I’ll give you I Khol’s, but not the electronics store. Radio Shack was still in business in my mail, even though they moved into a smaller space at the time, to the best of my knowledge.

        5. Kohl’s points out advance planning. Various gifts might’ve needed some research for finding best deals. Were I Ginger with six younger sisters, I’d parcel that out to ones I believed could/would do it. With Tarra likely as or more busy than Ginger, Ellie & Pumpkin would be prime bargain hunting conscription targets. It’s far from certain, but quite possible Pumpkin may have known gifts and likely stores and discussed them with Ashliii (such as running the list of ones she was researching by Ashliii to see if she’d run into any better deals).

          It’s not definite, just perfectly possible.

        6. But you’re giving Pumpkin full access to all of the possible knowledge. That seems to be a fallable part of your logic. Remember, she’s the “which blonde daughter do you want me to be” child. She has all of her own interests to keep her occupied. And I’ve got to suggest, that only if the sisters were hanging around their parent’s house days and weeks before going shopping, outside of Tarra and Pumpkin formalizing strategies and training for their various shopping efforts, which may just be getting through their Black Friday shopping possibilities only. I mean, I can see Tarragon mapping out against all of the possible stores that they would be possibly shopping. How many of them have high ceilings and such. What stock might be in the way of a possible flight path on top of the shelves? Then and only then would your points be more absolute in possibility. I mean, Pumpkin’s making cos-play outfits, wigs, building Gotham City in Minecraft.

          Ginger is the queen B, she would have the logistical information at hand only by discussing it with her father. Because we have back history of how they plan their shopping sprees and such. Going through the inserts, mailers and advertisers for Black Friday door busters. I’m pretty sure that Herb would leave that to Ginger, finding out who goes where. But on the other hand, what would happen to the sister who blurts out the plans before Christmas morning?

          That and just wanting to go and do her own thing before the race starts is why I don’t think that Pumpkin would be talking to Ashliii before hand. Kids have their own wants, needs and desires and for the most part will act on them before sitting down at a kitchen table with her oldest sister and father to find out where to go, what to do, how to get it. Knowing what Ellie is up to and such.

          Now, Pumpkin might over hear her father talking to Ginger on the phone, but what?? That’s just more speculation.

        7. I think you’re missing the definite vs possible part of my argument.

          The only two pieces of knowledge Pumpkin needed were both gifts for Rosemary that Ellie was assigned to get. Honestly she only needed the one before Black Friday, she could’ve mentioned Kohl’s later. That’s enough to mention.

          I look at Pumpkin much as any older sibling would, as someone to order around as a minion. Ginger definitely has tendencies that would make me suspect she’d be similar. With her being in high school, that seems like prime choice for “go look for this” tasks. So two pieces of information related to gifts for Rosemary is perfectly feasible for her to have. Had Blind Guy been in the comic shop where Ellie was grabbing Pumpkin’s gift, that would seem less likely knowledge for her.

          As for why Ashliii and Pumpkin might be talking about it, that seems unsurprising to me when you consider that the degree of mayhem shown was apparently not enough to get all that excited about and just warranted a “look how you made your father miss this traditional breakfast” scolding. Also, as per the end of comic Sisters Of The Moon Part 3 (current post date December 23, 2013), Tarra & Pumpkin had been training for Black Friday. We have no idea how many potential contingencies were there (and perhaps the Fusion Dance was part of the training, along with other things not shown). Additionally, Ashliii has family too and might be interested in whatever deals Pumpkin found. So a bus ride talking about “training” for the bus ride with slipping into some of the gifts and located stores as they walk into English seems quite feasible/possible.

          Please note. I’m arguing “feasible” here. I’m not arguing “certain.” It’s definitely not certain and there’s always room for luck or the fruits of Blind Guy’s stalking/surveillance other than eavesdropping on Pumpkin’s conversations.

        8. TOG,

          Rosemary had three gifts in her column that she could expect. Two of them from Kohls, and the Blu Ray player.

          While younger siblings may be cannon fodder in terms of being bossed around, they also have the greatest degree of freedoms of any child in their family.

    2. Don’t forget, Tarra was sleep cuddling a cane in that flash back scene with her and Ginger in the same bedroom. And her mom said ‘it wasn’t just a tutor with Tarra’ when referencing her daughters’ obvious obsessive tendencies.

  19. I feel like I haven’t put the pieces together correctly to understand how we got to this point, is that normal and it’ll be explained from here forward, or did I miss something?

    1. I’d consider it normal/expected. We’ll probably get some additional explanation in the next several comics, but I wouldn’t count on there not being still a lot unanswered.

  20. Rusche — I found myself looking at the last panel and anticipating possibilities for what’s going to happen next. Then I remembered your diagram of Erf and how far characters are from it (author post in comic The Fellowship of Something Stupid, currently dated February 5, 2014). It looks like Blind Guy & Ellie are on par with each other at about half of Tarra’s level, and Tired guy looks like he’s maybe between Anise & Cinnamon. Dheu showed up not too long after that comic, so D52 was around then, but have some of those Erf levels altered a bit, or are they still accurate?

  21. I am totally curious as to know what’s going to happen next? Because the last panel with the woman in the brown trench coat on the left of David almost looks like Ellie’s mother. It would raise lots of questions.

    1. I’m pretty sure it’s cloth. I don’t know what the symbol means, but it probably designates him as the least ambitious Time Lord ever to live.

  22. So David’s face is all “I have enhanced hearing, how the fuck did you mofo’s sneak up on me? And why are you wearing masks, I can’t see… wait, shit”

  23. Quick question. Is that a card catalog or a japanese style medicine cabinet!? These are the important questions people!

  24. Whoa! Mr. Night looks AWESOME as a dark version of the Golden Age Sandman–moreover, ALL the D52 look incredible (except Nena is way cuter in her civvies).
    Th eBreathtaker is perfectly positioned for THIS:
    Mr. Stevens you dirty rat, and soon comes Mister NIght creeping over, got his hand upon your shoulder, never mind, we’ll remember you this way, ahey-hey.

    If you don’t get the reference, you must not listen to ELO, and I mourn your oversight.

  25. Is GG the little pig tailed girl that keeps popping up in the comic..? Like in the dating commercial and other small events..?

    1. The first girl that comes to mind for me showing up in odd events is the one I’ve seen called Tiny Atlas in the comics. I remember seeing here at Danny’s last “date/con” attempt (comic Versus Christus, current post date of March 6, 2015), the arcade Cinn works at (comic Cinnavictims, current post date of October 4, 2013), and the birthday party Ian DJ’d (comic And then there was none, current post date July 19, 2013). I don’t know offhand if she’s shown elsewhere or not.

      The girl in the commercial (comic Love and Devotion, current post date of August 24, 2015) may or may not be Tiny Atlas, and I don’t recall if that was mentioned or not.

      GG looks taller than either, has no freckles, colored irises, and boobs. So maybe an older sister/cousin, but if she’s the same person than she must be a shapeshifter of some variety.

      1. The joke or trope would be that Tiny Atlas would be continued to be used in situations that require a kid with upraised arms. That, and she comes across as the strong and silent type, so she wouldn’t be the one to be speaking in the commercial.

        And GG doesn’t have her hands up.

      2. s/I’ve seen called Tiny Atlas in the comics./ I’ve seen called Tiny Atlas in the comments./

        I didn’t see Rusche ever give the character I’m referring to as Tiny Atlas a name.

        1. I was correcting myself primarily so I didn’t accidentally spur someone to go looking through old comics to find where Rusche had named her that in comic. I plan on continuing to refer to her as Tiny Atlas until/unless she’s formally named. Possibly after that to some degree too (I still prefer “Tired Guy” to “Mr Night” or “Richard/Dick”, and “Blind Guy” still seems appropriate at times too, and probably will even if it turns out he’s not actually blind).

        2. Tiny Atlas also appears in ‘Temporary One’ (current date 4/28/14).

          I’d be more willing to call Tired Guy Mr. Night if anyone had actually called him that in the comic yet.

        3. I don’t know that I caught that one. I didn’t remember at all and had to look. That’s one of the nice things about the comments here, they point out things I didn’t notice on my own quite often.

  26. Does an expected timetable on new comics even exist for Shotgun Shuffle anymore? I don’t want to be impatient, but it seems like its a week to a week and a half between comics anymore.

    1. Argopile, I can understand your frustration with the current production schedule and backlogs. However, if I may say, the production quality, in my opinion, brings to bear great marks of quality.

    2. If you look at the first comment and first reply, I think that may explain part of the current delay. It’s also possible that the apparent Ghostbuster inked drawing was some form of larger commission/paying work that may be a side time drain for him (I expect the YouTube person fanart was probably either a break when he’d hit a wall with one of the comics here or an experiment with a particular technique or something, though possibly a partial advertisement may also have been part of his thinking).

      Rusche seems to enjoy experimenting and pushing himself in various ways with his art in the comic, and that can cause delays. I won’t say that I never find myself wishing he’d alter things a bit away from his ideal vision for the panels in exchange for speed, but I also hope he doesn’t get burnt out, so I figure the delays from not shying away (and sometimes heading directly to) more difficult panels and perfectionist tendencies are hopefully for the best, and the effort generally shows even to an inexperienced eye like mine.

      It seems like every comic I’ve ever seen with action scenes also contains lots of “wow action sequences are a pain” type author posts in them, which seem to keep up somewhere between 3 months & 5 years. Ellie & Quinn at the apartment while Tired Guy was watching is the only fight scene I remember (I’m not counting cut aways), and this many participants will make it potentially even more challenging. Take that along with Rusche’s perfectionist tendencies with his art and it wouldn’t surprise me if the next several posts are more than a little delayed.

      If it’s a pins & needles reaction for you, maybe just try checking once or twice a month for a few months until he gets to the next part? No shame in adjusting your viewing schedule for such things if needed.

        1. At the top of the list of comments we’re typing into right now is the following:

          September 2, 2016, 10:16 am
          OK This is intriguing.

          new characters and masks, we gonna have a melee? please say yes !!!!

          September 2, 2016, 11:33 am
          Replied to: TSG | Link | Reply | Like (1)
          Yes. The strips are only going to get more challenging after this.

        2. This is a conversation that’s been had around here several times before. No one can deny that the quality is breathtaking, but there’s a certain segment of the population who’d be willing to have less breathtaking for the sake of more rapid advancement. It’s easy enough to see their point; no one even knows when to check back for an actual update any more, and quite a few won’t check every day for the sake of it–and of course to vote in the Top 100 Webcomics rankings–but there are plenty who’ve come to enjoy the amazing visual experience and are thus willing to wait the long and inconsistent periods between.

        3. Yeah, I just like to throw my two cents in as an attempted support for Rusche from someone who would honestly come down on the side of be quite happy with less perfection and faster updates. Sometimes the way the people who are perfectly content with the expected turnaround respond to these in support of Rusche seems like maybe it doesn’t come off as friendly as I hope we keep our comment section, so I try to see if I can thread that gap (with questionable success, as with everything in life).

          As a side note, I do still come and check every day (and try to think of something to comment on a lot of days so there’s evidence of fans still paying attention), vote TWC with two devices daily, and have been able to keep my Patreon support where I initially set it so far.

        4. The person who does “manly guys doing manly things” puts a sketch up as a placeholder before finishing the rest and colors.

          Maybe Chris could give us a rough sketch of some part of a panel. If idea the book keeping (updating the word press stuff, etc) I’d volunteer.

        5. I think a non-spoiler sketch of part of the next main or Patreon comic would be good TWC fodder, actually.

  27. Either David moves really slow, or those guys change into costumes like Superman or the Flash. I would think Breathtaker would run out of breath if he changed into a suit that fast! Of course, you have to love Wilf — who needs a costume when you have glasses like these?

    1. Rebecca got Tired Guy dressed in less than two shakes of a lamb’s tail. Just vibrated faster than one.

      But that is just a step outside of the argument/discussion of her abilities in her suit.

  28. A silver cord is traditionally a link between one’s body and soul. Perhaps some of this group correspond , in a loose sort of way, to the Greek Fates. If GG represents the Cord, she could be Clotho the spinner. Nena the Doomsayer could be Lachesis, deciding when the cord is to be cut. Atrpos is a toss-up between The End of the Line and The Breathtaker. I’m probably overanalyzing, but it’s still fun.

    Also, there is a song by Jethro Tull, A Passion Play: Edit # 8 with lyrics that read thus:

    Do you still see me even here?”
    (The silver cord lies on the ground.)
    “And so I’m dead”, the young man said
    Over the hill (not a wish away).
    My friends (as one) all stand aligned.

    I’m always lookin’ for musical references in Chris’ work.

        1. None can beat non-publishing time of Drive comic, though; I think it went 6-8 months between updates once, all while the author was promising content which wasn’t delivered on.

          I pointed this out on his Disqus board for Drive one too many times, and Dave Kellet banned me from both that board AND Sheldon’s comment section.. then denied he’d done as such. Then, on his blog update, he points out how “PERSONAL” Drive is to him…

          *quits whining about the drama queen*

        2. I’ve seen Dead Winter take some pretty long hiatuses. Hiatuseses. Hiatusi. I don’t even know any more. Anyway, I stopped reading pretty much because of that. It was taking forever for that comic to get anywhere and I got sick of following a comic whose update schedule was the 15th of Cisco.

  29. Ok, I’ll admit it. I was a Patreon supporter for a while and eventually stopped out of frustration due to inconsistent updates. I was only at the $2 level but I somehow felt I was owed something. I still checked the site religiously to see if anything new was happening and to durkinlurk the comments section but I was content to view the Patreon comics as they were released into the general population whenever that tends to happen.

    Now the other day I decided on a whim to start reading again from the beginning just for fun. It was really cool to see how the art style of SS evolved since 2009 but what I eventually started to notice blew my mind. Everything is connected. Every reference, every character, ever damn detail is a part of something greater. I mean, the possibly in-bred shift manager at Getmart YEARS ago was a user on Hot College Roommates. What?!? The sheer magnitude of Chris’ world-building is nothing short of incredible. That’s not news to a lot of you I’m sure but I’m a bit slow on the uptake I guess.

    Anyway, Chris your comic was already the first one (of many) I checked routinely but now there’s no way I can’t support what you’re doing. Well done. I’ll stop being so impatient!

    1. The lack of updates comes from his OCD; my father suffers from it. He’ll turn a lazy Saturday evening on its head, bossing everyone in the place around to move plants, shift furniture, straighten rugs and pictures (after they’ve been moved multiple times), etc, etc.. and NOBODY has any peace until he’s content.

      OCD has many manifestations.. personally, I would *hate* to be an artist with it. I couldn’t imagine…

      1. It’s not an easy thing. One thing that I’ve learned during my photography classes, and having an irate teacher was that you have to have the basics in line first before attempting to put the flourishes on the project. Basically, it boiled down to you need to have your cake done before you can decorate it.

        However, when it comes to wedding cakes, every decorator has OCD.

      2. Chalk that to yet another thing I didn’t pick up on, which seems kind of silly looking at it now. No wonder this comic is so wonderfully detail-oriented.

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