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The Chain Part III

Monday's and Wednesday's comics together. Tried to avoid it. Sorry for the wait. Latest comics have been fairly obnoxious to make. :)

181 thoughts on “The Chain Part III

    1. Heather has been sufficiently bribed! Perverts, swing your attention in THIS direction!

      It’s like commanding the Eye of Sauron, if Sauron were a 14 year old boy.

    2. Maybe she’s not anyone important? Right now it mostly just seems like she’s a means to an end- the story will have to progress further before I draw any conclusion about whether or not she’s supposed to be an important/recurring character.

        1. NnnnnnnnooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

          I go to all that work to paraphrase a movie, with an adequate response set up, which was one of the top five adolescent prepubescent movies which would go great with Danny boy and his followers.

        2. Okay, so I forgot to use the correct phrase, with lisp,

          “your days are numbered, mister.” But then, I don’t have a bald pate, ponytail and newly minted yellow-ish bikini from an Asian movie redubbed to an American comedy.

    3. I get the feeling this is the same blond Heather from Milwaukee, Wisconsin that last panel of last page said that if she wanted to see a blond with boobs she would look in a mirror.

  1. Oh yeah, the new iPhone 12, with integrated retina attachments, telecom teleportation, and revolutionary new shape (.004mm thinner! Three hairs taller! Square?!?!).

      1. If it’s the iPhone^12, that thing we’re seeing is the protective casing, as the phone itself has the same dimensions as an unfolded matchbook cover.

      2. That’s actually a reference to how long it’s going to take you to pay back the debt from purchasing one, because they are so expensive.

        1. A couple of years?!?!?! What is this- are we savages? If you aren’t willing to sell a kidney and/or firstborn child to get the latest gadgets and top-of-the-line technology, I don’t think we can be part of the same social circle any more.

        2. I TRIED to raise him Rastafarian like his mother wanted! But no! No! He watches ONE episode of Rin Tin Tin, and then next thing you know….

    1. The iPhone 12 is a risky choice by Heather. Sure it’s shiny, but the occasional opening of small portals to other dimensions which other items in your pocket or purse then fall into can be really inconvenient if Cthulu gets your car keys.

        1. I’d be more worried about it accessing the phantom zone and letting Zod out, or getting punched by that one guy in the tropics and getting a lasting UN-birthmark.

      1. Sure, but there’s also a lot of good food and beer to be had in Milwaukee, so it’s not like it’d be a wasted trip.

        1. Does Milwaukee still have Metal Fest? In my misguided youth I attended THE pinnacle of heavy metal music festivals a few times.

        2. I haven’t been there in ~8 years, and I’m not a concert person so I didn’t actually pay attention for that sort of thing. My main takeaways were the good food, good beer, and that everyone was oddly friendlier than I expected, a sentiment echoed by everyone I knew from outside Wisconsin. The weird thing, to me, about the friendliness is that it’s actually fairly high crime, too.

        3. I would ask:

          -What is the non violent crime rate vs. homicide rate?
          -did you see the basement apartment that Lenny and Squiggy kept barging into, or any of the places used in the opening montage?
          -does metal fest come with rivets, welds, or primitive screw heads?

        4. No clue as I didn’t run into any itself. Just a lot of circumstances that screamed bad news (~1/3 of the houses on my commute had bars in windows, the nearest Dominos wouldn’t deliver to the address of my work and we had to call one twice as far that was on the same side of the “bad neighborhood” line, etc) and I’ve seen it on some top 10 worst cities crime-wise in the US a few times.

          Never paid attention to the show, so couldn’t tell you, though the brewery tour I commented about last comic does have a reference at the end of it.

        5. Actually you’ll have to wait on someone who has been on that tour and remembers the specifics. Since I never paid attention to the show I filed it as a reference and forgot about the specifics. I don’t recall it as anything to be excited about, though.

        1. Bear in mind we still have no idea who the Wandering Girl is, and that she could well show up at any time. And may have already. You have a tendency to do that kind of thing, Rusche, and that’s why many of us read.

  2. Is that the same furry that wanted to rub up against Pumkin?! That is friend deadication to perversios, attending all those small local cons across the nation.

      1. If he starts talking about how we faked Washington’s crossing of the Delaware, he’s going to have to disappear.

    1. I want to say no. The furry who got busted had a black collar. This furvert has a red collar and what seems to be a red bow tie. So, unless his fursuit was confiscated, or he’s got the job and money to have a formal fursuit along with the possible fursuit to wear amongst the commoners. . . . 89% chance he’s the same furvert.

  3. I guess you can’t keep a bad dog down, either. Maybe security spayed him before they released him back into the wild.

    1. I like Tink’s reaction in the last panel. You can even see where Kirk’s one eye went from narrowed to scared widened. Nice touches :)

        1. I don’t know that I’d call him “unfazed.” He seems like perhaps he’s been down the rabbit hole backward, forwards, sideways, and diagonal twice. Maybe “prefazed” ?

    2. All potential psykers must be reported to the Adeptus Astra Telepathica and Ordo Hereticus to allow proper assesment, examination, and possible disposal.

        1. This is the unfortunate blight of man. For the daunting truth that shall forever hammer the realities of this world is this, every enemy we witness with our senses is but one of a hundred that assail our mind, heart, and soul. I was deceived when allowing the visitation of my wrath upon the foul creature known as Danny. It is not my duty to render judgment upon him, unless I have the distinct pleasure of being asked to, for fate has a much more wicked blade for his kind. Nay, rather it is my duty to be a fire of unequaled magnitude that shall blot out the darkness in my path. That others shall look upon me and gather to my warmth for it shall comfort them and scorch the wicked. I must be the best me I can be, so that all shall prosper and in turn become lights of their own until the brilliance of humanity shall be the envy of the stars. Let us not look to the vile, yet let us look to ourselves and to our brothers/sisters.

        2. Fear Not!! For the Adeptus and Sororitas Angrius have been dispatched to bring the miscreant to the Emprah’s Justice. For as one Sista Ryuku Matoi has said, “I’M GOING TO USE HIS SCROTUM AS A SPEED BAG!!! THEN WE’LL GET IN SOME LIVE POWER STILETTO GROIN KICKING EXERCISES!!!!! AND THEN WE’LL GET NASTY ON THE LITTLE GOBSUCKER!!!”
          May the Emprah have mercy on his soul.

    1. Aaaand I just realized that it was spelled with one R, not two. (It’s Sherrill). It’s still super-cool to see it in a comic though :D

  4. Hrmm… Old site… Clearly not the first time he… Lava? Must have something to do with how the eyebrow… Is that Randy?

    1. Well, he’s showed us rifles he owns, and bullets he owns, what’s next? Cases? Scopes? Oh, okay, insane theories about 9/11. That makes sense!

    1. Remember when Sheldon got the wrong Spock sent to him? Same thing here. Only these would cost much more than a cardboard standee, and I doubt that Judge Dredd.. er Judge Judy would see his case if he are in cosplay uniform.

    1. Captain’s log. Sulu has been banned from being out of uniform. No one is allowed to be more of a dashing swashbuckler without their uniform shirt than the captain.

    2. Captain’s…. log.. stardate num ber five. The Freshie republics effort.. to.. save face.. has serious… implications for.. our.. plight. Their inability to… blink is most.. un…. settling. Can’t look.. away.. from.. viewer. Must. Rip. Off. Toupee. And. Shove. Into. My. Eye. Sock. Ettes.

        1. To be honest, I have no inkling as to what it could mean. And I don’t want to know, not yet. I’ll wait until my wedding night, three weeks before Ragnarok, while I honeymoon at Megiddo while i blush while my bride points out the standing armies. But I got distracted by a bit of fallen sky.

    1. Danny is just a blonde-bribing machine. I doubt Heather would fall for the rest of it, though.

      Thanks for a cosplaying Capt Kirk looking disgusted for my posted hometown. As a geek who recently stated in the comments a tendency to facepalm when hearing things a bit too dumb, I appreciate the compliment.

      So what’re the lifebar-like things on the chat windows for?

      1. I wondered about those bars as well. I first hypothesised they might be battery bars of their phones. Or some kind of donation meter. The latter didn’t convince me at all, the former might be. Though it would be a little strange of them all having the same one.
        There’s also the possibility of it being somewhat of a “credibility” or “membership level” meter. Especially if this is about a site on which any kind of videos may be shared.

        1. That would be along the lines of my second paragraph above. And the more I think about it, the more I think something like that is the case.

        2. Yep. Wonder if Danny/Caleb/Vu’s site will be included sufficiently to warrant an explanation or not.

  5. Mr. Blue is of two opinions.

    1. Freshie and Mako have the human equivalent of those Internet meme-age faces.
    –coolface for freshie?
    –forever alone guy for mako?

    2. Gasper is Alton Brown from a future time spur where Danny boy is successful but he doesn’t want to pay for the exorbitant vault fees for the features that a premium lifetime membership would be cheaper now after the costs associated with investing in Sister X’s chronological travel agency start up and setup costs. And he gave up on food.

    1. The dudes are chatting on cam waiting for their own resident blonde to show up. What they’re talking about is typical BS you hear stumbling into sites like Tinychat. Suddenly she shows up, obviously bribed with an iphone12 for her endorsement. What they’re saying has no bearing.

      1. ok got you, I have 0 experience with webcam chat sites. So I was very confused. I actually thought those were youtube videos she waas watching thanks, for the explanation.

    2. What changed her mind is the new iPhone 12 (rush shipping!) Danny just gave her. The conspiracy theory panels show you what they were doing when Heather tells them to go to the new site (which also shows you what kind of people the target audience is).

      1. Not so much the target audience, but the loudest voices of the alpha nerds who will show the way for the rest of the lesser nerds. Thus creating much more thickness in Danny boy’s wallet. I hope that he has to live in that van of his after the lawyer’s fees are done with.

        1. I dunno. I’m kind of hoping he’ll have to sell his truck to pay for his court fees, and end up living out of a cardboard box by the time Ellie and Quinn are done with him, but his climate isn’t cold enough for justice. The gators might even it out a bit.

          A Patreon comic with Danny running for his life from a gator would guarantee me subscribing just to see it. Just saying.

  6. It finally dawned on me.

    Danny was never interested in a relationship with Ellie.

    This website was planed from the get-go.

    Pretty evil. And by pretty, I am mean a very.

      1. The thing that’s weird to me here is that it’d seemed to me as if Danny had a fair amount of practice here, and I’d assumed Ellie wasn’t his first victim. However the treatment so far is a bit more like a first for him. I’m not sure what to think for his decision timeline for this.

        1. I’m not sure how/why he has her cell number and calls her in a way that she doesn’t consider creepy and hang up, but possibly she’s open with her cell number and just blocks people if they get too obnoxious (most cell phones let you do that any more). However, Heather’s involved with Caleb & Vu’s site. I do wonder if Danny took something similar with Ellie but was aboveboard with her and made a deal with her to video chat/blog about random things to draw viewers. That’s what I’d originally thought the deal with Ellie was going to be.

        2. If he farmed Heather off of the site to supply her with better A/V equipment, then why wouldn’t be have her phone number. He’s Lava (however I’m not sure if he’s a’a or pahoehoe lavascript..) Strana to reason that he helped with the Heather show. That and a new and yet to be released iPhoney to seal the deal. ….

        3. My guess is he has quite some practice at twisting things to his advantage. Has some experience with screwing women up even. Doesn’t have that much experience with actually screwing women.

          Don’t know if I got my English right in this one, I’m half asleep.

        4. I’ll agree with your statement, but I was thinking more this whole setup seems to be well worn for him, as if he’s done it before. I thought that made sense at first as I assumed that he would basically victimize a girl or two and get his cameras set up and then drift to another state in his ice cream truck and let things go mostly on autopilot with the old victims.

          With Ellie on a separate site and his requests to Barrel & Heather, it’s not seeming like he’s got a bunch of other sites like this in his back pocket.

    1. I was just thinking about how his target demographic is ‘the unemployed’, or so he told Ellie. It’s making a lot of sense now!

      1. Kindly explain your thoughts. For me it was the opposite last comic. When I heard he was charging $30/month subscription, I thought that wasn’t likely to get a lot of traction with the unemployed demographic.

        1. Get the unemployed hooked on busty blondes and either Milwaukee has a sharp upstichk in food stamp Taichung, or they have to change their status to underemployed just to know.

  7. Just realized something that doesn’t appear to have been mentioned as of yet: the background of T. R. Milkbone’s panel. At first one might think “oh, Oregon, maybe he’s in front of an olde-time barn or something” but then I saw the curve of the doorway. That’s a large doghouse behind Mr. Milkbone (or he’s positioned himself low enough for a regular doghouse to loom behind him)

    That’s my weird observation for the moment :-D

      1. It may be pixilation, or it could just be out of focus. Out of focus would imply the house be large enough to be seen as it is and be far enough for the cameras focus to matter.
        What I’m sayin’ is I really want this guy to live in a huge doghouse, just for the weirdness of it all.

        1. I could go with that. But what zoning board out side of Texas would allow for something as eclectic as a human sized dog house. If on the other hand he lives in a basement, then it’d be the same thing with Kirk, cosplay with what you got.

        2. First, most places allow small structures (say, 12’x12′) without a permit.

          Second, St. Hellens is unlikely to have either an old timey barn, or a basement. It clings to the side of a basalt canyon. And, it is either raining, the wind blowing, or both.

  8. Fun fact. Alton IL is sometimes known for being the “most haunted small town in IL” complete with a niche tourist trade that caters to such things. One of my friends attended a tour and didn’t see anything and locals who aren’t part of said tourist trade are downright surly about it. Whether he’s alive or dead Gasper fits my preconception of an Alton resident.

  9. If she doesn’t found out about the cameras before it goes live, I seriously doubt Ellie is going to be very happy when she founds out that the internet has probably seen her have some… *ahem* naked fun time with Mr. Buzzy.

    1. The site is live. Twobit yesterday commented on it.

      It’s not clear yet if there are any bedroom or bathroom cameras, though the laptop and iNimbus can certainly end up taking pictures there.

      I don’t see Ellie or Quinn either one being pleased about these cameras at all. I’d expect them to be pissed even if he just had one in a closet and there were occasional views of them getting and putting back jackets when they were fully clothed.

  10. It feels weird seeing Fort Walton Beach on this comic. Luckily, I mostly saw the technology side of it and not too much of the side depicted here, which is MUCH more common north of I-10

    1. Hi mom did that to make him heed the Shatner’s words. Move out of your parent’s basement and get a real life. His mom hired someone who only saw ST:TNG to do the entire room in galaxy class, no velour.

  11. Hm, I’ve been thinking on how to phrase this for a while. I think you (Rusche) should consider rewording the comics per week thing so that you’re offering an amount of content rather than a total number of comics. I mention this because you regularly apologize for publishing larger comics that flow better because you’re not meeting quantity goals you set for yourself.

    To put it another way, I think you’re beating yourself up over something that isn’t bothering us. :)

    I can’t recall anyone ever complaining in the comments about getting a better, more in-depth comic instead of 2 comics where the first one cuts off abruptly. So maybe it’d help you avoid feeling needlessly guilty about making a better product that we prefer anyways if you promised 3 – 6 rows of panels per week?

    Anyone else want to chime in here?

    1. I kind of thought that it’s a close race in the pacing here. The first tier, or Danny boy on the phone to our mystery girl is just about as good paired with the other two tiers as it would alone. The second tier, could be a good stand alone or paired with one or three alone to help get the continuity across to those who just joined. Tier three, or Heather’s approval is a definite stand alone.

      However, we have the background knowledge that the alpha maps in tier two are needed to help seed Danny boy’s girls gone hot Web cam site. It’s sad to think that depravity can look good. Maybe Graspar is under cover FBI. But I digress. With Barrel seeding the site with the girls first, tier two is almost a stand alone. Almost. Me, I just had a thought of Danny boy face palming on tier two rearranged into a top end monitor setup with Danny boy’s reflection [with said face palm] and tier three with Heather breaking into that arrangement with Danny boy’s reflection of two thumbs up and the same $&!t eating grin of when he first laid eyes on Ellie. (Pun intended, because HIS mind went there.

      this is just a quick thought to answer Gravatar’s query, and a slight constructive criticism for boss dude.

    2. It’s hard to say whether it would be nicer with the strips joined to double- and triple-size and with longer pauses in between or shorter pauses and only a strip at a time.

      What I can say though is that the former does look very good and there is no need to apologise for it! So you’ve certainly got my support at least on that.

      1. Oh, to be clear, I’m not suggesting he change how he creates the comics at all. I’m saying change the stated delivery goals to what’s pretty much already happening, since everyone seems to be happy getting fewer-but-longer comics when Rusche has made that call.

        My suggestion is solely that he should specify an amount of content rather than a number of posts in Patreon. That way he can divide up the strips however he likes best (which he’s already doing), but without feeling the need to apologize for failing to post three times in a week he’s really written the content of four-and-a-half comics.

    3. I personally appreciate the delay and joining comics. Honestly some of these longer comics would be much more painful for the wait if they’d been split.

      However, I can also see how the larger comics may make things more difficult for dead tree version of the comic.

      I wholeheartedly agree you shouldn’t feel guilty and that your variable comic sizing does lead to you posting more and working harder than you give yourself credit for based upon the metric of “number of posts.” Then again, I run into lots of bad metrics all over the places, so I am quite prone to criticizing them.

      1. If you’re a competitive shooter, then I’d say you should spell out random words and post at what point you get each word spelled out.

    1. That’s not a game, that’s torture to have to go back and see the crap that he’s pulled. But that’s my opinion. It might be a bit more of a challenge to take said shots when Ellie falls for his sales pitches.

  12. Were I Heather, I would have held out for the iCirrus. Of course, I’m not Heather, I’m myself: Very used to Android, jealous of the ease with which iPhone users can find niche cases, and advocating violence toward Danny for his “asslike tendencies” toward a character I like.

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