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The Chain Part XVIII

When the third round of ComicMix voting drops, I will update the site. I'm in a slightly crappy position to have the new VS piece immediately up considering the vote between my potential competition was so close. If Exiern got a donation of even $5 or so, they'll have beaten Dresden Codak (who has the popular vote.) While paid-for votes aren't typically likely, Exiern did have a donation last vote. So.. yeah. Had to come up with material for both. It's all pending color. I messaged both Exiern's creator and the guy running the vote three days ago. No response. Why must I CARE so much... UPDATE I added a poll to the right sidebar. I have so many story ideas for this comic I can pick them off the floor like dirty laundry. Anyone currently reading the Patreon comic, please feel free to weigh in on what story content you'd prefer to see next. You can pick up to 2 options. While I have plenty of inspiration for these stories, I still have to flesh them out strip-by-strip. We're a ways off from the next arc, but I'd like to be ready for it. And for the thousands of you NOT on Patreon, don't worry. It's all still one big comic. Any and all of these stories eventually make it into the archive where they belong. The Pumpkin story already has the first 10 comics uploaded in the archives for December. You are not forsaken! :D UPDATE AGAIN I'm working on Patreon and what would be Wednesday's post currently. I'm going to push them back a day. I'm using my OCD card, because I had panels and dialogue done but I wasn't totally happy with it. I tend to match dialogue to body language, so redoing that had nothing matching up. Bare with me, I'll have it up tomorrow. :| GO VOTE FOR ROUND 3!!! UP NOW!! http://www.comicmix.com/2015/04/15/round-3-of-the-mix-march-madness-2015-webcomics-tournament/

210 thoughts on “The Chain Part XVIII

    1. Motion to put a motion on the floor to present to the chair that the from now on, that first statements using the word first have to have at least a ten word sentence in order to be considered to be qualified to be awarded the first of firsts.

  1. Quinn is so freaked out by this, the poor thing.

    I just hope that she doesn’t take it out on Ellie once it becomes clear that the whole debacle is at least loosely tied to negligence on Ellie’s part, although the idea that Danny would rig their entire apartment into a voyeur site is a bit beyond the pale.

    1. The irony is that there weren’t any cameras in the bedrooms already, so hitting the closet was actually unnecessary.

      1. True, but presumably Quinn, even if she did a free trial premium membership, didn’t take time to inventory the cameras before hiding. So it does follow that she’d take precautions like that.

    2. I like the subtlety with which Chris applies his subtext.

      What with the application being a sledgehammer wielded more bluntly than David Rasche and Peter Gabriel combined.

      1. But is it wielded as well as the Gallagher when he sees fresh Watermelons? Then it is truly mastered if he reaches such heights.

  2. We have a Stormtrooper helmet, a half off dress (price people…minds out of the gutter), a fully clothed and covered up Quinn and a bewildered Ellie. Things are going to get really strange here soon…


      PRA— no, let’s not go there. Uhm… how about

      Thank you person who drinks $h*tty b*3r. For the dress is symbolic of tension between the characters as well as betwixt the characters and aspects of the home viewing audience according to the latest Meilson ratings.

      1. Am I the only one who picked up on the fact that the dress Quinn has, that she asked Ellie about, is ‘in the closest’ ;)

        Still, looking foward to seeing where this goes, its going to be awesome ^^

        1. I didn’t tie it back to the dress, but I did immediately think a lot of shipping fans have been asking the same question Ellie raises in the comments (with different intended interpretation).

        2. The ‘is she or isn’t she’ awkward stumble, well shuffle really, towards nailing down, fingerin- ah, figuring out Ellie’s preferred gender or genders for all things rubbing and licking.

          It’s so hard to be PC. I think I’ve failed. Let’s start over.

          Ellie may want to fornicate with Quinn. During the Black Friday arc the sisters were giving her a good amount of ribbing about it. We still don’t know if the jokes were indicative of the comic’s reality. More to the point, real world studies have shown that the larger a family is, the more likely it is to produce homosexuals. It is hypothesized that this is nature’s way of preventing overpopulation.

          If that’s the case, expect a LOT more homosexuals in the future.

        3. Flippant, adjective: not showing a serious or respectful attitude.

          What part of what I posted was not serious or respectful?

        4. Not you specifically, just the general school of thought that because two people of the same gender are in a story (fictional / non fictional) must be shipped into a more than just a platonic relationship.

          While there is a demand for fan fiction, it’s more for the benefit of the fan in only satisfying their demands of the character alone. Perhaps those who may agree to some point with the said fan fiction author, but its just an exercise in futility, imho, that doesn’t advance the characters or the story without the application of the 16 ton libido.

          That said, it is nothing against you. Its a part of today’s matrix fueled mentality and instant gratification demands.

        5. Very well said Mr. Blue, very well said indeed! That was a very sophisticated statement executed in a very logical and thoughtful manner. I concur with your thoughts and I am most impressed.

        6. Thank. What with the 32 ton shame capabilities of the social media world in attempts to pride emotion over reason resulted, I believe, a girls coach relieved of duty. Personally, I feel that the coach in question should be brought forth on charges for her statements about memories.

          But that doesn’t have a somewhat direct link to this, just that it seems that SJWs would rather swat a fly with a 1973 Lincoln Continental, instead of the more fun bug-a-salt gun.

        7. I thought that it was addressed. However, I would like to point out, that according to Merriam – Webster, you only used 1/2 of the definition. Please allow me: from m-w.com accessed 4/15/2015

          flip·pant. \ˈfli-pənt\ adjective
          : lacking proper respect or seriousness
          Full Definition
          1 archaic :glib, talkative
          2 :lacking proper respect or seriousness

          However, if seems that we had opposing choices in the use of the wild as defined. But if you wanted to get into the nitty gritty philosophy of what I was raised on and educated with, then I don’t believe that the Maker of the universe, solar system, sun, Earth, ecosystem, geologic history, Maker of mysteries, He who is “I am.”, would have intended for a change in the system via a solely conscious planet overwriting generic code that seems to be contradictory to His laws of nature as well as His commandment to man to go forth and be fruitful.

        8. I don’t think Ellie actually raised any questions in the comments (poor phrasing on my part). It’s just every so often people seem to start shipping Ellie & Quinn as a couple.

  3. An Enderman hoodie. How PROFOUNDLY appropriate.

    Ooh, it must have been about seven, eight years ago. I was out on this boat, you see, all alone at night, going to find a mushroom island when all of the sudden this huge creature, this giant slim black thing from the Paleolithic Era, comes out of the water. And it goes after the side of my jungle wood plank house. I turn right around and go back over there and I look it in the face and say “Curse you, monster! What are you doing to the side of my house!?” And then it looks at me and says “I’m gonna need about tree-fiddy.” And I said, “You get away from my house, Enderman! You can’t have no tree-fiddy!” And that’s when it shot to the other side of the map.

        1. As long as she doesn’t get a sidekick that looks vaguely like a gopher, I think I’m okay with that.

    1. I’m just kind of wondering where the tree fiddy comes from. And now that I looked that up, could that be referenced to the ‘Two Dollars’ from “Better off Dead” and the paperboy.

        1. Yes. I said that i looked it up, but even that had to be based on something, right. It wasn’t as if Matt& Trey were pulling this stuff out of thin air.

        2. I would say that “thin air” isn’t where most of Matt & Trey’s ideas came from. More from the southern end of their anatomy. And most likely it was a cloud of “brown” air that they pulled it from. Just saying.

        3. I remember that on South Park, but I’d also gotten the feel it was an earlier joke. Though if it is, the Internet hasn’t recorded it apparently.

          Also noticing the air date for that episode (first season I think) and noticing that someone born on that date is a week away from their 16th birthday feels weird (as in, wow I’m older than I thought).

        4. That isn’t old at all…I’m not going to say how old I are, but in simple terms…As Vader says to Luke. “I am your father”

        5. I had a very odd excuse to notice myself getting older in my early twenties. It’s all a spectrum, and the feeling is the same one I get when the person who’s fresh out of school at work has never seen or heard of The Muppet Show. Just a bit of a psychological trip/stumble feeling.

        6. NO. NO NO NO NO NO

          Not the Muppet Show…..

          Uhm, The Dukes of Hazard may… no, they made a movie update of that. How about, uhm, er, Buck Rodgers in the 25th Century?

        7. My kids love Beaker and the Swedish Chef! While it’s not on tv anymore, it’s still available on youtube (probably illegally, but there). They didn’t care for the first season when I borrowed it on disc from the library, though. It was definitely less funny than some of the later clips.

          VOTE everybody! We’ve only got 8 votes so far!

        8. If your kids had been properly exposed to and didn’t love Beaker and the Swedish Chef, that would’ve been cause for concern.

  4. And because you care, we care…waiting patiently for the next round of voting so we can thrash another opponent for you!!!

  5. They’re in the closet together and Quinn hasn’t seen Ellie naked.

    Everything I said is literally true. But subtext made you giggle. ^_^

  6. The guy that created exrin no longer run’s it Scott T. Hicken’s run’s it now or atleast he is the new storyline writer.

      1. He may or may not know who contributed. It might be a fan or one of the previous writers that may not have told him.

        1. No, he’s saying if the Exiern author lets him know that someone told him that they donated in round 2 then he can be fairly certain who he’s facing next. Not certain or anything, but not fairly high probability.

        2. The minimum number of people who know a simple fact can always increase if one of said people choose to share the knowledge with others.

  7. HAH!! Love it! Quinn’s also wearing a Minecraft hoodie. So as of right now she’s hiding info on the site regarding Ellie?

    1. I’m betting the Minecraft hoodie was given/discounted from Pumpkin.

      Or maybe Pumpkin is counting on Quinn to tell admirers to tell whee they can have one of their own because…you know…stupid sexy Quinn. :P

      1. James would probably be a great customer for Pumpkin. His enthusiasm regarding the movies seems like something that she could easily tap to get him to commission several accessories for him, assuming that he has sufficient disposable income.

        1. I think he’d take them seriously would be the problem. But seeding some advertising in Quinn’s wardrobe could pay off is all I’m saying.

      1. Five Nights at McFatFat’s. Bonnie, Chica, Freddy and Foxy are all clustered around the monitors, and throughout the night, McFatFat’s eating the cameras. By the time night five comes around, you have to switch between your views of the various characters to look down the hall and in the vents to see where McFatFat’s heading for next.

        1. Just a thought. We know that Cinn works at some kind of “Fun Time” place that has ticket producing games. Although Chucky Cheese has been invoked, so far, it has never been established that it is Cinn’s work place. But now, I wonder…

    1. She’ll appear suddenly and then Ellie, Quinn, or Ellie & Quinn will smack her saying “SHUT UP!”

      Or Danny will get his beat down and then as he becomes somewhat conscious will see that smiling frightening face…

        1. And that’s when they see Danny and Caleb in front of the monitor bank. That’s actually nifty.

  8. I suppose the question could be a few thing.

    1) what is Quinn doing on the phone. Is she looking up the crappy phone site version? Is she texting some hoodie creator? Is she trying to find the best computer freak she’s family with that won’t tell her mom?

    2)what are the site viewers seeing and or hearing?

    3) what is going on with Heather? Is she being conscripted by SkyNET to finish rendering Latin America?

    4) what is Danny boy and Caleb doing to cover their tracks? Did Vu witness the need for laundry because of the Whisk?

    5) did anyone rip that and send it to America’s Funniest Videos? What would Bob Saget think?

    1. To answer your first question, attention is on phone and thumbs look in texting position for a non-touchscreen but for a touchscreen I think she’s watching a video or more slowly going through things swipe-wise. Maybe she’s searching for McFatFat to show Ellie some movement currently in the apartment or hunting for the bedroom cam to wave her arm out and see.

      To answer your last question, based upon what I’ve heard about Bob Saget’s standup and my recollection of his contribution to The Aristocrats, I suspect whatever Bob Saget would think would be a bit too family unfriendly for this site.

        1. That’s what I figured. From what I’ve heard from some people who’ve followed his standup, though, people used to him from Full House or America’s Funniest Home Videos would be pretty shocked. I’ve only seen his bit on The Aristocrats.

    1. Ellie already found it, and told Pumpkin about a latex Catwoman suit if I recall correctly (don’t feel like logging into Patreon to hunt it down).

        1. That was answered many times before and Chris did so again this comment section: The Pumpkin story is clearly before this one.

  9. Wait, is Quinn wearing a wig under that hoodie? The hair sticking out over her face is a different color than whats around her ears, the crop of hair and her eyebrows.

        1. I think that’s intended as a lighting effect from the phone. If you look at the lighter hair by the back of her head where it goes back to shadow you see some hair there the same color as the other bits.

    1. Perhaps Quinn is considering on seeing if she can get Ian to crack a joke that she’ll take as a serious dare?

      1. Chris got tired of my incessant motions on the relevance of showing that Quinn actually bought that dress. Or it was the proper time for using it as a visual joke. Seeing as how 1/2 off could also be construed as a double etandre.

    2. I don’t take the tags off clothes until I wear them. My guess is Quinn is similar. She bought it, hung it up, but has yet to wear it, forgotten about it and has been hanging there with the tag ever since.

      1. Probably not forgotten about it. But it’s not exactly an everyday casual dress. At least not for Quinn. Clear date material for her and from what we can tell, she didn’t exactly have those by the busload lately.

  10. looking forward to what you have to release for the next match up! That stinks that a paying vote would beat the majority…damn you corporate america! As for the comic…a stormtrooper helm, 2 girls in a closet, a minecraft hoodie, and a half-off dress. All these things leaves one to wonder…where did Quinn shop to get such a fabulous deal?!

        1. Careful with your suggestions. I have seem someone already do a picture based off of Cinny comment I the toys r us parking lot.

  11. QUINN AND ELLIE, not under a tree but definitely in a CLOSET. How very much interesting. Come outta there you two.
    Also nice Endreman hoodie. I see Quinn’s been hanging out with Pumpkin a lot.

  12. Rusche – Since you prepared voting art for both options, perhaps the good stable point (i.e. line art, probably) for the losing option could be tossed on Patreon?

    1. By material, I mean ideas. I have Dresden Codak drawn, but not Exiern. So if Exiern wins, then yes. Dresden will be on Patreon. Otherwise, I have nothing additional to create.

  13. Holy freakin’ sidewinders, Ruscheman!


    In other news, not only is this the first time Ellie’s had someone yell for her to put her shirt back ON, but it’s also probably the first time she’s had a phone aimed so directly at her ample assets WITHOUT trying to capture them for all posterity. One wonders what other first this day shall hold for our ironically-closeted protagonist…

    1. So, Ellie is so clueless about her overt attractiveness that her relatives never had to yell that at her before? Outside of the convention, would it be plausible to say that Ellie didn’t flaunt her figure in public in such a risqué way so as to warrant such a statement.

      1. I think it’s been well-established that she’s quite aware of her natural charms. Heck, even before she was as well-rounded as she is now, her own mother had observed that she would probably end up “like Tarra”. So, given her incredulous remark in the last panel of the last strip, I’d wager that the threat of hair-mutilation kept her from flaunting her abiliDDDies around them.

        1. But then we also have the knowledge of the “banned slutwear,” most of which belonged to Tarragon and Anise. So, we know that Ellie has some knowledge of this behavior. We also know that Ellie is not likely to enter into behavior that would string someone along, i.e. her “I have six sisters Quinn, and I’ve seen this behavior a dozen times…” While I can agree that her choice was more geared towards booth bunny and possible continued employment, I don’t think that she adopts that attitude when going out. As we’ve seen with Danny boy at FatBoy Slim’s.

          Makes me wonder just how lazy Ellie is compared to not wanting to call extra attention towards herself at this point in time by doing anything above and beyond. Ask James how hard it is to sneak up on a person at a munchkin convention. However, I am of that size. NO. More in relation to James. Or as I contend, more as James can relate to me. :P Me so tall. But I can schlep around in the background and keep attention off of me because I don’t want to be in the limelight. I think that it was something that I learned sooo long ago. Not sure how or where. I’m of the thought that Ellie’s mental self might be more capable of sneaking her physical self off of the radar’s of others irregardless of the eyeball magnets and their inherent attraction towards others.

          I suppose it’s like how a frog finds it’s prey. Through movement. Ellie may have been able to conceal/conserve her steps to the point that she knows how to reduce the locomotive translation of walking around towards causing a reduction in movement of other aspects of her person in aspect to her steps.

        2. Hmm, I don’t think we’re actually in disagreement, but I’m drawing a blank on who James is. I don’t see such a name in the cast list, are you referring to someone who comments on this strip or is it a character that I’m forgetting?

        3. Both. James and I are in an unofficial battle of height. But since his number of separation degrees from Rusche is only one, and that doesn’t count Jessica, he is winning the battle of unofficial warfare in heights.

        4. I suspect effort minimization calculations spawned by her innate laziness came into play for such decisions. Showing off a little gets her out of work, causes agreement she might not get otherwise, makes it easy to hide in a dumb blonde stereotype, and gets things given to her for no real reason. Showing off too much can lead to the effort needed to brush off stalkers, some extra prep time perhaps, along with trouble with mom (grounding/more restrictive rules) and sisters (haircuts). So I suspect that she aims for a minimum effort level since laziness is a defining trait.

          I would also suspect that both from visiting Pumpkin at home and working with her at O’Jacks, Ashliii probably pointed her phone at Ellie’s boobs at times too with no intent to capture the image.

          @Mr. Blue – I took the comment about getting things from Tarra or Anise’s stash of banned slutwear more to that they were the ones whose clothes might fit Ellie than that the other sisters had never worn any (especially considering Juniper’s sister council title, Ginger is oldest, and Cinn has no filter and enjoys getting in trouble).

        5. Also, when we first saw Ellie, she was in a bookface selfie war with someone(s). She knows what weapons she has, and how to wield them.

        6. Definitely agree on the laziness factor, that even holds true for a number of extra-busty female friends I have IRL.

          As for the cell phone pictures thing, I *did* say “so directly aimed” to indicate that I was referring to Quinn’s being less than a hand’s breadth from them. IMO that’s a bit different than getting caught in the frame with non-related subject matter. Of course, now I’m picturing Ashliii using Ellie’s rack to steady her camera for a shot of something else so… uh… I’ve kinda lost my train of thought.

        7. I guess I was just remembering the comic Success (21 Dec 2012).

          Now granted, Ellie can move out of the way more easily than the wall.

        8. Success Reprised:
          Ashliii bounces off Tarra, Ellie, and Pumpkin before finally stumbling past? :D

        9. Certainly would be more comfortable than the wall. What with a certain amount of, ah, “deformable zone” there. ;)

        10. How comfortable that would be might depend on Tarra’s reaction. I suspect Ellie and Pumpkin would be fairly benign, but I’m not quite certain regarding Tarra.

    1. I was only able to vote for one choice. Not the two that was implied by the poll taker. What will the boatman say. I actually have two different shiny national park quarters.

      1. I also found that I could only pick one, not two. I was something like forth to vote, so I figured there was a glitch somewhere.

  14. Do I spy a Storm Trooper helmet? Stupid Sexy Quinn just how much a nerd are you? You need more development! Anyway can’t wait to see how the girls decide to move from here on out. i want to see some ass kicking. Anyway one downside of comic becoming more popular so many comments to read through now! Oh, well gives me more input to think over I suppose!

      1. Y’know I was totally buying it until the heavy breathing. Good job Rusche I’m now checking my house for cameras! Though I haven’t let any newly met people inside so I should be ok. But better safe then sorry, especially since the UPS guy seemed a little odd today…

    1. He hasn’t gone through the icon roulette yet? By the way, I like how your icon graphic really matches up with your photo. That and the hat, what is it?

      1. James makes his profile pics from pictures of his character in the comic.

        The hat is an actual hat I wear. It’s just my thing. It’s not from anything.

      1. So, Princess Vespa, at last I have you in my clutches, to have my way with you, the way I want to.
        No, no, please leave me alone!
        No, you are mine!
        Not so fast, Helmet!
        Lone Starr!
        Yes, its me. I’m here to save my girlfriend. Hi, honey.
        Now you are going to die! Pfffsh!
        Oh, oh… OH!
        Hey, what did you do to my friend?
        The same thing I’m going to do to you, big boy!
        OH! OH!
        And you too!
        Owww! Ah!
        Now Princess Vespa, at last we are alone.
        Oh, oh, I hate you I hate you I hate you leave me alone! – yet, I find you strangely attractive.
        Of course you do. Druish princesses are often attracted to money, and power, and I have BOTH, and YOU KNOW IT!
        Oh, oh, leave me alone!
        No, kiss me!
        Oh, oh, no, yes, no, NO, yes, ah, ah, ah ahhhhh… oh, your helmet is so big…

        1. Truly, da Schwartz was wit everyone dat commented in da Shotgun Shuffle commentary tracks. Now someone get marketing on da horn! I got a great idea involving dat blonde and a metal bikini! We won’t be able ta do it until da third film, but when we do, it’s gonna be a blockbuster!

  15. I love this comic so much. I’m so happy it’s back on a regular update schedule. It feels like a large portion of my life has calmed down because of that. Is that weird?

    1. No. I can understand that. Perhaps it’s a sign of a good webcomic, you feel better when it’s around for you to read it. Kind of the opposite of finishing a good book. You feel like you lost a friend when you put it down after the last page.

  16. So I voted for the next Patreon storylines, and my choices started out being ranked 4th & 5th, then after more votes came in they became 3rd and 6th, and now they are up to 2nd and 6th.


    1. How did you get two choices? I only got one because of the radio buttons. Check boxes are for multiple choices, radio buttons are for A, B, C, D, E (All of the above) or F (None of the above).

  17. And still no round 3 at Comicmix. This is distressing. I want to vote and vote and vote and vote and vote. All I can do is wait and wait and wait and wait and wait.

    1. I haven’t looked at authors twitter feed to gauge time spent. Maybe he’s writing up a thing about the use of a patrol car in the takedown of a suspect.

  18. Update noted…take your time…when it’s good enough for you, it’s good enough for us. Don’t do a George Lucas on us and go back and edit your old work (or new work) “because the technology available at the time didn’t allow me to put out what I truly envisioned”. Stick with the Blizzard developers creed…”Done when it’s done.”

  19. So….did McFatFat eat the smoke detector, or just the camera?
    Also, odds are, Quinn is probably texting Ashlii. If she shows the site to Ellie, then Ellie might notice the affiliation with the site she advertised for, and connect the dots.

    1. Hmmm, I wonder if Pumpkin will try to introduce Quinn to Ashliii & Bubbles. I could see that going either way.

      Danny had some very obvious oversights, but he did also have plans to avoid problems. I would expect he wouldn’t have obvious ties on this site back to the old one. I doubt Ellie would do a whois (even if Danny didn’t register anonymously), and even if she thought to do an nslookup and compare with Danny’s site, that would require the suspicion to do the comparison.

      My guesses for Quinn’s phone activity (in order) are:
      1) Bringing something up to show Ellie
      2) Texting Ian and asking him to get Richard looking into tracking it down
      3) Emailing her dad asking assistance
      4) Texting Pumpkin asking assistance

      1. My guess would be, she’s still following the side on it. Probably didn’t want to lug around the laptop. It is rather uncomfortable using one standing up without a place to place it on after all.

    2. Quinn to Ashliii? Not sure how big a connection there would be between the two. Or why she should be texting her at this point.

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