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The Getaway

And now we know Tarra's one fear: a pissed Ginger.

185 thoughts on “The Getaway

  1. And yet, they are still a bit under par for violence during one of these sale days. They didn’t kill anyone over their toys, that we know of, at least.

      1. Two seconds to take it from a corpse’s hands. That seems pretty specific. Also, a “RED DAWN” play from the original.

        I mean, what shopper would be running around, “you can take these lego sets when you can pry them out of my cold dead hands

        I mean, if Rigor Mortis has set in, and ten hours to attempt to collect the shopping stuff from the first opening of the doors to the roof top rescue that would have made FEMA jealous from Katrina et al., The Revengencers (I hope that none of them cosplay as Mrs. Peel) must have done something in an attempt to tarnish the reputation of Mr. Redhead.

        And what with the constant battle going on seemingly from the ninth hour and on…. ratchantulas in the main Lakeland Square Shopping Center area would lead to more of a containment protocol rather than rescue attempts for the most part. So, people would have died, especially with the property damage shown when Ell– Mr. Lavender and Mr. Not Mine walked into the toy store.

        1. I am Mr. Blue, and I believe that the Blind Guy is correctly referred to as Mr. Stephens. Also, for these general posts, I am letting the avatar roulette make the choice for me, as to Mr. Blue’s icon, along with the other iterations I generally use.

          Mr. Blue may return for the next holiday shopping period, or if they have to go and rescue Juniper on March 17th. But, Mr. Blue needs to wait until they end up leaving Denny’s to partially retire the moniker. The avatar may change at Rusche-will.

      2. Ginger wasn’t specific about the corpse, but she did berate them for not making it past the hoverboard, so presumably since the corpse possessed Legos, neither Tarra nor Pumpkin’s had previously been near enough to the scene to cause the corpse or rob its toys before Ginger got there.

        1. What can I say, I’m good at talking about corpses.

          Doesn’t come in handy as often as you might think, though.

    1. yep. 1) stupid stores not planning for mass mayhem. 2) stupid people for not stopping mass mayhem. 3) stupid individuals not allowing for civilized behavior. 4) stupid stores for not controlling shoppers once on the premises.

      You really think people could have learned from a Pink Floyd video that behavior supposedly taught in school to help control traffic patterns of pedestrians could have prevented some of those deaths.

    1. I’m leaning towards fear of Ginger. Terra has the title “the longest for the longest” re: her hair, but I’m willing to bet that if anyone, it was Ginger that was able to cut it before.

      1. Any mother who has wrangled a child would know how to fight dirty, and since she’s had to wrangle several, plus is the oldest (barring unknown sisters), I have little doubt Ginger could shave Tarra’s head before Tarra was able to defend herself.

      2. She’s might be more afraid of Ginger at the moment because she’s right there but if any of us say we aren’t afraid of mom it’s a lie. Even Tarra.

        1. Since their mother can’t physically open a can of whoop ass on the girls, outside of a slap and Ginger can get away with it for being closer in age and explain it off to where it won’t be child abuse (can that really be applied at any age?). I think that it’d be safe to be more afraid of the butt whooping from a sibling, rather than being afraid of your parents, “I brought you into this world, and I cant take you out. I’ll just make another one that looks just like you.

        2. Mr. Blue, props for the Cosby line :)

          Or at least, a line I recognize from a Cosby bit, others may have said it as well, lol.

      3. In the comic Tarragon, Ellie’s statement was that all of them had revenge haircuttings except Tarra. That suggests someone got Ginger and no one got Tarra in Ellie’s memory.

      1. Absolutely. Ellie knows enough to adopt the “just along for the ride” stance here and try to nonverbally remind Ginger that it was her idea for Ellie to be there at all so she’s just a spectator.

  2. But, wait a second, that means…but, that means Terra FAILED at something, that she ISNT perfect!? Is that even possible? o.O

    1. No. She succeeded in learning to fail, and how to recover from having failed. This is a lesson beyond price, and mastery of these skills is mandatory for anyone who would seek perfection.

    2. I wouldn’t say failed, necessarily. She got the hoverboard, and did so without killing anyone. She had to assimilate pumpkin to protect her. If she wasn’t waited down, she would have had it and more within the time limit, but she had to think of the safety of her sister and those around her. It was a very complex situation.

    3. Tarra couldn’t get this because Pumpkin was with her. If Pumpkin wasn’t there, Tarra would have had no one to protect, and just put all of them in a wheelchair.

    4. Aside from agreeing about protecting Pumpkin, I’d posit that Tarra’s perfection does have room to allow for her getting carried away sometimes. She is, supposedly, still human.

      Not that that’s been proven by science, as she’s resistant to Xrays, MRIs, and ultrasounds, so they’re really just taking her word for it.

      1. Nor did I. It just didn’t make any sense to me. It’s not like “fused” people would have *~two~* sets of vocal cords… so why would they have two voices?

    1. That might not be inherited. I think some ability with that is achieved during either childbirth or sometime raising the kid. She’s just refined it enough to use on her sisters too (helps being oldest for that).

      1. Coz said that the look emanates from childbirth. Along with, YOU DID THIS TO ME!!!!.

        And on the next contraction, she proceeded to tell everyone in the delivery room that my parents were never married.

      2. I can attest to that about being the oldest. Being the oldest of several, with parents getting increasingly lax on the younger children and just having more to deal with in general, definitely lends itself to a sort of “Third Parent Syndrome.”

  3. Ginger not being exactly fair here…there was a LOT of resistance to get that hoverboard. The League of Revengencers, the sheer force of the crowd, and nerds…nerds everywhere.

    1. She’s a full-time mother to small boys. Ignoring extenuating circumstances and punishing based upon results is a required career skill for her (not to say she always has to use it, but she does always have to be ready to pull it out).

    1. She’s probably my favorite character once it’s said and done and all the stories are over. Ending-wise, she’s more important than any of the other characters on the cast page.

        1. [excited] Is she going to dual-wield!? [/excited]

          I’m just remembering you said she’d father into Erf’s atmosphere than Tarra, though in more subtle ways.

        2. I used to love HDP. It had a nice way of crossing the line, then crossing it again, and again… and once more for good measure…

          In the interest of proving to the court that HDP has earned its place in the pantheon of things you feel guilty for laughing at the prosecution would like to present to the court, exhibit #115 “Baby Armor.” http://www.hookiedookiepanic.com/comic.php?ID=115 The prosecution believes this evidence stands on its own, no further questions. Move to end trial and waiving closing comments. Thank you ladies and gentlemen of the jury for your time.

        3. my eyes. my eyes have been tainted from the internet. i must rinse my eyes with alcohol. i feel dirty, oh so dirty. oh so dirty and filth-ayyyy

        4. Nice. I like the concept of baby armor. It’s a very creative solution to the problem.

          To the grandparent, I also agree that avoiding picking a fight with someone who has glowing eyes sounds like a best practice to me and I think I’ll try to stick with that in my personal life.

        5. A comic that always comes to mind for me on line crossing is right around a year old now, as it was made to be helpful advice for guys for Valentine’s Day last year:


          Make sure to read the mouseover, though as that’s what really makes me laugh most every single damn time. I keep picturing some guy reading it and going, “Ok, that’ll be difficult but I think I can manage that … wait … What! … That’s out too!? Damnit! … [sigh] … I’ve got nothin’.”

    2. Holy crap, I’ve been gone a long time! That IS very interesting…

      I really wish I’d been keeping up with this comic like I used to, but since I’m going to college full time, and keeping a fulltime job, I just don’t have a lot of free time anymore. I feel like I’ve lost out on a lot of cool fan speculation and Rusche clarifications.

      1. I probably shouldn’t ask right now (you’ll probably show it to us in the future) but who is the final sister? What is that image below her? A bundle of dynamite?

  4. Wait, is that an Atlantis (the Disney movie) reference? If so you get mad props, Vinnie was my favorite character and I still refer to the four basic food groups as “Beans, bacon, whisky and lard.” That was an underated movie.

    1. I liked Atlantis too. Atlantis and Treasure Planet were both great attempts by Disney to do something different, that unfortunately failed. I think Treasure Planet and Home on the Range double-handedly destroyed Disney doing 2D until the Princess and the Frog came out. And then they went right back to 3D cause it look “prettier” and makes more money. I love 2D. Well done 2D beats 3D any day.

      Atlantis also had excellent voice acting.

      1. Also, making the Princess and the Frog in 2D after a mulitple-year hiatus only to shutter the 2D process again for the company… kinda telling Disney.

      2. Man… I LOVED Treasure Planet! I really wished that movie had done better. I really liked Jim’s character, and his theme. His theme song and the actual scene in the movie were very powerful and they were even a little touching.

        Home on the Range wasn’t all too great, but it didn’t deserve the flak it got. Same thing for Atlantis. Atlantis was a great attempt at trying something new. It had a unique art style (the creator of Hellboy did the character concept drawings) and they even created an entire language for the movie. It’s a shame it failed the way it did, but it seemed to lack that special *oomph* that a lot of Disney classics had. But it DID have James Garner- and as a bad guy no less!

        1. Hmmm, “The one who gets her ass stuck” has a certain ring to it. I wonder if that’ll be brought up for her Sister Council title. It’d at least be a better interim title than her current one.

        2. Wouldn’t it have to be something like, “The Ass Stuck One” or something like that, in order to keep the one thing in line with the others?

        3. That title could go so horribly wrong so quickly.

          “The one who keeps putting her ass in things.”

          “The one who can’t sit down comfortably.”

          “The one with no butt to speak of.”

          “The one Sir Mix-A-Lot passed on.”

        4. I hate to be the one to point this out to an esteemed rap legend such as yourself but whether or not her booty is to your liking shouldn’t even be a factor considering she is underage.

        5. Avoiding things that could go so horribly wrong so quickly misses a lot of beautiful things in life. Embrace them! Or better yet, talk someone else into embracing them and observe.

        6. I was going for symmetry with Ginger’s title since she’s the youngest. Bother are “The One …” as opposed to “The _____ One”

          At least, that’s my convenient rationalization after the fact for what I chose as my statement yesterday.

  5. Wait, ten hours? What time did they get there? I thought it was sunset a few strips back when Ginger called Ellie, but it’s sunrise instead?

    …now I’m trying to pace out how long each activity took and what time they started shopping.

    It’s also refreshing to see Tarra not looking her usual smug or angry. It helps her be a bit more human. I also thought Pumpkin’s hat was still missing, I guess it’s just pulled back instead.

    1. The shopping excursion began Thanksgiving evening. Santa’s appearance was approximately midnight (the start of Black Friday) and it is now approaching dawn. Ginger is pissed because it has taken Pumpkin and Tarragon all night to accomplish exactly nothing and they are going to be late for their breakfast appointment.

    2. Yeah, thinking back now it makes sense…but man, ten hours? I had figured maybe two or three, at most four. The last time i remember we saw the time was on a broken watch, and for all we know she keeps it to North Pole time.

      1. I’d thought shorter time too, but realistically considering time it would’ve taken for Ellie and Ginger to both get through lines in several stores, 10 hours makes a lot more sense.

        1. So, if we have Thanksgiving dinner at 6:00. Have an hour for eats because of Anise. 7:00 meeting/roll call. 7:30 Be safe out there. 7:45 units roll out of the police garage to Mike Post music. 7:50 Mr. Grey drops off Mr. Lavender and Mr. Not Mine at Kohl’s.

          Nah. take two hours off, and have the stores open at 6:00 for the door busters. That’d make a 5:00 after dinner meeting. 6 @ Kohl’s, and four hours plus to Anise’s borken watch.

          Scenario A: Shopping at 8 p.m. -> add ten hours -> Pumpagon and Ell- Mr. Lavender rescued from the borken roof at 6 a.m.

          Scenario B: Shopping at 6 p.m. -> add ten hours -> Mr. Grey floors everyone glare stare at 4 a.m.

          Both scenarios have not had an hour removed for over estimation by anger from start of dinner to the glare stare.

        2. Based on an Internet search, if that was last year’s Black Friday, sunrise would’ve been around 7 AM, and presumably wouldn’t be more than 15 minutes off most years. So that’d put shopping start at around 9 PM on Thanksgiving Day.

          Granted, if there’s a reason it matters to the story to be different, then it’ll be different.

    1. If Mr. Blue had to hazard a guess about the blue hoverboard, it’d be between Ell– Mr. Lavender’s knees. She did have hold of it in the previous episode of SHOTGUNSHUFFLE dot com.

      1. Greed that’s quite possible, though considering Ginger’s mood I could also see her demanding Ellie hand it to her so she wouldn’t have to trust any of her sisters and Ellie certainly would’ve complied on that.

        Also I thought it was the green one.

        1. Since they have a pink one in their possession too, if your Aunt Pumpkin has good style, she’ll wrap both and label them both ‘P’ and put the pink one closer to where you’ll find it first and hide the blue one where you won’t so you’ll get the experience of thinking you got the pink one.

          I was named after my grandpa and I still remember the Christmas when I was 5 or 6 where I opened a gigantic pair of denim overalls and was REALLY upset about that gift.

        2. Oh damn. You got played. That had to have been about as bad as the guy who told the Blue Santa that he only wanted socks and underwear for Christmas.

          Westjet I believe. I love that video. If I ever flew, I’d take them. But then I’d need a damn passport. I wonder what they’re going to pull for April Fools this year.

        3. I think it was an accident. Not that all the males in my family (and some of the females) didn’t get a good laugh about it. Which, I have to say, I 100% approve of.

  6. Just by way of a general update, anyone got any idea right now where we are vis-a-vis that listing we got back in “Pumpkin Chunkin”? Some of the titles have been changed since so I’m a bit off kilter as far as the map goes. Up shot, it looks like we should be a week or two out from Sister X, which should be exciting.

    1. It’s been shifting around a bit. Some strips have combined, plus I have a vote coming up with two possible outcomes. One outcome is quicker than the others. We’re more of less looking like this:

      246-Gold Dust Woman
      247-Final Assault
      248-Only I didn’t Say Fudge..
      249-Hard Feelings
      250-The Lazy One
      -Vote Reaction 1-
      252-Sister X
      254-On Your Own Time
      255-The 9th Sister

      256-Out of Season
      257-Last Resorts
      259-See You Space Cowboy..

      -Vote Reaction 2-
      252-Sister X
      257-On Your Own Time
      258-The 9th Sister

      259-Out of Season
      260-Last Resorts
      262-See You Space Cowboy..

  7. Is it me, or does it seem that via Pumpagon, Tarra and Pumpkin had the same expression upon the effects wearing off that seemed to suggest that they were both afraid of having their respective asses kicked by Ginger?

    1. Also, has anyone noticed a significant lag time with the current page loading? IT MEANS THAT WE IS GETTING SWAMPED!!!!

      That, or the terrorists have taken over the T0 lines from Lincoln to the ocean. MOVE OUT!!

  8. Ginger is officially the master sister. Even Tarra is cowed by her anger. After all, wouldn’t you fear a woman willing to pry a toy from a corpses hands with the intent to present it to one of her children as a Christmas gift? The woman is metal. Not mental. Metal.

    Also, the resemblance between Tarra, Pumpkin, and Ellie is freakish. Ellie’s hair is a shade or two more yellow, but the eyes are pretty dead on.

    1. They’re the most similar with color scheme. I group those three together with Cinnamon in the facial-similarity department as well. Juniper and Ginger are similar to one another with those aspects. I didn’t fret too much over the sisters looking too much like each other since they’re, well, sisters.

      1. Now I’m all curious about Ginger’s real hair color. You mentioned in her first bio that it’s a dye job. Was it originally dirty blonde like Juniper’s?

    2. If they were comfortable about lack of legal consequences (or social if they thought they’d know people around), I think you’d find a lot of mothers willing to pry a toy from a corpse’s hands during Black Friday shopping.

        1. I worked at a Toys R Us the holiday season that Tickle Me Elmo came out on the market.

          Black Friday was one of the days that my manager was thrilled over the fact that my night job was as a bouncer. :-)

          (- Ahhh, those were the days. When I still had the energy to be doing a full courseload in college, worked Toys R Us fulltime AND worked 4-5 nights as a bouncer to boot … in a county were 4am was last call. -)

        2. Haven’t seen that one, but now that you mention it, Elmo should absolutely be introduced to Flourine gas (http://www.lateralscience.co.uk/Fluorine/Fluorine.html) or better yet, Dioxygen Diflouride (http://pipeline.corante.com/archives/2010/02/23/things_i_wont_work_with_dioxygen_difluoride.php – which, in case you aren’t familiar, will apparently make ice catch fire anywhere warmer than -300°F).

          In case you’re wondering, I first heard about these compounds at http://what-if.xkcd.com/40/ (this one, if I recall correctly, was coincidentally enough not long before the Boston Marathon bombing).

  9. Yeah, Anise’s bio mentioned her hair is dyed too.

    I think this makes Cinnamon the odd duck out, given it seems she’s the only one with naturally dark hair like her mother’s. It’s hard to pick out if the girl’s inherited their blonde hair and maybe eye color from their father since he’s bald and you can’t see his eyes, but I think we can get away with assuming it’s coming from his side of the family.

    1. My old cat. He’s gone now, disappeared but hopefully still alive. I made my email when I was like 12 and I will probably be still using it when I’m old and grey.

      1. It sounded like the title of a webcomic. I actually Googled it since there are other cartoonists who read my comic but don’t tell me (cause I could link to them if they wanted.) So, in the end I was disappointed to learn, it was not.

    2. Anise could be naturally dark haired. She’s listed as dyed platinum blonde, so she could’ve bleached it from black to that. I don’t recall that we heard what her natural color is.

      1. Black is a pretty awesome goth color, so I am more inclined to think she could be naturally some shade of blonde like her sisters.

        1. Agreed black is a good goth color, but it was also pointed out that Anise’s hair matched Santa’s beard, so she could have other reasons to prefer it. With her normal clothing choices the platinum blonde works pretty well too, and in my opinion makes a better look than black would.

          Note that while I say this, I expect that Rusche’s idea is for it to be naturally match Juniper & Ginger’s natural colors.

  10. So…

    Everyday, I come into my office, sit down, log in to my pc, drink some coffee and check out my list of webcomics. I’ve been following this comic just short of the start, and I have to say the amount of comics where I get lost from one panel to another increases exponentially.

    I enjoy the art, but I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve not understood what is going on just within a single comic. There is no significant display of action between panels. RE: Panel 2 above and Panel 4 above. Why are there 2 different sisters there in Panel 4 from Panel 2?

    I do understand overall story arch, but it would be nice for a bit more direct action being visible or at least explained. Lately, I find myself not caring about what’s happening and just looking at the art when I ‘read’ this comic.

    Just a suggestion/request.

    1. Brandon, thank you for the comment, and compliment on the art. The good and the bad of Shotgun Shuffle may be that I give my readers ALOT of credit in being able to figure out what’s happening without everything being specifically shown. It also requires a dedicated readership investment into the story long-term, versus passive or sporadic reading. You’ve said you read it short of the start. Good, I’m glad. Your comment is the opposite of many I get that the comic moves too slow. Your’s is that it’s too fast. I’ve read plenty of comics in the past that have a small condensed storyline, which can end within two weeks or a month. One thought or idea is conveyed to drive the story. Maybe add a cameo of additional cast to get the point across.. but it’s all pretty simple, with little to no impact on future stories. I’ve also read comics where a time frame of “one day” took the artist 4 years to draw/tell in real time. This particular story is taking just shy of 4 months to explain 18 hours of time in Shotgun Shuffle Land.
      I have to strike a happy medium.

      So if I’m going to completely break down a comic and/or why it is the way it is (just for example of my planning.) it would be the following:
      Panel One: Ginger gives third degree to Tarra for not accomplishing her shopping task, when she’s more than capable. (Which Tarra is fused with Pumpkin to form Pumpagon. Ginger is speaking to her as if Tarra is in there somewhere, and she really doesn’t care to figure out what Tarra has done, or what it entails.) Establish time frame. Compare how Ginger already did some of Tarra’s job for her. Show Ginger driving, with Ellie and Pumpagon being towed via the playhouse roof.
      Panel Two: Pumpagon corrects an already enraged Ginger with some “In case you didn’t know..” line.
      Panel Three: Ginger retorts with a threat that her sister’s fusion better wear off or she’s going to have hell to pay
      Panel Four: The gag. Fusion does infact wear off. The fused sister is once again shown as two individual sisters as if the mere fear of the eldest sister has caused this to occur. This joke is lost with timing if I’m going to add a panel of them separating, and in my comic form, would probably look fairly odd.

      Timing is also the same reason I didn’t show them fuse initially. We also don’t see Tarra actually hurt anyone. We don’t see a Ratchantula melt anyone’s face, etc. It’s implied to have happened. Implying is essential to not getting bogged down in the minutia of everyday actions that require hours to draw, color and nit pick over. That’s not laziness speaking, but rather displaying the story in a way I can convey as many ideas as possible in the shortest amount of time, and not create a huge mess. I will say, yes: some assembly required. Much of what happens in the story IS IN FACT left to the reader to interpret or speculate on. On purpose. I could’ve drawn extra panels to show Ginger telling Junpier to give her the power chair, drive it past Quinn standing outside, a panel of her getting the My First Lasso off a shelf, and so on. But you and everyone else here is smart enough to get that happened without me drawing it. It also keeps the story on track to be finished at some point in the near future.

      You don’t have to be familiar with Dragonball Z to get the fusion dance gag of Pumpkin and Tarragon. Tarragon has established her life borders on the absurd, so now, for some reason, she’s merged with another sister to form a super-sister. Why not? Her character and what surrounds it is already ridiculous. Ginger knows this, and doesn’t have time for it. It works for me. And even to the layman. I’ve seen plenty of shows and movies where parodies are done and I’m not familiar with the source material. I just look for why the parody is there. The last game system I owned was a PS2. Last game I played was MGS3 Snake Eater. I have not played any new game since like, 10 years ago? So you trying to understand this would be the same with me trying to understand Penny Arcade. I read it, have no earthly idea what they are talking about, but I look for what they’re conveying regardless. The meaning of the strip isn’t always what the game, system, or company they’re referring to is about.

      Now, you’re saying that yes, in fact, it is a huge mess. That’s okay in a way. It’s a huge mess to Ginger. To her, everyone is screwing around and not simply standing in line to buy presents for Christmas. Why can’t her sisters stop being obnoxious for once and do what they’re told? She’s at her wit’s end, which is what drives us out of the remaining story.

      The full and overblown example of everything I wanted to convey in this story would be the following: I have to get through every sister acting their given role. Lazy, Dumb, Weird, etc. Fighting with each other and pushing their flaws. Ellie’s working at several jobs, but none of them full time or with any security. Quinn’s mom not spending Thanksgiving with her (more establishing they don’t get along.) Dad is overseas (drives home he is gone a lot.) Reiterate the Juniper stole Quinn’s boyfriend in high school, resulted in a pregnancy, and that this was not a great time in the Buckingham household. Establish the sister hierarchy. Show their dad and Ginger’s husband. Show the dad’s job. Show Eagan and Mr Stevens so the reader knows they’re still relevant to the ongoing story. Show Quinn and Ellie tolerate each other enough to somewhat qualify as ‘friends.’ Show the iNimbus still exists but ‘slightly-used.’ Infer that Juniper is broke and likes photography. Show that one of Ginger’s kids is actually Juniper’s child that she adopted. Show which one. Suggest how this affects Juniper. There’s also a comic-ending element in this story I buried in a passing thought which is Juniper taking an interest in photography. Juniper isn’t a strip-ending character, but that fact that she likes taking pictures is critical to the ending of this comic.

      And that’s just what affects future stories. All in all, it’s to establish a slow bond between Quinn and Ellie to get them through the next storyline. And that’s the part you said you get. Good. That’s honestly all that matters. Things like those I listed are the reason writing-long like I do can hurt garnering quick readership, or frustrating others. I have to move through a lot of information quickly or we’ll never get through it. But I’ve said before, the next story is very linear. If you’re disliking this, it’s straight forward and a bit less fanatical. =)

      1. Thank you for your lengthy explanation and patience with a reader such as myself.

        I will take all that you have said into account. Also, your explanation does provide some insight into not just this comic, but the past 3-4.

    2. Okay… it’s not that hard really, to see what’s happening here. In the previous comic, Tarra and Pumpkin fused together (Ala the “Fusion Dance” from Dragon Ball Z, in which two characters become one, and their power grows as a result).

      In this comic, an enraged Ginger, takes charge and yells at Tarra and Pumpkin (now known as “Pumpagon”) during the first panel. Specifically Tarra, because she should know better.

      In the next panel, Pumpagon foolishly informs Ginger that she is “Pumpagon” right now.

      In the third panel she comments on how angry their mother (Rosemary) will be if this “fusion” doesn’t wear off. Basically a “I don’t CARE what you call yourself, YOU BETTER FIX THIS!”.

      In the final panel, the fusion wears off, and Pumpagon splits back into Tarra and Pumpkin.

      It’s really not that hard to follow, if you have a cursory knowledge of Dragon Ball Z… or if you paid attention to the last couple of comics, where it’s explained.

      1. Less explained in the comics and moreso in the comments though. Which many readers probably don’t read. So if you don’t and haven’t really got any knowledge of DBZ, you can easily get pretty lost there.

        Not that needing some specific knowledge every now and then would be a new thing for any kind of culture product. Especially not for comics. And least of all for webcomics.

        1. I know nothing about Dragon Ball Z, but I do read the comments (or at least post random gibberish in reply in the comments). I can see that it wasn’t spelled out as well in-comic, but I do think that the name of the comic ‘Fusion Dance’ along with Ellie telling Ginger that they ‘combined their powers’ and then the not-quite-Tarra-or-Pumpkin character shouted out that she was Pumpagon did give enough hints to infer what’s meant. Not solid enough for something important to have no mistakes, but sufficient for entertainment where a guess wrong doesn’t really matter much.

        2. Exactly. I only do a parody if the reader can figure out enough without seeing the actual source material. Hell, I’ve never even seen any of the DBZ fusion episodes. I had a job at 16 when those aired on TV. I just know enough about them.
          As long as layman readers go “Omg wtf did these stupid sisters do now!?” when they see Pumpagon, it works.

        3. If I have not said this yet, you are one hell of a story teller. Subtlety and layers upon layers.

          James may blacklist me for saying this, but hell with DBZ, I want to see this as an animation. Hell, as a live action spectacular by Dreamworks. But alas, I am a borken individual. I felt sad at the end of your explanation about Juni and her boy.

    3. As another note, if something’s confusing if you toss in a comment asking what’s going on, people will explain. It’s not uncommon someone does that.

      You don’t need to read all the comments, just remember your avatar and scroll through looking for it and just read the replies. If you happen to have a common avatar (I think the one you’ve got has at least two other regular posters that have it), if you don’t have an e-mail then tweaking the characters in your name will result in different avatars. See comments prior to Black Friday for comments by someone named Pat with various alterations. Find in page from your browser could also work, though I personally find less fun/satisfying.

    4. I’ve run into the same thing, usually with a joke or reference I missed. For instance, I have no idea what the Disney reference is, or the Kung Pow reference from before. Does it detract from the comic? Hard to say.

      I don’t expect every comic to be the BEST ONE EVAR, so I just have to judge based on what I see. In regards to Pumpagon, I watched the first season of DBZ and then abandoned ship, and I hadn’t seen the bio listed before (or I did, forgot, and can’t find it again), so the whole fusion dance bit threw me for a loop, but the comments did help. I guess it just might help if those bios were dug out and added to the cast page, but I assume they’re on the wiki.

      For the most part, though, the art and other jokes are enough to get me through any strip without hiccups, and I rather agree with Rusche regarding pacing. I know a lot of webcomics that got bogged down in details and either had to stretch stories to half a year or relied on a ridiculous amount of dialogue to catch people up. In this case, even having never seen the fusion dance, I was able to follow based on the description of “combined their powers” and the two possible names to figure out that they merged, and the fact they split again after an angry comment doesn’t make me want to see the split, I just know it happened and happened quickly out of fear, and that’s enough.

      Then again, I lost track of how long they were shopping, but that might be me instead of the pacing. I got thrown by not seeing the resolution to “who bought the Blu-Ray player, as well, but I’m still enjoying the ride enough to stick around.

      1. Bios are in comic Odds Are, dated 11 Sept 2013. It’s linked in the wiki in a few places (I think the Buckingham Sisters category description is one). A lot of what’s in the bios shows up in sister descriptions, but it’s generally reworded and might not include everything.

        I’ve looked the bios up enough that I didn’t even have to open the archive page or click through to remember that.

        1. Okay, Eric just got my curiosity up. What do the readers think the best strip would be right now? I’d have to think a bit on this. Sorry Chris, I give you an A+ overall, but I haven’t paired anything down to which strip should get a golden spider web award yet. (I’m claiming that.)

          I mean, I’d have to go back, judge the art, easter eggs, writing, character portrayals, interaction and such. I’m sure that there are several “Alls well that Roswell” in here. Maybe we can do that for you for 2/14.

        2. You’re going to have to wait a few years to judge easter eggs. No telling how far back things in the final comic might be referenced or odds and ends put in for Rusche’s amusement that he decides to later share (like Index Man keychain).

        3. I think that with the easter egss, it’d be more like the storyteller telling the listener/readers where he’s going to go, before he tells them that he’s going to take them there. And then they’re all distracted by what’s going on now to know that he’s actually tied them up, all hog style rodeo type and dropped their bums on a trussed up truck and hauled them through Atlanta during rush hour just to use the HOV lanes and then get there an hour later.

  11. Well, it seems that the observation about the seven deadly sins seems to have some weight. But instead of the seven sisters being defined by the sins, they seem to be just a flaw that each of them has. There is far more to their characters than that and the quality of character of the sister involved seems to be proportionate to how much more depth they have beyond the weakness. Cool interplay between concept and character development!

  12. I’m curious about the Tarra – Ginger dynamic in general now. I see Tarra’s reactions here as having a few potential likely causes (not necessarily mutually exclusive causes).

    1) Ginger does indeed intimidate Tarra.
    2) Rosemary intimidates Tarra.
    3) Tarra feels that Ginger is right and feels bad due to that.
    4) Tarra feels protective/sympathetic to Ginger and doesn’t like stressing her.
    5) Tarra feels protective/sympathetic to Rosemary and doesn’t like causing her problems.

    For number 1, that’d seem to suggest that maybe Ginger relinquished the Perfect One title to start a family or maybe just that she did a great job of asserting dominance at a young age (though it seems boys are more likely to do that, and have it last through puberty, than girls). Number 2 is an established trope and generally accepted without further explanation as just a facet of the family’s dynamic.

    Now I’m leaning more towards 3, 4, & 5 as being the components of her reasoning and 1 & 2 being and more startled than intimidated. Partially because I think Tarra’s a force of nature and not likely to be intimidated by anyone, though she is likely to care for people and not want to cause distress.

    Granted, I have a few examples in mind of people who wouldn’t be intimidated but would feel they were in the wrong and concerned about stressing other people, so perhaps that’s clouding my judgement.

    1. “I expected more from you (the Perfect One)” says it all. She let Ginger down, therefore herself.

      Tarra’s also coined “The Perfect One” in reference to what their parent’s think. Ginger’s life is secure and she’s responsible. But Tarra has really suceeded in surpassing expectations and probably the child the parents brag about to friends. So just imagine the younger girls rolling their eyes when their folks go on and on to the neighbors about Tarra’s latest accomplishments, or give them a tour of her trophy room.

      1. Makes sense and thanks for the explanation. Internally not meeting what she feels she should is the thing that I would expect to leave Tarra cowed, so that fits with my general sense if slightly different than I’d thought for specifics.

        Title reference is good/interesting seeing confirmed too. It fits well as Tarra isn’t particularly arrogant, so it would’ve been a bit jarring for her to actually consider herself perfect. I mean, she does walk into things with the expectation that she’ll kick ass, but that seems more like wisely playing the odds than conceit, so I don’t think that to qualifies as arrogance.

    2. My expepience after 40 years of raising women (only five but still a basis for opinion):
      1: The younger sisters are intimadated by the eldest, dispite greater economic/personal success;
      2: The eldest is a mom in the absense of mom, especially after she becomes a mom.
      3: The youngest is pemitted a lot more than the elders;
      4: The middles are frequentlu prone to great differences from the eldest AND the youngest….
      Looks like you’ve nailed it so far Mr. R!

  13. I just had a wild thought. Tarra is the only one who can perform the fusion dance. What if Sister X was such a bad apple that she had to be “absorbed” by Tarra via fusion dance and the fusing with Pumpkin and Ginger’s subsequent verbal lashing weakens her hold on X, thus creating another split and freeing her? Or what if Tarra learned the fusion dance specfically to contain her? I need twilight zone music over here lol

    1. Speaking of Tarra and “Sister X” I’m thinking the mystery sister might be the source of Tarra’s inability to use the letter X.

    1. I think killing the person first would take more than around two seconds.

      Not necessarily the act itself, but the dying part of it. At least considering the choice of weapons she had at hand.
      Also we can assume from previous happenings, that there is a healthy amount of dead people lying around.

      1. Depends on your definition and the damage type. If you count dead as everything internal has winded down, then yes it would take over two seconds. If you count dead as brain no longer has ability to communicate any form of commands to everything and only inertia and currently resident food/oxygen is left, then you can have death near instantaneously. Personally for the purposes of “killing the person” here, I’m going to go with the second definition. If she knows how and is strong enough, I believe snapped neck and certain head injuries (temple at the least, and possibly one with the proper angle against the nose) will accomplish the second definition in approximately a second (giving her the other second to grab the Legos on the unfortunate shopper’s way down).

        1. Not that I think she did in this instance, just that it’s certainly possible even without Tarra-level abilities.

  14. If anyone remembers what I said about Terra’s scariness being attractive. Yeah, no, Ginger takes it. Pity she’s married.

    1. No real strong opinion on Ginger vs Tarra attractiveness, though I’d lean towards Tarra. I will point out, however, that our one glimpse of Mr. Ginger Buckingham (William, All Right Ramblers from 04 Dec 2013) shows him as a large man slightly slouched and leaning forward with his arms at his sides in an posture that, to me, speaks a familiarity with being compliant and taking orders. While I’d originally thought that was perhaps just directed toward his father-in-law, after seeing Ginger in this arc I’m suspecting that’s his normal mode. So that’s what she’s into.

  15. is it just me, or does it look like Ginger is the odd-one-out on eye color in the family? She’s got green eyes and everybody else has blue.

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