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The Opportunist

Tuesdays Patreon and today comic will be up sometime in the early evening. Working on them both at once. See you then. And you guys thought he was just going to hack the laptop he gave her. That's so cute. :P

316 thoughts on “The Opportunist

      1. I’m currently wondering if he’s putting these up for his own use only or if he plans on making those public (probably for a price). Because looking like he’s only putting up security cameras for E&Qs good it doesn’t.

        If it’s the first, it might actually go unnoticed for a very long time. The latter… not so much. I’d give it a few months at best. And the fallout for Danny would be rather fierce. Might force his business partners to make amends. But also bring bad news for Ellie and Quinn, obviously.

        1. Waitwaitwait.

          I don’t believe it. I can’t believe it. It’s too incredible.

          When did Ellie get a real bed?

        2. Yep. Same headboard shown in comic Idontevenknowanymore (29 December 2009) where Ellie announces using the stuffed animals as mattress.

    1. I know. I thought he was a lot lazier than to go through that much effort. Though it doesn’t surprise me that he didn’t do the prep work earlier so as to make this part faster.

      On a more serious note, this solidifies my guess that he has a camera setup in the back of his van and the ridiculous con thing and then pseudo-date was probably his method to get her to change her clothes in front of it.

      1. Given as savvy as Ellie was when she first met Daniel at the con (i.e. the hotel that night,) I’m under the impression that she would have noticed the fake walls in the van vs. the garbage hole in the passenger floor board. Given that one of those cameras are so big, lengthwise, the symmetry of the rear space would be off.

        Or am I wanting Ellie to be smarter then what the situation is implying. . .

        1. I think you’re overestimating the size of modern cameras. Even if he doesn’t realize how many options there are, all he’s gotta do is hide/disguise a cell phone.

        2. A cell phone camera isn’t going to cover all of the possible field of view as a fish eye lens would. He looks like he had money based on his previous actions and those purchases he’s got now. But a cell phone will only have a software based zoom,whereas a decent lens will allow for an ability to change the focal length. To do that with a cell phone, you risk a few things. One, that the duct tape wears out and if falls while you’re driving your subject to the beach con while she’s changing into the bikini; two that she notices something bulging out of the “woodwork” that glints every so often because of reflected light. Especially since cell phones really don’t have the best features in terms of cinematic quality. But then again, he’s just looking to get a skin site up, so it’s those supposed Mariana Sirtis pics all over again.

          Personally, I decided that if it’s not real, why bother with either Kodak or Memorex.

        3. Humans have both predator and prey tendencies. One aspect we still have from that is our eyes are attracted to movement. Using physical zoom (which both moves and likely makes some degree of noise) would be risky for discovery compared to software zoom. As he’s hiding them he could use fish-eye lenses or all sorts of options, though. However if he’s going to make his own and mod things, he can get equal quality a lot cheaper not using cell phone cameras.

          I was just pointing out as cell phones as a networked camera that’s common to find and would be easy to hide.

      1. You didn’t have certain evidence at that point. Also debate is no fun when everyone crowds on the same side.

        1. I have no regrets. It’s just time to adjust my opinion now that phenomenally damning evidence has arrived.

        2. What IF……

          The crowd, while in agreement the level of detriment that our accursed antagonist.
          Why not offer debate on the type of assaults and assistive assaultive devices used to pummel on our assorted deadbeats?

    2. This guy gives us normal perv’s a bad name. I mean seriously webcams set up to spy on them. Thats just wrong. I don’t know who’s a bigger douche him or that douche alex.

  1. Loved the use of the copyright stuff and white space. Almost thought that was all there was to the comic for a second.

    1. That was my reaction. I was like, where’s the comment section all of a sudden? And then, there’s Danny, putting up more surveillance than the NSA.

    2. Seriously, I first read this on my phone and I was like. Oh okay, Danny is a deep sleeper, and then I read it again on the computer and …yeah. :P

      Tricksy Chris.

    1. Hmmm, I don’t know if Quinn will get evicted. I’m having a hard time seeing how she’d stay in the story if so, and she’s a major character in this part at least. Also, they’d be bringing legal action against Danny and his partners for this, so hard to evict them for being victims of a crime. Granted, pictures of them breaking their lease agreement could work, though.

      1. Those pictures, having been obtained through illicit means would show harmful intent on the accusers’ part and render them open to lawsuits. Of course, Danny boy is either purchasing this stuff in bulk. . . .

        Wait. No. The Canadians don’t know about this. Caleb told him to send her home. So, their being on the cast page might mean that they are trying to un-encumber themselves from Daniel’s culpable illicit deplorable actions.

        I actually thought of typing un-cucumber.

        1. Some crimes are easier/harder to prosecute across jurisdictional lines. If Danny drifts from city to city and is nigh impossible to physically track down (with no permanent address just living out of his truck) and the Canadians run the web site from a server out of a relatively non-cooperative country from a subpeona stance then it may be pretty hard to prosecute anyone for this stuff.

        2. That’s not what I meant. Anyone trying to kick the girls out because of their being 1984’d will have to explain how they got their evidence. I would pursue criminal trespass against anyone in that situation I’d me or mine (yeah right. While I’m dreaming, I want to marry melody from “Josie and the Pussycats.”)

          I’d be seeking dismissal of any charges, (possible pornography against the girls) punitive damages against any and all actors and actions against the girls. And I imagine if Danny pulls a full frontal Alex, then the University might just expel Quinn.

        3. My original comment was more like- what sort of shenanigans could this lead to? For example, a second, worse fight.
          And while we haven’t heard from old-guy in a while, if he actually followed through on his threat Quinn could be on some sort of probation.

          Now, admittedly, unless a landlord wants you gone, most of them loathe to kick out paying tenants, no matter how annoying they can be. But this comic follows fiction-logic, not real-world logic.

        4. I know of a landlord in my town who has a clause in the lease that the tenants will be evicted if the police ever show up at their rental’s address.

        5. His implication was whatever the reason that they showed up with lights and siren. But yes, that does suck if they are arriving to protect/serve.

        6. If Tired Guy presented the landlord evidence Quinn was breaking the rules via illegal surveillance where neither the landlord nor Tired Guy were party to illegally setting up the surveillance and Tired Guy acquired it without provable certainty it was illegal, it’d probably stand for kicking Quinn out if the landlord wanted to.

          Now, if Tired Guy found the pictures and tried to push a route to get rid of Quinn that she was running a business from the apartment, engaging in something against zoning laws (which can be weird in the way they try to prevent strip clubs in some areas), some kind of moral statute/rule, or something similar then that would go nowhere and they could fight it due to it being without their permission. If cats aren’t allowed and he presented a picture of McFatFat (and it was proved/believed to be a cat, which might work with McFatFat), that could probably get her tossed out.

        7. Yeah, I could see Quinn successfully arguing that a picture of McFatFat isn’t a picture of a cat, but if she failed the argument it could be grounds.

  2. Sigh.
    So much for hoping they guy could be perverted without being horribly screwed up.
    One day E will meet someone with a normal level of crazy.

    1. On the other hand, Danny has access to far more resources than I anticipated. That’s not a small amount of merchandise.

      1. He’s been spending money like it’s water all along, so the amount of merch doesn’t surprise me that much.

        1. I’m just surprised they haven’t cut him off, yet. As much money as he’s spent, with no payout, his partners have to be pissed, unless it’s a tax write-off company or something (if we hadn’t seen the phone call with the partner, I’d doubt the whole story).

          This isn’t some weird form of revenge for her not sleeping with him, is it? “If she’s not going to bed with me, I’ll see it anyway.” He’s got to know that she’ll never forgive him for this.

        2. Honestly, I think in Danny’s mind the cameras are never discovered. He literally doesn’t have a plan for what to do when she finds out, because he doesn’t realize he’ll need one.

        3. There’s an assumption you’re making that I’m suspecting is incorrect. The “with no payout” part. I think Danny’s been making money off of Ellie.

        4. That…

          … is actually quite possible. And might even argue that it was perfectly legal since she agreed to work for him on the occasions he’d been taking pictures/videos.

        5. I strongly suspect that any film he took of her at the “conventions” would end up being perfectly legal, even without Ellie’s knowledge or a signed document (unless Florida’s wiretapping laws are as strict as I recall Massachusetts having as of a few years ago). If he was filming her changing her clothes or something, then that she could fight, though if he had her sign something that she didn’t read might still be legal. Since Quinn wouldn’t have signed anything and I doubt a clause in an unread contract would hold for illicit filming, this should definitely be illegal.

        6. I didn’t say it was. I said that he might argue that. Didn’t make that sufficiently clear, I’m afraid.

        7. It’s probably legal in Florida. The laws (pretty much everywhere) allow you to take video of people without their consent or knowledge (though in FL you have to blur their face if they look directly into the camera for some weird interpretation of the law that it violates the right to not self-incriminate).
          However… if he took audio recordings of her without her knowledge she was being recorded, it’s a 3rd degree felony.

        8. That is for a photographer/photojournalist/videographer taking imagers that would be covered under the first amendment for speech.

          Ellie is an independent contractor, and was only showing up to provide services as a booth bunny for a convention at the last minute. She also said that she would not mind working for him in the future, if possible. However, the only other venue that was public (Well venues) was the gun show and the Amish. However, I do not think that the Amish would go for the photography in their presence. Photography would be disallowed in the prison (I think) and might be a bit too risky to have that kind of inattention to the surroundings at the back alley. Also, the alcohol enthusiasts would disallow the presence of any type of recording device.

          With all that, it’s not likely that Ellie was allowing Daniel to record her image in any way shape or form. She also pointed out that her wardrobe did not contain any logos for the website. Nor was, it seems, any provided after the first convention.

          Daniel has been trolling for his targets by using the Canadian’s website as a cover. Or at least his last way of getting subjects to broadcast was getting too risky.

          His reaction was not so much as a personal preference towards the person that he was wanting to spend his life with. It was his proverbial striking oil for his perverted website.

        9. In my state, it’s okay as long as one of the two pairs knows that a recording is being made. But, I think that it is in reference to telephone recordings. Since most of these cons were in public, he might argue public recording, but to broadcast would be unethical at the least without the owner’s consent.

        10. He’d make more money off her if her “con” attendance were publicized. Of course, she might learn something about her extra job responsibilities. I would also think his partners would object to the change in direction of the business, unless Ellie, by herself, is enough of a draw to seriously increase their profits (at least, I got the impression that if Danny were keeping her too busy for job interviews, he couldn’t have multiple women). A lot of porn is free on the internet. I just can’t see undressing footage (I presume that’s what you’re suggesting) getting much in the way of revenue, unless we’re talking more artistic license.

          We seem to be hovering between dumb creep and evil mastermind incarnate as far as opinions go. Until this strip, I was definitely more inclined towards dumb(renting a Chuck E. Cheese party room?).I don’t think this is smart, but it’s not dumb either.

          What would have been awesome (but out of character), is if Ellie had dragged him out into the hallway and locked him out. But then, I don’t think she knows yet how far down the scum goes.

        11. Yeah, that’s part of the question here. Rusche can’t go full reality and tell the story in a reasonable amount of time, so the question is where is there a little bit of tweaking to make the way things work fit. I can’t imagine that two months of filmed voyeur porn of Ellie changing would bring in enough to pay for even two dates, and I was also thinking that if he’s keeping Ellie busy enough that she can convince herself that she doesn’t have time for other job applications (she is lazy, so may be exaggerating or kidding herself), I can’t imagine Danny having time for more than one other girl at the same time. Also unless the other girls are a LOT cheaper I can’t imagine that working well either.

          So I’m pretty convinced that either I don’t have it right what Danny’s doing or there’s a bit of “it’s just a story, pretend it’s more than that and run with it” for the economics.

    2. E already has met someone thats normal level crazy, Quinn ;)

      Also, just for the record, I did call Danny on being a creep his first apperence. And you guys doubted my creep detector lol

      I just hope he gets caught or they find the camera’s before anything really bad happens. I dont mind characters going through some things to add to the story, but there is a point where it crosses into another grade of ‘going through things’. Hope Mr McFatty spoils everything somehow and goes Kerby on his ass.

      1. This is a comic strongly featuring character growth. Problems push more growth than peace and quiet. Not definitive or anything, but suggestive. Also how long the cameras have to last (and report in) depends on how far college or unemployment are encouraging laxer grooming habits (with Quinn’s crush on Ian, I’m guessing she’s not constantly skipping showers).

    3. She did. Blind guy was showing interest in her as a person vs a set of boobs, which is what she keeps saying she wants.. and she ran from it like a scalded cat.

      1. Immature hurt pride on Ellie’s part there. But even if she was a bit more mature and direct in pursuing him, he’d probably keep saying no, so I don’t think it’d change anything. I’m suspecting he’s waiting for Pumpkin to be out of his class, however there could be other reasons (such as ties to Tarra).

  3. This has gone straight to twilight zone creepy levels.
    When this is all over Danny will probably be tied spread eagle on a pool table and Ellie and Quinn will be taken turns practicing their break shots on his eight balls.

    1. Well, he had to step up his game to karmicly “keep up with the Joneses” for a 23 year old seducing a 15 year old.

        1. Not everyone so much as the more terrible someone is the more memorable they are, and the parts of the story without someone being terrible are the parts that could be summarized with a “LATER…” box in the top left corner of a panel (though I believe Rusche stated he’s strongly against those).

        2. Meanwhile at the Hall Of Justice, or superheroes sidekicks just found an interesting live streaming website from Lakeland, FL.

  4. OK, it’s been a long day in IT land… I was trying to figure out what “a walk” was in computer parlance (somehow missing the bold). Thankfully, I read Ellie’s bubble aloud and the GF clued me in that Ellie is, in fact, talking about a movie. >.<

    *goes off to find more to drink

      1. Because you estimate Danny’s the type of guy to polish his footrests up really well and try to roll along near women wearing skirts?

        1. Yeah, just remembering a story from my dad that when he was in high school there was a teacher who was known to stare a bit overly long at the female students in a way that was apparently quite obvious, well known, and not particularly stopped (it was the sixties). Either his class or his brother’s decided to give the teacher a gift upon graduation of shoes with mirrors glued to the toes.

          Felt like going analog as an internal shout-out to that story.

        2. I… really can’t decide if that’s an awful or awesome graduation gift if taken in context. So I’ll just go with it being a ‘typical’ one.

      2. Colorado?

        Most likely because they have marijuana sales for public consumption, and who knows what kind of pain he’s in after Sister X gave Tarragon that Christmas present.

        And is going to take the states revenue in sales to compare with the amount of wacky weed that any one of us would need to pull this off.

      3. I can totally picture a shot of Danny getting into his empty van, followed by a panel of Tarra simply being there in the passenger seat.
        I wonder if Danny and Tarra have met; Rusche mentioned Danny’s van was originally an ice cream truck from a chain owned by Holly (the proto-Tarra) from the original Shotgun Shuffle he scrapped.

        1. Done we’ve been going all 80s…

          “I learned it* by watching you!”

          * the art of transposing letters in people’s names ;)

        2. And now I’ve got that stuck in my head thankyouverymuch.

          *gets out Thomas Bergersens “Final Frontier” to clear out the ears*

  5. I haven’t grown to despise a fictional character this much since Joffrey Baratheon on Game of Thrones.

    Congratulations Chris, your ability to create douchebag characters is on par with the best of the best.

        1. While I know that these terms are in reference to one of our favorite people. I did just come to the realization that these terms of lust could also be derogatorily applied to the twerp trespassing right now.

    1. You should record the video of it to send to her, that way you can also watch it any time you want to remember the feeling. Keep it short though.

        1. You’re the one my parents warned me about? That’s great, because I wasn’t listening and what they were talking about has been making me curious lately.

    1. What we’re seeing is the clarification to Rushe’s reply to this comment: shotgunshuffle.com/comic/2020-part-ii/#comment-220457

      1. Indeed. At another point, Chris had mentioned that Kat and Danny were equally despicable. For a long time, I hadn’t been seeing it. In comparison to Kat’s manipulation and predatory nature, Danny seemed like just a shallow, clueless horndog. Now, though, he’s pulled into the lead.

        1. I’ve been wondering where to reply with this. I can’t be as morally outraged against Danny as I was against Kat. Her actions were thinly veiled. Danny seems to be trying to recreate to Pi house from “Revenge of the Nerds.” I laughed at that. What red blooded nerd didn’t enjoy that. However, Lewis didn’t get his rape on until he became Darth Nerdster. Even that seemed okay because she liked him afterwards, all beauty and the beat there. I mean, the good guys score. Literally and figuratively.

          In this light however those actions should have gotten the nerds kicked out of school, arrested, fined as well as registered as sex offenders.

          And Mr. Blutarski, zero point zero. All classes incomplete. And don’t get me started on that ladder scene.

          Okay, I know, temporary suspension of disbelief. But how often does this happen for real?

        2. If Kat does nothing more than she has done and Danny is using this for personal use and not spreading it on his site (which I doubt) then Kat’s still decidedly ahead in the Creepiness Olympics from where I’m standing. Once Danny puts this on his site and that starts causing fallout for both Ellie and Quinn, which in real life could even include guys that decide a woman posting pictures of herself like that must “be asking for it”, I start needing to get a look from closer to the race (manipulating a minor for sexual purposes is horribly bad and worse, but if Kat goes no farther than she didn’t get terribly far anyway, which is some degree of mitigation when comparing terrible things).

          I find it to be an interesting question of comparative morality. The type of thing that you’ll feel that you get to know someone better by discussing honest opinions about. I’m wondering how much more both will add and if we’re going to need a photo finish for the race.

      1. The laptop houses the wifi gateway that those cameras are going to be hooked up to. He bus them used on eBunkD, violates the warranty, installs a cell phone linked to the computer’s wifi only. . And that’s how those cameras are going to be transmitting.

        I wonder who is going to get some signal interference. . . . .

        Does this make barrel a douchebag through the transitive process?

        1. Hard to say… just because Barrel got Ellie the job doesn’t mean he(?) knows all the dirt on Danny’s character. Barrel might just have known someone who knew someone who knew Danny was looking for production value for his con booth.

          I kind of want to sic Ellie’s parents on him. Between the police chief and illegal surveillance and Rosemary just the way she is (and I haven’t managed a Patreon account yet, so I’m only partially clued in there), he deserves what’s coming to him, no matter how much per hour he paid Ellie.

        2. Ellie called and was pretty much begging for any job leads, and he was distracted gaming while talking to her and we don’t know how much Ellie might’ve tried to rush him either. I won’t put any blame on Barrel unless he considered this a likely outcome and deliberately didn’t warn her (or conspired to help, obviously).

  6. Zzzzzz- mf- wh- fg- ….zzzzzz

    zzzzz- what’s that, Robert? You need Batgirl to team up with Iron Man? I think I know someone who can get me a costume… zzzzzzzzz

        1. I AM IRON MAN

          *breaking out the iron man uniform and armor, Tony Stark begins to air guitar to Black Sabbath‘s song while gargling tossed bats found on the stage floor while using his weapons array to write heavy metal love songs in the old fashioned way of the ’70s. 1770s.

        2. I would ask if you’ve been drinking again, sir, but that would imply that, at some point, you stopped.

        3. I AM IRON MAN

          IRON MAN, IRON MAN,



        4. Where’s Jarvis.

          I forgot to open the back door and now the poop deck needs swabbing.

  7. Okay, you know what? Frick.

    I tried, Danny. I tried my very level best to advocate for you, to give you the benefit of the doubt. To think that, as odd and even creepy as you are, that you weren’t that bad.

    Then you do this. You bastard. I had tiny glimmerings of faith, and you shat on them.

    1. Should have known by the wife beaters…. I’m with you, though. I didn’t think he was quite this scummy, especially since he took Pumpkin’s presence at the hotel room with reasonable grace, considering. Bleh.

    2. I thought that during the first con. Decidedly rough around the edges, no appreciable tact or social skills, male with a normal sex drive, but not too bad. But with more and more of the breadcrumbs Rusche dropped in comments in response to people, I stopped holding out much hope for Danny a while ago.

  8. Uh…..what? I was starting to, STARTING, to maybe liking Danny a smidgen, but ah hell no. No backsies on this one. None. Holy crap dude.

    1. No backsies? But this is harmless fun! A lark! A jape! Merely some jocular shenanigans!

      Seriously, the only good thing that came out of that con was that Ellie was able to separate this fool from his money.

      Oh, and Pumpkin totally got a girlfriend, right? At least I assume so from the last thing I saw here.

        1. 8 being the range of ages here. 15 being the important number outside of a familial scope of interest in terms of being able/unable to make adult decisions. 23 being the age of the person looking to pop a virgin.

  9. Now most home surveillance systems that record do so at low quality and frame rates, I’m glad he got the streaming video cameras so he can get some good hi res recordings. Now the Rusche switcheroo will have Danny’s cameras set looking out at the doors and windows like a good professionally installed home security system, then all you Booing Danny will be saying !ooB. :-)

    1. Well, we are cheating by taking Rusche’s statements in comments into account. I don’t see the cameras facing outwards help Danny medal in the Terribleness Olympics (granted, that wasn’t Rusche’s statement, but a comment he replied to).

      I’m still pulling for Danny to get the cesium medal. Though I could be persuaded that he’s more of a live-rabid-wolverine-on-speed medal. (note that these medals would be hung around the recipients’ necks in the award ceremony.)

        1. Dang, I wanted to bring that one! :D

          With all due respect to Tasmanian Devils (and the Frantics) though, I’d probably worry more about a Wolverine hung around the neck. Or a Honey Badger.

        2. Well, I suppose if we come up with a Phoenix Wright AMV with a honey badgered lawyer, then maybe that could turn the tide in 20 years. . . .

        3. Heh, I love that Phoenix Wright AMV. Good thing I have it on disk. (^_^)

          And granted. The honey badger got a bit out of style since The Gods Must Be Crazy II.

        4. I was thinking “hung around the neck” as a constraint. If it gets to be pants delivered, I’d go with sand fleas.

        5. No, that was rat fleas, and Yersinia Pestis isn’t as serious as it used to be, especially in a country with a reasonably modern health care system. Unless you’re talking a version someone weaponized, though you’d have to have nihilist terrorist groups to want to go with something that contagious (which is why you see so much talk about Anthrax as a bioweapon, it’s not generally contagious from someone who’s infected to someone else so you don’t have to worry about it past the dispersal area and where ever it blew in the wind or was tracked/carried).

          Sand fleas are closer to chiggers, but can be much, much worse. I believe that a person who doesn’t properly get rid of them when they show up can end up with gangrene, though I could be mistaken on that.

        6. Okay, yeah, I got the sand fleas mixed up with that one episode of House M.D. where the person got Bubonic Plague from their new puppy from a southwestern state, Arizona or New Mexico.

  10. Oh when Quin and Ellie find out, the vengeance on Danny will be glorious and brutal. Unless Chris cliff hangs us and jumps to another chapter lol

  11. I almost didn’t notice for all the subterfuge, but look! It’s QUINN! First time we’ve seen Quinn in almost a year.

    1. Even the NSA needs a warrant. And I don’t believe that they have jurisdiction in the 50 U.S. States. And even then, they would be almost able to act in this nearly legal manner if it concerned nuclear weapons or clear and present threats to the football’s button pusher at 3 a.m.

      However the NSA tries to keep it’s hands out of domestic, and relies on the good and ethical people at the FBI to surf and eat donuts in bank robbery with meatball sandwiches on stakeout.

      1. i dunno, with the kinda output the rest of the family seems to have, i would not be surprised to see the NSA installing cameras on all the sisters…

        1. You should be. I mean, wouldn’t the NSA hire ninjas to install their cameras? You’d never see them being installed.

        2. It is illegal for the NSA to hire ninjas to work domestic. It’d probably have to be sourced through the FBI. Didn’t you people watch Enemy of the State?

        3. I wonder how he handles Leonardo and Michelangelo. The other two are probably chasing down his brother because he’s chasing that lady reporter.

        4. Well they ARE near a college campus, so I’d think Ellie should be expecting frat douches coming out of the woodwork upon occasion.

    1. Nothing jumped out as trollish to me. Some people would call the guy who said “I’m out” a troll for bothering to write that he’s going away, but I consider that constructive feedback when short like that. Also it could be a Seinfield reference (Kramer quote regarding a bet they had going between themselves).

  12. As an IT pro who has installed more than a few surveillance cameras, I think that the realism of this is similar to that of the pages with inter-dimensional portals. Even cameras that send the data through wireless need power, which means cables somewhere. And in a normal building(one without drop ceilings) it is really hard to hide that you are running cables all over the place. And even harder when you can’t use a power drill because there are people sleeping in the room.

    1. Well, it’s also ridiculous that he wouldn’t have done prep work (like he’s doing there) and at least unboxed them before knocking on Ellie’s door. Not to mention that he didn’t have that volume of content earlier and he snuck in and out of the building, put up a ladder, and is doing all this in under 5 hours (1 AM when door answered, Quinn wakes up at 6).

      Call it artistic license and the reason that there are always cell phones not working at just the right time, or unrealistically helpful directions. Cost-benefit of making a story more realistic versus keeping a good pace. I still remember with a grimace reading Tolkien spend half a page describing a completely uninteresting field in Fellowship of the Ring.

      1. The boxes, and apparent lack of prep would fall under Exposition, not Artistic Licence. It’s there to tell us something about what is going on, not simply a background thing.

        It’s AL being able to install a full setup in the time allowed, without disturbing anyone.

    2. Actually you could probably use a power drill. You just need a long enough extension bar or a combination fo long extension bars and a way to muffle the sound of the power drill.

      1. I have done some electric work and wiring in buildings where the older concrete work required long extension bars. It’s a bit annoying to use but doable.

      2. The vibrations still transmit rather well through the walls. So muffling the sound of the machine alone wouldn’t do.

        On second thought. They are both out like a light, he could use only short drills. It might do after all.

  13. Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuude!!!! STALKER ALERT!

      1. It will quite likely take long enough for a number of interesting videos making their way to Daniels hard disk (and from there to who knows where). From there on, I don’t expect it to take that much longer. Especially if they are streamed. Changes aren’t bad that at least some people on her college would see at least some of it then and recognise Quinn.
        And even if not, those cameras aren’t that small. So at least one or two of them will be discovered, at the latest as soon as the next thorough room cleaning is due.

      1. Well, aside from the sorts of argument you’d expect out of her (which included her knowing Pappa B was a cop), we’ve only heard one additional thing from Kat that would weigh against her (we heard what she said to Ashliii & Bubbles when she turned them away). So you have missed some story, but not a lot of Terribleness evidence yet.

  14. Wow, way to up the creeper ante Danny. This is much more ambitious than just using the laptops camera to spy on Ellie and frankly I didn’t think he was shrewd or motivated enough to attempt a stunt like this.

    1. I assumed he had some kind of at least moderately marketable skills to scrape by with, but I was surprised he was motivated enough for this too.

  15. wHOA
    Wow, I never liked Danny, not even from the beginning. And I’m just REALLY hating him now. I honestly hate him more than Kat. He’s straight on FUCKED UP. Shouldn’t he be sued for this??
    It’s actually kinda funny seeing everyone in the comments loosing their shit and going all like ‘DUDE WTF’. Heh.

        1. Civil suits happen to a lot of people, on both sides of a crime actually. I don’t think O.J.’s inlaws were breaking new ground in their approach there. The reduced criteria for guilt (“preponderance of evidence” as opposed to “beyond a reasonable doubt”) makes it actually considered perfectly acceptable. Prosecution always comes first, though, as I understand it. Not sure if that’s a legal requirement or just strategy, though.

        2. My guess is one or two things. Logically, if the lessor action were to go first, then the tried for the same thing could get it thrown out of the criminal courts.

          On the other hand seeing as the criminal prosecution seems to be of the nature of crimes against society at large by actions against the future plaintiff by the defendant would be the first step to allowing for society at large to see if the person’s presumed to be summarily innocent or guilty. And this would leave the lawsuit action still open to recourse.

          Just guessing.

  16. Okay, just have to share something weird (& super relevant to the comic)

    First off, I actually remembered the dream I had last night (I usually don’t dream or don’t remember them, and this marks 3 nights in a row) So, this dream seemed to be more of a “watching things happen” instead of a “participating in things happening” sort, so I just watched & had fun with it. It was the continuation of this comic (like, right here & now, with Danny & the cameras, but with motion & everyone being “real” [dream-real?] & sound)

    So, everyone’s asleep, Danny’s been hiding out in the walls (somehow they’re thick enough for him to hide & get cameras setup) There’s insulation type foam that’s been scattered about (but still kept to just around Danny’s work area, for faster cleanup/disposal of evidence) He eventually gets to putting together some even more remote cams (which made sense in dream logic, but none thinking of it now) including some really small ones attached to cereal boxes (like, open box, remove cereal, put small hole in box, attach camera, put cereal back in) The first one gets interrupted by Quinn groggily going to the kitchen (where Danny is now hiding under a counter) she sees the cereal & just picks up the box & takes it back to her room, grabbing handfuls of cereal on the way. Danny is determined to get more cams ready, so he grabs the next box (lucky charms type thing with marshmallows) and the same thing happens with Ellie, but she notices some of the insulation foam & is puzzled. She looks over at some of her stuffed animals (why they’re there, I don’t know) and they both appear intact. She follows the trail & arrives at the couch & a “sleeping” Danny. She’s more bewildered than before, collects up the remaining foam & continues to wonder where it came from. The boxes from the cameras are nowhere to be seen (so either still in the wall, or he’s taken them back to the van)

    That’s where it ended for me, but it was pretty weird experiencing a webcomic as a dream (definitely a first for me)

    My prediction on how things go (if there’s going to be a zany twist, keyword: IF) is that it’ll turn out there’s already some even smaller, higher resolution cams in place. For maximum craziness, they’re linked to Tired Guys place, where he watches & waits for the perfect opportunity to call the cops & give a valid reason for the owner to kick the girls out)

    So, yeah, there’s my weird dream & prediction of waky antics. If neith happens, then Danny’s cams will go unnoticed for a while, business will boom for Danny, and eventually he’ll be found out & everything will hit the fan.
    Okay, enough breakfast posting, I need to think about getting on with my day.

    1. He appears to be removing the plastic housings on the cameras, so they should be pretty small when he’s done.

  17. *sigh*

    You know, I really thought Danny was going to be kinda cool when he was introduced. Like a really sleazy but fun and friendly guy. But I thought he’d be a more cheeky level of sleazy rather than full-criminal sleazy. Not cool.

    I really want to see Herb get seriously involved in some situation sooner or later. Maybe this one? Maaaaybe let him have a chat with Kat if she shows her face again? I dunno. But with mellow characters like him it’s almost always ends up with them being seriously terrifying when they are on a warpath.

  18. True story: We moved into a house and discovered the whole place had been rigged with hidden cameras, and there was evidence of a tripod in the bathroom. Took us awhile to find all the hidey holes.

      1. We bought the house from a foreclosure. The neighbors however, told us about how there were always different vehicles and different people coming and going, and at one point the “wife” was shoving someone out the back window when the husband came home from work. We started calling it the porn house, because we have found all kinds of fascinating things as we’ve been renovating.

        Still waiting to spot parts of my house in the background of a porno.

        1. You should be lucky that is not in the background on “COPS” or another of those relationship on the rocks suppose curating down other half on TV.

        2. Hehe. I remember browsing around the net and looking at some short pron videos, when suddenly stumbling upon one labeled “public sex in Switzerland”. Watched it more out of curiosity as to whether it would actually be filmed in Switzerland and I’d recognise the sights and indeed, most of it was filmed in Zurich. Some in a train. Then a scene that was very obviously filmed in a club I occasionally visited at the time. I never sat on that side of the sofa again. :D

  19. Hey Rusche. A while back, you mentioned how certain character exhibited different forms of narcissism, as defined by… some due whom I dont seem to remember. What narcissism did you place on Danny?

  20. At first I hoped Quinn might just catch him in the act and derail this, but looking back through the convention strips I saw that we’d already been told the title of Chapter 4 is ‘Room with a Viewcount’. Now it’s like peering over the edge of the cliff into the abyss, and I can only think about how much more awful Danny is going to make it for Ellie and Quinn.

    Funny and horrifying. There are strange creatures from the eerie space between worlds in this comic, but the real monster is the guy in the ice cream van.

    1. I’d forgotten about that title. At the time I’d interpreted it as Ellie voluntarily getting involved on Danny’s site in some way. But yeah, I think this comic explains it. Considering how long the chapters are, that makes me wonder how long it’ll take for the ladies to discover Danny’s handiwork.

      1. I could be wrong but I think our vote regarding the start of what became the convention storyline shuffled the sequence of events.

        1. The votes I remember were Danny vs Quinn’s brother to be introduced first (which was actually Ellie’s cleavage versus what appeared to be Indiana Jones while Gump Wars was fresh in peoples’ minds) and Ginger vs Tarra for dealing with Sister X.

          I remember Rusche putting up another vote or two because people asked for a vote in the comments but he wasn’t planning anything but people’s entertainment from those.

        2. Right, but I think by choosing Danny vs. Bro-Quinn moved up the timeline for Ellie losing her job and getting involved in this current shennagins.

        3. Speaking of which, Bro-Quinn is now his official fan designation. The implication I think is obvious. You’re all welcome :D

        4. I recall that Ellie losing her job and Black Friday were both moved up due to Danny (or Ellie’s boobs) winning the vote.

  21. on an unrelated note, I used to work for Radio Shanty, and I am certain they are upset that Danny isn’t depicted by retired football stars.

  22. well, Ellie, given what you know about the guy and the fact she doesn’t even really count him as a friend, rather more a pity party, I feel like it’s odd she was so trustng here. But then again, who really expects this outta people? Either way, lesson to learn is, do not let some idiot you can barely stand come and drink all your beer, and then don’t let them crash on the couch. Kick their ass outside. They gotta van, they can take it down by the river.

    1. You’re talking about the same person who feeds small animals until they’re spherical in nature. Even snakes. Ellie strikes me as the soft-hearted type until something really goes toes-up, like when Ellie had to introduce Quinn to the Buckingham Haircut Strike.

    2. Well, what she had seen of Danny so far made him look a bit like an idiot and jerk. But not necessarily an untrustworthy one. Certainly not to this degree. And considering she knows him for about two months now and has seen a lot of him during that time, he’s by now grown to be more than just a nodding acquaintance I guess.

    3. I generally agree with the two above posts, but I’d also like to point out that Ellie is definitely naive, and that seems like part of what’s showing as well.

      1. I wouldn’t call it naive, rather she chooses not to think much. She is smart, and can think, but thinking is work, and she is lazy.

        1. Aside from the formal definition Steve pointed out, a lot of her “dumb” moments seem to be more an aspect of not being familiar with the way things work in the real world (i.e. sheltered), so she has a lot of false assumptions and expectations. While sheltered and naive are different things, there is a decent amount of overlap, and Ellie does show some of that overlap. Though I’ll admit the combination of her laziness and optimism is sometimes difficult to distinguish there.

        2. What if she does know about the correct assumption and expectation, but does not make the effort to put the correct columns together. She was in a lot of AP classes.

  23. GOD DAMN IT DANNY! You were supposed to be that lovable loser who got his shit together after.the right girl came into his life.

  24. I think Danny is in big trouble. He’s messing with a Buckingham. They can combine powers, and summon creatures to do their bidding. Ellie may be soft-hearted and adorable but hate hath no fury…

  25. Did Ellie finally get an actual bed or does she just have a random headboard to stick behind her blanket-covered mountain of plush to make it feel like an actual bed?

  26. This is why you don’t string asshole along. Eventually they get you back. I know, not condoning Danny’s actions, but Ellie has cozy him allot and he never got what he was looking for. Now he makes that money back in the assholish way he knows how. Life lesson for Ellie.

      1. So far Blind Guy, KK (<3), Rosemary, and Herb are the only people in the comic who don't need a boot to the head for something we've seen them do (or haven't already gotten the stuffing knocked out of them).

        1. Blind Guy has been stalking Ellie a bit, and his trying to spend time with her and then pulling back routine isn’t exactly mature either. Also while punching Tired Guy is viscerally appealing it’s not really something he should’ve gotten involved in. So I don’t know that he belongs on the list. Rosemary’s flashbacks to dealing with Ginger might warrant a boot to the head too.

          I’d put Ian & Caz in their place on the list, though.

        2. Ehhh… I really wouldn’t call what Blind Guy is doing stalking. He seems more like he’s trying to reconnect with her and is looking for a public place to do it. If he didn’t know where she lived he wouldn’t know where to go to punch Tired Guy. As for Rosemary, she might not have made ideal choices, but she’s already paid for them and learn from them, which is why she’s off the list.

        3. Blind Guy’s behavior isn’t definitely over the line into obsessed stalker, but it’s enough to warrant a closer look before deciding. I think Rosemary has learned, but I think those learning episodes are something that qualifies as something we’ve seen that shows a need of a boot to the head. Though I also agree that events (likely never to be pictured in comic) probably delivered said boot already.

        4. Okay, so he might be on the line when it comes to stalking. Maybe just a smidgen on the negative side. But he did it in a more respectable manner than the others.

        5. Blind Guy certainly hasn’t done anything (that we’ve seen) that would be appropriate for Ellie to call the cops on him or anything, so yes he’s doing better than Danny. And he’s not as slimy or disrespectful as Alex. I’ll agree with that. He’s still exhibiting the kind of behavior that if I saw a friend doing it, I’d try to talk them into calming down before things got out of hand. Said talking would probably include at least a verbal smack upside the head, which I was extending to a boot to the head.

        6. 1 – Some goofing off and screwing around, but it’s more just having fun with life and being interested in learning but not so much saddling himself with the debt. If you adjust for the goofiness he adds, he handles himself pretty well and seems more mature than any of his peers (and most of his elders). So I think he deserves the kudos.

          2 – Why not. We never saw much of him, but when we did he was either helpful or the butt of a joke. He was the first to come to mind from that class of character.

    1. Well, he could have simply asked her for a date. Make the interest official so to speak. Might have gotten him somewhere, you know. So more his fault than Ellie’s, that he never got what he wanted, really.

      1. He did ask her for a date. That’s when she strung him along for a long, expensive evening and used Pumpkin to cockblock him instead of admitting she wasn’t really interested.

        This… though… wow. This is definitely not proportionate retribution.

        1. Yeah, but honestly proportionate retribution for that first con would be to smile and wave good bye when he dropped her off, tell her she was right that the convention thing just wasn’t working, and then never call her again with another offer. Maybe even tell her the next morning that he’d slept on it and that her previous day’s suggestion was right and take her & Pumpkin home and don’t pay her for the second day. THAT is what Ellie deserved for stringing him along and would’ve been fully justified by Danny to do.

        2. The first one, I’ll count. Okay. Though I’d add that the “wasn’t really interested” mostly was about sleeping with a guy she just met after only the first date. Not necessarily in him in general. He did seem to have a decent chance there.

          But he never really tried for more than the quick lay he was hoping for that night. All the meetings since have just been “jobs”. And when Ellie confronted him about it a few strips ago, he pretty much went “Okay, I’ll admit I do like you. But this was never about dating you. This is supposed to be all professional. All for the job only.”

        1. Alex hate has cooled a bit, and I think Danny & Kat are more competing at the moment. Also actual pictures without consent are definitely worse than an imagined drawing without consent.

        2. Don’t forget Alex posted those pictures in public where people who knew Ellie would see them. Still, it does seem Alex would have to do something pretty terrible to stay in the running.

        3. Alex pretty much posted that for Quinn to try to wake Quinn’s rage at Ellie and get her upset in retribution for dumping him. I always considered Ellie to be the secondary target of that posting.

          Also, though it wouldn’t have fit with the story in the right way, I do have a picture in my mind of Ellie deadpanning Quinn and lifting her shirt up about two inches to show a birthmark not on the drawing and say, “Great artist you were banging there. The rest is just about as accurate too.”

        4. Ehhh… he had no way of knowing how long it’d take Quinn to run across it or if it’d still be up by the time she got there. It was on a college pin board, not Quinn’s door. That was a public airing.

        5. It was on a public board in an area he knew Quinn would frequent. If he wanted to embarrass Ellie, he could’ve found an area that Quinn wasn’t likely to go (they’ve been dating long enough for Alex to argue moving in, so he likely knows her whole class schedule and usual routine). That looked like a hallway, and was near enough a dining area/lounge that she went there immediately after. With Quinn living off campus, putting it on her door would have a couple of people seeing it, tops, and Quinn would’ve known it was aimed at her and Ellie, as opposed to believing that Ellie posed nude for Alex and he was using it as advertising.

          So, it didn’t have a “This is for Quinn” sticker on it, but Quinn was primary target, Ellie was secondary, and whatever extra people he tricked into his figure drawing group were a distant third.

        6. I don’t know. I’m of the thought that Alex did it to get back at Ellie first and posted it because he was totally pissed off at being left hook unattracted. However, with the bulletin board being in the Art Department, it could just be a Friday morning trip to see what was going on from the night before.

        7. Alex Hate may be currently surpassed by Kat Hate, and she may be in the lead of the punk parade of putrid characters. Danny right now is setting himself up for taking the lead in this trifecta of tripping up aholes.

          Has Alex received enough punishment yet? We have not seen any of the fallout from Kat’s actions yet. And Danny has yet to have his actions shown to change his plea from innocent to a definite guilty from the jury.

      1. The level of response of the asshole will be proportional to the cost, though. Ellie has been willingly going along with the string along. What, did she think that Danny was JUST spending money to spend time at cons with her? She has been downright foolish. She called it ‘the best job er’ because she THOUGHT she was being paid well for nothing. It wasn’t, though, as most have acknowledged. Danny is certainly not justified but this isn’t about his justification- it is about putting yourself into the situation to begin with. Ellie strung it along, and part of the consequences is the escalation to this point. Creepy guy can’t set up cameras in your apartment if you don’t let creepy guy in because he comes offering a laptop and pirated movies.

  27. Whoa-ho-ho-ho. That’s even taking it further than I thought back when you first dropped the hint.
    Though this is even truer to the name of this chapter: A Roomcount With A View

      1. No, I think that Lightning is correct. Danny killed the trust that Ellie placed in him (what little it might have been since she discovered the notebook with the job notations/suggestions). She just doesn’t know about it yet.

        Just wonder where Herb is going to hide the bodies.

        1. No, this action will kill whatever trust might be left when Ellie finds out. However if you walked up to her after being filmed for a day and asked her if her level of trust for Danny was significantly different than when he fell asleep on her couch (which is her belief of what he did) then she’d say no. Until she finds out, she’ll trust him more than she would with full information. Trust is in the perception of the person who does the trusting.

        2. Your going off on Schrodinger’s Cat. When in actuality, Daniel has already caused the chain of events that has killed her trust. It’s not when a person reports a dead body, but when the body ceased to be live. That happened when he jumped in the air.

  28. Wait, is Danny a crime boss? Perhaps some sort of cookie dealer, or ice cream tycoon. He’s just hemorrhaging money at this point, with all the paid work and taxi fare and home surveillance.

    Dude’s got fat stacks.

    1. He has been shot twice. That means that someone (two someones?) have shot at him. What has he done, or gotten him self into, to rate that? Drugs and prostitution are strong possibilities.

      1. This comic is also a strong possibility for what got him shot in the past. I’d imagine he’s had some practice if he thinks he can pull this off quietly in a few hours.

  29. Here’s a pointless story I figured I’d share because it involves Tarragon (the spice not the Buckingham sister, though at this point I can’t see a spice rack without thinking of the Buckinghams).

    My wife makes things like soup or chili in quantities best described as “heroic.” Batches will be frozen to be thawed out later and to keep things from getting monotonous she’ll add different ingredients or spices to each batch. Last night the mystery ingredient was Tarragon, and I don’t know how many people know this but a little bit of Tarragon goes a long way. More than a little got used due to what I’m assuming was an amusing and/or comedic mishap. I used almost half a bottle of Jalepeno hot sauce in my bowl to cover the presence of Tarragon and surprisingly the combination was delicious. I can still barely feel my tongue but it was worth it.

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