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Think About Me

Apologies for no update over the weekend. This comic went through, like, 4 drafts. Eventually I landed on this, and this is the chapter end. There was enough dialogue for two comics, which were originally planned, but since comics are a visual medium... when in doubt... go with the wordless concept. And with the chapter end I'd like to say thanks again to all my loyal, die hard and/or casual readers for helping Shotgun Shuffle stay on its feet. I still get emails saying "Remember when you almost quit." Yeah. I do. All the time. :) So whether your supporting me on Patreon, or just supporting me with word of mouth and viewing my silly comics, I thank you. It really does mean the world to me, and I'm more than happy to bring you Chapter 5 on Wednesday. If you haven't noticed, I'm very adamant about each comic being upheld to a certain standard of work. No comic, no matter how much or how little it impacts the overall story, is ever phoned in. Each has to be my best possible work. It can be tiring, it can be stressful, and God knows, it's time consuming. But it's what you're worth. Sure I want to be a better artist, and writer in the long term.. but it's never about me. It's about how the webcomic community deserves the best possible quality of comics their artists can produce. This is something I felt before I made strip one. It's how I still fell about it now. On a similar note, there is a comic that started almost a year ago I'd like to plug, which is entitled Nevermind. It's cute, it's different, and it's also in relative obscurity. It's only at about 40 strips, so it's not hard to catch up... so if you're into "adorably weird" (and if you're reading this, you run a high likelihood) please throw some love at Azure by clicking the link and perhaps leaving a comment. One thing I enjoy the most is the use of colored word bubbles. I may steal that. Nevermind

86 thoughts on “Think About Me

  1. They still have payphones! I guess they refuse to die, but if you don’t want to leave an audit trail that VU can find :)

    1. The last time I actually used a payphone was in highschool. I think there are still phone booths in my city, but it’s become uneconomic to repair them, so they get broken, and sit like that for a while, and them someone rips the entire thing out in a drunken berserker rage, and then it sits even more broken for a while, until it eventually gets torn down.

      1. It depends on the city but I know in my city they have good ones stocked in storage but they don’t replace broken ones unless it’s located in a government building and only one per building for a certain area. Like if you got one of these phones installed in Building A and then a few blocks away there is another government building B, they won’t replace any that breaks in that B because you got a working one in the A.

        It’s too darn expensive to maintain and everyone has cellphones now.

    2. I think there’s still a small number around where I live. None of which accepts cash anymore, last I’ve checked.

    3. I remember in University and Basic Training I used to use payphones.
      I used phone cards that had an American flag in the background, and a bald eagle in the foreground.

      Bear in mind I don’t know any Spanish, so the next part is what I heard, and is both likely misspelled, and slightly off from what was actually said.

      The menu when using these phones always went:

      “Para Espanoil, Hombrene Uno, for English press 2.”

      It always struck me as odd that a phonecard so American patriotic on the outside had English as option 2.

      I wanted to stay away from the brain cancer boxes as long as possible (they emit microwaves that are only harmful 4-6 inches away from the antenna, but the entirety of the human brain is within that radius when you hold it up to your ear), but The Army requires you to have the digital leash on you at all times.

      I’m still waiting for all the cancers to start.

      It reminds me of how Radium Water (water purposefully containing radioactive isotopes) was the greatest health fad in the early 1900’s, and overly tanned bodies was the health fad of the 1960’s through the 1990’s.

      Now cancer is at epidemic levels for the elderly, and melanoma (skin cancer) is at epidemic levels for everyone else. Now they are saying that almost all foods that are not kale or some other vegan fad diet food contain carcinogens and parents are being urged to not let their kids play outside for 5 minutes without being covered from head to toe in SPF 120 or stronger.

    1. I think about you
      Honey all the time
      my heart says yes
      I think about you
      Deep inside I love you best
      I think about you
      You know you’re the one I want
      I think about you
      Darlin’ you’re the only one
      I think about you

  2. “Insert card. Bend over.”
    …Huh. We’ve an interesting development on our hands, here.

    That time you thought we’d let you quit really backfired, didn’t it? Now ‘yer ours forever, eternally tasked with making excessively well-polished panels! Mwahaha -err, glad to hear you’re doing well.
    Being serious, though, your fanbase is behind you 100% no matter what schedule you stick to, and I’m sure we’re all more than happy to see something at its best rather than something pumped out to stick to a self-imposed deadline. I wish a few big companies out there would learn this, actually. Don’t be too hard on yourself!

    1. Except unless I’m mistaken, that’s not Vu he’s talking to on the phone, it’s Ellie. As TheAdmiralty said up there, it’s an interesting development!

      1. No, no it’s not. What does it say, when you just spent several hours together talking face to face, and your first impulse is to call the other person, and talk some more.

        1. Nope, that’s Ellie. Check Vu’s image from the last comic vs. The one from this comic. It also has Ellie’s trademarked ‘lightening bolts’.

        2. I’d also like to add the Canadian looks pretty damn pleased with himself.

          Oh. Hehe. Is Caleb going to be Ellie’s ‘Canadian boyfriend’?

        3. I’m kinda’ wondering about that myself. Just a platonic, long-distance relationship would make sense for them, and be enough to cause Vu’s jealousy.

          If you look at it from Ellie’s stance of a guy who’ll talk to her and not be trying to get in her pants, along with the fact that she’s a very social person, I can see how associating with Caleb seems like a net positive.

          For Caleb, if Vu’s this negative and on his case as much as it’s seemed with our quick glimpses, I can see how a friendly female presence is welcome.

  3. Nooouuuuuuu. You’re cool kid, but I can’t let go of Blind Guy. There is a Ship that needs to sail and I will not let you Anchor it!

      1. So, what you are saying is this comic is one where all the characters are some how tied up in a tangled web of romantic and/or family attachments? (looks at archives) Yup, that checks. Carry on, my wayward son.

      2. I’m shipping Danny and blind-teacher-guy now. This strip has to many hetero-normative relationships!

      3. So, next chapter features David. Tarragon’s David. In which, we are told, Ellie will come between them. Now you hint that the relationship between Ellie and Blind Guy will progress. This brings the question: Is Blind Guy in fact, David? Is Caleb cheating on Vu with Ellie? Will Quinn and Pumpkin make an announcement at Thanksgiving? Will Ross and Rachel get back together? Will Lassy get Timmy out of the well? Find out in the next chapter of…

        Shot.t.t.t.t
        Gun.n.n.n.n.n
        Shhhhhufle.l.l.l.l.l.l.

        1. The info I recall that we have is as follows:

          * Ellie’s next job after this thing with Danny will be working with Tarra’s David.
          * Tarra’s mapping in 7 sisters – 7 sins is Envy
          ** Tarra doesn’t seem like she’d have a lot to Envy, and Rusche confirmed speculation in comments that her Envy would come out due to romance.
          * Future Tarra (Sister X) has a different colored speech bubble than current Tarra, and this is caused by Ellie (see author post on comic Nightmare Fuel 13 April 2014 for reference on X-Tarra differences).
          * Speech bubbles occasionally change color temporarily to show different emotions (real or presented).

          From those things I’ve been concluding that Ellie will end up seriously involved with David at some point. I think Rusche also said that Ellie would have a couple of serious relationships throughout the comic, so it’s possible David isn’t the first one. There have been some hints that could go either way as to if Blind Guy is Tarra’s David or not.

          If Blind Guy does turn out to be Tarra’s David, I think a good short Patreon arc might be the conversation I’m sure Rosemary had with him once she found out he was going to be Pumpkin’s teacher.

        2. Of course for the envy to come out, it doesn’t necessarily have to become romantic between Ellie and David at all. That she’s able to regularily spend time with him might be enough for Tarra. Especially if she herself isn’t.

    1. It’s possible that Ellie and Caleb will keep in touch and not ever get romantically involved with each other. Enjoying talking to each other when expecting to always live several hours with one international border between can leave that as a good enough final state.

  4. DAWWWWW.

    (I would say something more meaningful and insightful if I could think of it. I guess you’re stuck with “DAW”)

  5. Oh my goodness, he’s calling Ellie. That little sprite has Ellie’s hair flip and Ellie’s ‘N’ cheek marks. Go look for yourself.

    The question is, is he using the pay phone because his cell screen is cracked, or so that Vu won’t see it on the phone bill?

  6. I just want to say thank you to Chris’ vote machine operators. Even though it’s the start of the month, with every day we get closer to the top 20 and above is another chance to get more readers. More readers, when retained means more vote clicks per day. More vote clicks per day equates to a higher (love?) position on the TopWebComic standings.

    All of these could turn into another ComicMix battle of epic proportions worthy of song and poems being read by school children in a few millenia.

    So, long story short. Vote for SHOTGUN SHUFFLE to bring Ellie and Quinn to the masses. Now go forth into the digital deserts pronouncing the heralds of the Shufflverse.

    http://topwebcomics.com/vote/14850/default.aspx

    1. I’ve been making sure to vote every day since March. I cut it close a few times, but so far I’ve made it.

        1. Well, with my own setup you’re looking at 3840×2160, but I suspect 1080p would make most people happy.

          Very BOTTOM of the priority barrel, mind you. :D

    1. Personally, I think that a poster would be cool. Limited number, signed… That would be cake. And if cake was a scale, there would be the cake at school, box mix at home, grocery store bakery, home baked from scratch, small town bakery and then professional wedding cake baker.

      But a limited number, signed edition would be wedding cake.. so, getting it at the Sigma 6 would be better than home baked. From scratch.

        1. I might even be able to get over my crippling fear of wall hangings with one of an airport like that.

        2. As long as no one’s crippling fear therapy involves TSA nudie scanners, I think it’ll be fine as at least it won’t give you cancer.

  7. Rusche, I think last comic was easily appropriate for a week’s worth of output. While I don’t deny an insatiable desire to see what happens next in any and all stories I care about (this being one), I’m happy to see this delayed until today. You can’t run an engine cranked up to 11 for a prolonged period.

    No dialog here worked well, especially for a chapter end comic.

    1. I agree. Most of us are old enough to be able to wait a few extra days for the next comic. If you’ve got a 16 hour comic, you’ve put in 2 full-time shifts worth of work. It should be 2 days’ worth of comics. Let us know it’s a double edition.

      Beautifully done, today, by the way!

  8. I actually think that would be a great idea. Maybe put it on zedge for a small fee. That’s one of my favorite single panels to date. Also, Powergirl Ellie on Patreon is the best cosplay yet…

  9. Rusche – this is easily one of your best comics and my favourites. For someone who travels a lot, I can relate a lot to this.

  10. This comic has been something that I’ve followed since I started high school and it’s something that I’ve come to love. Through thick and thin you’ve stuck hard, and it makes me think, if you can go through car wrecks and nearly abandoning a comic and all this other stuff, then I can deal with the drama of high school.

  11. better him than the douchebag and the douche artist he seems to at least think before he talks and he’s stronger than your average stone…. might be the start of a beautiful relationship

  12. *squeals* OMG! I love. Ok, I like Ellie and Mr. Stevens……but also her and Caleb. Don’t know which ship I like better….but I like the development all the same. This ship has weighed anchor and pulled out of the dock. XD

  13. Wordless comic – check.
    Blurry panel – check.
    Only one character drawn – check.

    How lazy. This is an outrage!

    Dislike, unsubscribed.

    P.S. I’m joking.

  14. *After looking out the window and calling her.
    ‘Yes I booked the ticket, you can move your jeep out from under the front of the plane I’m not on now.’

    1. Pretty sure it’s Tampa. You usually don’t stick around somewhere you can see planes take off after disembarking, you head straight to baggage claim.

    2. I was thinking Miami Int’l because they have the payphones in the one section across from the Gates and waiting areas.

    1. It can be concluded he just missed his plane, so his section would be empty. And personally, I’ve been stuck in sections before with virtually no people in them because I got there too early. That also adds to a feeling or isolation, and why he’s calling someone to talk to. :D

      1. Look at the difference in perspective :-) I was under the impression that he was looking up at the payphone ringing…that explains a lot, I was trying to figure out how Ellie got hold of that number, she must have been super determined to call him but instead he calls her. So that answers that question.

  15. Probably one of my favorite strips to date. Can’t wait for the next chapter, and thanks for sticking around. It means a lot to many of us.

    Now if only I could get colored silhouettes of peoples faces to appear on my phone as I called people life would be better. Why do I suddenly feel the need to have this?

  16. Lovely page! I especially like how the first panel isn’t completely symmetrical. It had to be really hard to give it that hint of a tilt.

  17. I really love this page! It works great without dialogue. And thanks for the comic recommendation. Can’t wait to read it! The art style is really unique, and appealing. Cyclops on the first page? Yes, please.

  18. I love the wordless end to this chapter.

    One of my all time personal favorite comics is the first chapter of the Many Deaths of Batman. The whole comic has two words in it, which are simply “Get Out” spoken by Gordon over the body of “Batman” in a Gotham morgue to the Mortician.

  19. This might be the most potent scene you’ve made yet. You can damn near feel Caleb’s turmoil in the second panel.

  20. I really love your wordless comics/panels. Window Shopping is still my favorite one of these, because it was hilarious, but this one says a LOT.
    .
    Also: Still haven’t noticed any decline in quality since Jessica took over. If you hadn’t announced it I’d probably still think you were doing the coloring. Three cheers for her high level of quality as a colorist!

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