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Versus Christus

The conclusion to Pumpkin's story, as I had mentioned several posts ago, will continue tomorrow on Patreon and be updates weekly Tues/Thursday. I made it about as accessible as possible at $2/monthly. Hopefully I've compelled you enough to see the remaining half of that storyarc, and obviously, to help support me making more of these goofy comics you seem to keep reading. :D Pumpkin Comic 1

199 thoughts on “Versus Christus

        1. Mr. Blue thinks that would be nice. However, if I may weigh in (I lost 60 pounds by the way,)hoping to get access on Patreon would be nice, but much more guilt inducing than enjoying Shotgun Shuffle on a similar basis as public sponsored radio’s “A Prairie’s Home Companion.”

    1. Though you are making an accusation that can quickly be disproven, I still must say that you have earned many points in my book, merely from not posting the word “First”, as so many lesser mortals have done before you.

  1. It seems like Danny could make more money just selling ice-cream than promoting a sketchy internet website.

    And since I don’t live in Florida and know almost nothing about the state I’m going to assume that it’s just always ice-cream season down there.

    1. I do agree, that’s a lot of cash those kids are waving around that could potentially be put to use paying for Ellie to do something unnecessary.

      1. That’s really burrowed into your brain, hasn’t it? I’m surprised you haven’t changed your handle to “Mr. Boot”. You’d be ready for any comment regarding injuries or Dark City.

        1. Outside of (damn, I’m dating myself) Benny Hill, Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Buster Keaton, The Three Stooges, The Little Rascals, Charlie Chaplin, Captain Kangaroo and various other laugh fests, I was able through the magic of satellite TV, I was able to watch the CBC during the 80s before cable got out to the sticks.

          With that, the wonder of a convertible driving off of a piece of cake and into the studio wall was fascinating to a son to be high school student. So. . . . . .

          If I were to change the name, it could be to something like, “Mr. Canoehead.”

        2. A lot of things seem to lay eggs in his head, but they generally go away in a week or two’s time.

        3. Mr Blue, have you ever seen The Bowery Boys series? I used to watch that in my teens… Can’t find it even mentioned anywhere!
          (Talk about dating oneself!)

    2. Dannie could make more money doing almost anything other than hawking his site. But he wouldn’t be Guy Ellie if he was practical!

        1. Just think of it this way.

          Dannie’s financial decisions re: Ellie mirror Ellie’s decisions re: her phone.

          Or you could just say that both are part of a pipeline that moves money from Dannie’s bosses to Ellie’s phone company.

        2. I’ll make sure you get another copy of that memo. You see, we’re putting cover sheets on all the BTH reports. So if you could just do that from now on… that’s be greaaaaatttt…

        3. We’re going to need you to move as close to that wall as possible. We need to store some boxes here… yeah… Oh, is that where I left my… stapler? Let me just… *yoink* … thanks.

        4. Established by whom? If anything, he seems like he is highly motivated but unsuccessful (whereas Ellie is good at anything that just doesn’t require her to try very hard). Looking for a get-rich-quick scheme does not strike me as the same as being lazy.

        5. Chris said something along those lines in one of the comment sections shortly after he first appeared. Unless I’m remembering it wrong.

        6. In the comments section to “Charming…” Kenju described Danny as “a male version of Ellie” to which Rusche replied, “astute observation.” I would link but then you’d have to wait for the reply to get approved and ain’t no one got time fo’ dat.

        7. Ok, I found it, thank you.

          Kenju said a bunch of things about Danny, so I could see Rusche referring to any or all of them. I will accept that there are similarities with Ellie to be sure, but not enough to call one a version of the other.

        8. It’s funny how Ellie is a sympathetic character that the readers all root for, while Danny is a character that many of us want to have thrown under a bus. I think there’s some x-factor at play here, and I don’t mean chromosome.

        9. Not all readers root for her. There’s a good handful that don’t particularly care for her character or are just indifferent. Many are more interested in Pumpkin or Quinn or KK.

        10. Also, people don’t need to root exclusively for or against characters. In fact, many interesting characters can be both rooted for and against simultaneously. Like Breaking Bad for example – I rooted both for and against most of the characters at different points in the series.

          Not Flynn though. Flynn’s a badass, he’s my hero.

          I have often rooted for Ellie, especially when she is trying to make good choices and earn the respect of her family, co-workers, and roommate. All we’ve really seen Danny try to do so far is gain access to Ellie’s lovely funparts through somewhat questionable and, in some cases, even despicable means, which is not something people should root for.

          Now, if we get to watch him battle his distant co-workers to hire Ellie officially (for an actual job, not to be his perpetual eye-candy), I’m sure most people here would root for him.

        11. @Gravatarless – I’ll reply again with the link, but we have Word of God confirmation KK will be on the cast page once we get farther in where she’s a major character and Ellie becomes a cameo.

          @Thor – I think you see sympathy based upon situations that we’ve been in versus situations we’ve been burned by. As a guy, women being used to guys like Danny means I have to deal with all her confirmation I’m not that bad for the first several months-to-years of knowing her (which is the reason Bill Clinton always irritated me too). A lot of the Ellie bits are immaturity and laziness that are more common to look back and see from our selves, so we judge them more kindly. Additionally, plenty of psychological studies show that we judge attractive people more kindly than unattractive people (effect still present for gender we aren’t sexually attracted to, though may be less pronounced, I don’t recall).

        12. That is an observation… though I’m not sure what’s funny about it. They are two separate characters, it makes sense that people would have separate opinions of them.

    3. Possibly, but it would take a lot of work and the profit margins would be slim in comparison. You have to buy your own inventory to sell, so you have to count for that, you also have to pass a food grade inspection for your vehicle, and you have to have a busness license, and a few other costs up front.

    4. Danny doesn’t strike me as the type of guy to keep his freezers even remotely sanitary, so I doubt he could capture that much business before the other kids saw the condition of the ice cream.

      I also posit that it’s always ice cream weather any time anywhere. I mean, it’s ice cream.

      1. I think you’re vastly overestimating the discriminating capacity of the average pre-teen… though my sample size is admittedly limited (only having raised two such critters), I can confidently confirm that not only would they spend their money this time, they would eagerly return the very next day even for a horribly inferior product

        1. Excess dirt or even bugs, sure that would be overlooked. A pervasive odor from, say, him storing all his dirty laundry there for six months, probably not. I’m remembering the girl he bought a shirt from insist he get cologne too.

    5. “Not Summer” occasionally gets cold, but yeah, 10 months out of the year there’s a good market for ice cream, Italian ice, ice drinks, Slurpees/Icees, and pretty much any other combination of sugar and cold.

      If you ever do get down to Florida, try to find a Jeremiah’s Italian Ice. It’s quite awesome.

    6. Well, considering ice cream sells at about 4$ a cone (a bit less, but assume I’m rounding all costs up), the license to become a public salesman is in between 700-1200$ and a bucket of ice cream (let’s average that at about ten cones) is 11$… he’d make 29 dollars a bucket, which is ten sales. So he would need to go through (in the 1.2k license worst case scenario) 42 buckets (420 sales) just to start profiting. That’s not counting the price of revamping his old van. Now, considering this is in the US where one bill can be 1$ (and lets face it, it’s kids, it probably is) each of these kids is planning to buy maybe 1 cone. That’s about a bucket’s worth of kids right there, so he’d have made 29$ from selling to these kids.

        1. Also could be EBT. The standards on it keep getting relaxed, and not every merchant follows them.

        1. I wondered how long it would take someone to bring out my “I don’t see why it can’t be both” idea.

  2. 1) I wonder if I spy with my bespectacled eye, a doppelganger for a younger Ellie.

    2) we need the links for the Silent Hill sirens, Kentucky Fried Movie’s alarm man and the Dramatic Chipmunk. STAT.

    CODE ANGRY KID. I REPEAT. CODE ANGRY KID. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.

    ALL HANDS, GENERAL QUARTERS. ALL HANDS TO GENERAL QUARTERS.

    PREPARE TO REPEL ANGRY KID.

  3. Oh no.

    No no no….Danny, no. You’ve enraged Tiny Atlas.

    There will be blood and horror to come, Danny.

    Danny, don’t be a hero. Just get in your molesty ice cream wagon and get out of there. Now.

      1. I would die laughing if there was an extra clip under the comic with her saying, “CHOOSE THE FORM OF THE DESTRUCTOR.”

        1. During the rectification of the Vuldronaii, the Traveller came as a large moving Torb! Then during the third reconciliation of the last of the Meketrex supplicants, they chose a new form for him, that of a giant Sloar! Many Shubs and Zuuls knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of a Sloar that day, I can tell you

  4. Well, well, well. I didn’t expect to see that ambitious little lady again. But I do appreciate seeing her again, especially since it looks like she’s going to make wedneday’s page a lot of fun.

    1. That kid is a she, actually, at last report. She was previously seen offering up extra-trashy makeovers to DJ Cornbread, and shopping for oddly-spherical pets.

        1. She’s the type of kid who likes to get around.
          She’s always drawn, where there’s action to be found.
          Moving the story along with what’s clutched in her tiny uptake upraised hands.
          She’s the tiny wondering wondering something something.

          Uhm….

          You want fries with that baby?
          What did you do, Ray?
          Damn, where is that kid?
          There’s this thing in Kentucky. Is called bourbon.
          You can take this job,and shovel it.
          You give Dheu the creeps.

        2. Oh hell, you’ve come unraveled. You’re spilling quotes everywhere! I just hope it’s not contagious!

          * #@$^ you, #@$^ you, you’re cool, and #@$^ YOU! I quit!
          When someone asks you, if you’re a god, you say YES!
          Dammit dammit dammit!
          * What’s in the box? WHAT’S IN THE BOX?!
          “Be Well” them for me, would you?
          I’ll show you the… UHF.. afrofriate countermervf!

        3. This is a test. . . .

          You know, it just occurred to me that we really haven’t had a successful test of this equipment.
          >.>
          <. <.
          Well,no sense worrying about it now.

    1. And only now do I recoginize the possible drawbacks of using an Ice Cream truck as your daily driver. The endless mobs of angry children would have to get old after a while.

      1. I bet he could sell it to Cinn.

        “No, seriously they keep appearing. Yeah, since you love suffering so much, just tell them that you gave all your ice cream away to the last group of little kids because they were just better, so all you’ve got left are some moldy cracker jacks. Just make sure to stock up on moldy cracker jacks, but those are frequently cheap-to-free.”

  5. Man, seeing all those children crowding around that beat-down-ice-cream-murder-you-in-an-alley truck to buy ice cream just reminds me that kids have TERRIBLE judgment! I mean, don’t they realize they can get ice cream for WAY cheaper right inside the GetMart? Ice cream trucks are extortion by comparison.

    1. Though it appears to have been taken down due to the relentless hounding of the center-wing media, I seem to recall The Onion had an expose that babies are, in fact, stupid compared to the young of other animals. It may just take longer to wear off than we’d originally feared.

      1. That’s because kids have to learn from the experience and advice of adults, and adults are pretty astoundingly stupid too.

  6. Wait, could it… Could it be?
    Is it really happening?
    F-f-f-five days update schedule…?

    Just give me a moment, I just…
    (Manly pride tears)

    1. I’m already preparing the blood sacrifices we’ll inevitably need to bring Rusche’s drawing arm back from the grave.

        1. I honestly think hearing that chi-chi-chi noise and going into slow motion ever time he tried to draw something would drive him insane…

        2. Maybe we can head back to Shadow Moses, and pull one off his dead clone-brother. No problem with that, right?

        3. No. You misunderstood. I’ve been able to hack into the last two used for those two Kung Fu actors for steak and shake. I’m the guy who hacked and updated the sound effects as needed.

          For Chris, I’ve got the, “you want fries with that, baby,” “ooooo eeeee ooooo eeeeeeoooooo,” and “oh man,that’s just one clean chunk there. ” the adult version 2.56 has him, “and he paired with the desert creatures. “

  7. Interesting that last girl seems to be made entirely out of charcoal to me haha. That r is a young painted silver street performer in training who wanted an ice cream fix.

    1. I realize she’s probably supposed to be African American, but she just looks a shade to close to gray for me. Oh well I just thought it was an interesting observation. Not complaining about the art.

      1. No it’s fine. My tablet keeps reverting to some slight-sepia mode where all my greys look slightly brown. So tablet-wise, to me she looked normal. I looked on my phone and I totally see what you mean.

        1. All thanks to the paetron-only comics now doubt. Rusche has got us hooked and we can’t do without our daily dose of SS.

          Once he starts to cut into the profits of the established cartels and SMBC, Penny Arcade, Homestuck, and OoTS start to wonder why they aren’t pulling in as much money as they used to, we’ll get to watch his life slowly spiral out of control until he ends up drawing comic in a trailer in the middle of the desert.
          :P

        2. Agreed, I could get behind that. I mean, behind several miles of rock and lead while the people before me are playing. But that’s actually part of the fun, as going to slow causes a draw due to radiation poisoning.

    1. Have patience. Rusche said he’ll eventually post them to the archives, after enough time has passed so the Patreon folks are getting a noticeable something extra.

  8. I love that all of the kids have different emotional expressions in every frame. I especially feel bad for the black girl, who looks like she’s a couple seconds into heartbreak. :'(

      1. And now, eventually (for the particular arc referenced), can be definitively quantified as by January 26, 2016.

  9. Question! Are the patreon strips only available for a limited time? I need to get some metaphorical ducks in a row before taking on more recurring payments and it’s hard to do that during the holiday season.

  10. Let me make sure I have this correct, 1st half of story arcs will be free but to continue 2nd half, we have to get Patreon status?

    1. As Chris stated over the last few days/week, the conclusion of the Pumpkin arc would be available to those who donated via Patreon These updates will be available T/Th. Along with the conclusion of the Pumpkin arc, he will be placing 2nd tier arcs in the T/Th slots. He will be continuing the Main arc on his M/W/F updates. Eventually, the T/Th updates (Pumpkin arc and subsequent 2nd tier arcs) will be available for all to view. This will be after a long enough time for the people who have donated to get some worthwhile value from their donations. Therefore, you do not need to get Patreon status if you have patience. The Main story will always be on M/W/F so you can continue to enjoy that from now till the end of time.

      No, I haven’t donated…yet, but I don’t see a problem with what Chris is doing. At least he is able to make a semi-living off his work now instead of giving it away and living in abject poverty trying to support himself and his family. Better this, than the alternative which would be No Shotgun Shuffle at all for anyone.

    2. My impression was the main story arc was free (3 comics per week), but there’d be side stories for Patreon supporters (2 comics per week).

    3. The impression I have is that Rusche’s intention is to offer comics on Patreon that would be referenced but not actually fleshed out otherwise. The casual reader wouldn’t really care so much, but the avid reader would probably feel a missed opportunity for the character development. For example this story with Pumpkin will probably have a cliff notes version passed along in conversation for whatever points are relevant to the main story within the main story so everyone will know what happens (even before old Patreon comics are released on the main site), just not all the nuances from it. At most, there’ll probably be some inside jokes (i.e. knowing about the specifics of the Noodle Incident), but in general it sounded like intended for background development that he wouldn’t have had time for otherwise.

        1. No. You’re thinking of the Pasta-Raster-Fried migration of 94. When the individual masses gained access to our dimension via an event horizon of melted butter on a cook stove, they were instantly ovulated and congealed into over easy. The exception was Lakeland, Florida in a now demolished fast food restaurant disguised as a front for the Men in Black recruitment drive.

        2. Probably, though I choose not to underestimate the potential awesomeness up Bill Waterson’s sleeve.

  11. Regarding the Patreon comic: Wow. Rosemary looks like she might be a fan of the Judge Dredd comic. She is The Law. I also loved her remarks to Kat in the last panel; they really needed to be said.

        1. Right, but it’s not the whole contingent crazies we have here which is why I qualified it as “this comment section.” Also I can’t read the Patreon comments are work, something about ancient version of IE they use has it all borken. I’ll have to catch up on them when I get back home.

        2. That was one of my drawbacks to initially starting Patreon/Patreon-content. The comments are no longer confined to the site, nor flow from comic to comic. Now some are here and some are there… but it’s a small con to the big pro of making a living off the comic.

        3. Which is fine, because serving your content is not really what Patreon is for, even if you choose to use it that way.

          I prefer to think of the Patreon comic as “supplemental reading”.

    1. Evil, that is what you are…bringing this comment over after you got to view the Patreon page which not all have gotten to view…stoking our interests even more, make us cringe at not being able to view the story-line because all haven’t become Patreon supporters…yet. Possibly after Christmas…depending on finances…

      1. If it makes you feel better, there’s nothing TOO unexpected. Well, yet anyway. Obviously no promises about Thursday.

        1. Man, I don’t know. TWO cliffhangers a week for Shotgun Shuffle and the subplot? That sounds a little sadistic/masochistic (depending on which side of the patreon account you’re on).

          Though I suppose there’s a chance they won’t both be cliffhangers on Thursday/Fridays. Either that, or Rusche wants us to hate weekends. ;D

        2. Rusche doesn’t seem to aim for cliff hangers, so I’m not worried about it. I just couldn’t help contributing to the evil being called out.

        3. I’ve actually gone to the Patreon site and have been reading the comments…kinda gives me a stalker feel good feeling. Also keeps me kinda in the know of what is going on with lil Pumpkin.

  12. Just wanted to post a comment to let you guys know; the promotions some of you funded via pantheon work. I got here from another webcomic and let me tell you how glad I am I found this gem. Keep it up!

  13. So, in case no one else got the reference (or googled today’s strip title) it’s a lyric from the song “Ave Satani” which was written for the movie “The Omen” (the original with Gregory Peck.) In the psuedo latin of the songs chant it roughly translates to “Anti Christ.” I have to wonder if chronically upraised arms girl is related to Ashliii Tori Abaddon since Abaddon means destroyer in Hebrew religous texts and is mentioned in Revlelations in the Christian Bible.

    Anyway of course I now picture other disturbing things chronic arms upraised girl can be holding in her hands, sacrificial dagger and blood filled chalice, someone’s heart, you get the idea. I think I’m envisioning a twisted colorforms set (people still remember colorforms right?)

    Anyway, just thought I’d share the fruits of my weird research. And throw in that the title of todays’ strip could have been subtitled “and Danny was never seen again” and I wouldn’t bat an eye.

    I’m bored and rambling. And really want to have a lengthy discussion on the potential for extremely sinister and possible supernatural happenings in the shuffleverse. Because I watch way too much X-Files and Supernatural.

    1. I didn’t catch that, though I heard the song in my head with that last panel (and posted it in reply to Iron Billie above, waiting on moderation at time of this posting).

      Well, if she summons anything, it won’t be in D52, we know that much from previous posts by Rusche. No promises about if she sets Danny’s ride on fire though.

      I would actually feel odd if Danny disappeared and was never heard from again. It’d feel unfinished. He feels like he needs to either improve or really majorly screw up somehow before he can continue on. Also then we’d never get to see what Vu looks like.

      1. From a storytelling aspect I expect Danny to be around longer as well it given the ominous foreshadowing and the girls look of utter rage I wouldn’t have been shocked if he vanished either.

        1. It could also be a tie-in with the Patreon comic, which was titled “Rosemary’s Baby”. Either way, thanks for clearing up what this comic’s title was from. :)

    1. Especially with, as boog pointed out above, likely more ice cream than the volume of the van inside GetMart and much cheaper than an ice cream truck would be anyway. I love the thought of that massive fury from a kid with the potential for someone to walk up and say, “just go over there and that’s what you wanted” followed by the “oh” and rage disappearance.

      1. But on the other hand, would individual servings be sold inside? If so, there would be a limited variety. I mean the yellow sign of the American single denomination store highest military tank store has more choices in single servings than I’ve seen in a single may may big box store.

        Except for a Baskin Robbins or a Howard Johnson’s.

        1. Depends. I’ve seen ice cream vending machines in some places. Also I can say that the Menards (think Loews or Home Depot, but put a bunch of stuff in outdoor storage and fill the remaining space with all sorts of things from groceries, to mattresses, to some clothes) near my parents house has freezers with single serve ice cream by the checkout. If nothing else, they’d have ice cream pints.

  14. A question about the Patreon (which I missed the initial announcement of pertaining to the bonus strips, sorry about that). Does access to the bonus strips include strips that may have been missed because it takes me til after the holidays to actually get the payments set up? (ie, if I become a supporter in January, will I be able to see December’s strips?)

    I’m asking because I’ve seen it done the other way ’round, and I do understand the thinking of artists who choose this route. (It’s a variant of the ‘waiting for the trade paperback’ conundrum in dead tree published comics–if too many folks wait for the cheaper-by-the-volume TPB, then you don’t have the stable income during the year it takes to come out with a volume.)

        1. Well, he said they’re up forever, not that older posts are necessarily viewable. I joined early. If someone who joined recently could confirm if they see posts older than they joined? There was a big influx of new Patreons this week and I think I noticed TLO comment there that he’d just joined, so he’ll likely reply if someone else doesn’t first.

        2. That’s what up forever means. Rusche is saying he’s not putting up there for a limited time only. :P If you have access to them at all, you have that access going back in time forever.

          They’re under the “Creations” tab.

        3. Up forever means he isn’t planning on taking them down. That doesn’t imply that old content would be necessarily visible to new members, they could’ve seen the old stuff locked and just the items during the time they were members as visible (i.e. if issues with people joining one month out of the year to see all the old stuff is a concern, which I wouldn’t think it would be for Rusche, but never know for the majority of the site).

          I am too pedantic sometimes. It’s a known issue.

  15. I got two Indifferent Meal shirts in the mail today. One for a gift for a cousin and one for myself. Anyone else choose to give the gift of randomness to some loved ones this holiday season?

  16. Chris, if I may make a suggestion. Split up the Patreon teasers. Black and white for the full access site with no text, captions or speech bubbles. But full Patreon teasers as the vote incentive. With each single and proper vote (one per 24 hour day period from a single address (although this tends to relate to one ISP instead of recognizing each individual device)) on the top webcomic site.

    Pe4haps a Pavlovian response to help guage traffic and demand as well as getting your numbers up on that site.

  17. Hey quick question. I want to do the donation read the Pumpkin comic thing, but due to holidays I can’t afford it this month. When I sign up for it next month can I scroll back and read what I will miss? Either way I’m going to donate. And possibly comment more. Cause I feel like I’ve been reading this comic forever (since the horrible Alex is a douche hittin on Ellie arch.)

    Also great comic. Just so you know. In case my above rambling didn’t already make that clear.

  18. Eh, I liked Eegan. Hopefully he makes an appearance again, although tethering him to Quinn may not end up in his best interests.

  19. DAMNIT, I really wanted to finish that story on pumpkin, but I don’t have a job, or enough money :'( I must say, you did an *extremely* and I can’t stress that enough, *extremely* good job on that arc.

  20. Its a pity that u have to go Patreon for that arc, but u did anounce it, event though the 30 page spoiler might have overdone it..
    I’ll look into if i will sponsor it,or wait till u make it in bookform so i can just buy it all at once.(i really hope u do!!)

  21. What?

    Are you serious?

    After all that time wasted on the Pumpkin shenanigans… the very ending is hidden behind a paygate?
    It had literally JUST got interesting… for all of ONE page.

    If I had any inclination to give any money, it has now depleted as a result of that.

    1. As a note to future people wondering what the parent commenter is talking about, almost 50 of the previous pages he/she came to before this one were previously Patreon exclusives that Rusche moved over to the main site after a while (as discussed above in older comments and pre-Patreon pages, Rusche wants everyone to be able to see the whole comic free, while also wanting to show appreciation to Patreons and a delay for posting was what he chose to accomplish that).

      As of 26 Jan 2016, that entire story is now on the main site and the Patreon site has started with a new story involving some degree of things becoming more settled between Quinn & Ian.

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