Unmarked Spoilers Below
"Easily the most perverted squeaky clean comic on the net."
—"One person", quoted and popularised by Tangents Reviews
I sense a disturbance in the goo.
Tedd: Worry not, comrade, for I have a plan!
Elliot: That worries me...
Waffles versus lesbians... There just isn't any contest!
Sarah: Why is [Nanase] dressed like that?
Justin: Black belts get to wear what they want.
Sarah: That a rule?
Justin: Sorta; nobody is brave enough to tell them no.
You sound awfully annoyed for a guy with a furry fetish and a half-cat girlfriend.
Principal: Tedd, I have called you here to discuss that horrid goo you brought to life...
Tedd: *Sigh* Look, I keep trying to tell people, I did NOT bring that goo to life! I was following the instructions given to me. Whatever it was that brought the goo to life, it WASN'T ME!
Principal: ... Does that mean you CAN'T make me an army of goo-based hall monitors?
Tedd: Even if I could, I would not give in to the dark side so easily.
— This Comic.
Elliot: Uh, dad? I need to borrow some money for clothes...
Mr. Dunkel: Son, does this have anything to do with the fact that you've apparently been turned into a girl?
Elliot: Yes sir.
Mr. Dunkel: I see... How long are you stuck like this?
Elliot: Might be a month, sir.
Mr. Dunkel: Hmm... Well, I'll give you some money. But in the future I expect you to be more careful when playing with that friend of yours. Something's not quite right with that boy.
Oh boy, I'm sorry... I was swearing like a sailor...
Am I supposed to be afraid? Sorry, but it's kind of hard to frighten the dead...
— Ellen, to the Omega Goo, here.
Susan: I'm Susan. Who are you?
Grace: I'm Clark.
Greg: [whispering] Claire!
Grace: Name's Claire.
I don't care if it is proving to be effective, this tactic is just embarrassing...
Hello, this is the daughter you forgot you gave birth to.
— Title, here.
Well, I've always wanted a daughter... And this time, having an unexpected child won't force me to drop out of anything.
— Mrs. Dunkel, right after meeting Ellen, here.
Mr. Dunkel: Ok, so you're not sharing a bed with your sister/daughter. That's good.
Elliot: Well yeah, I mean— Wait, sister/DAUGHTER?!
I'm too young and too male to be the mother of a seventeen year old female me!!!
Rated "R" for language, violence, and frequent and gratuitous loincloth removal.
— Movie, here.
Damien: All of you animal people have horrible names.
"Cat": Well, uh, what can you expect? We were named by scientists, not writers or cartoonists.
Guineas: Squee snort squa squee!
Hedge: Who is "Timmy", and how did he wind up down a well?
Hedge: Oh, sorry, I misheard you.
Ellen: That's the craziest idea I've ever heard.
Grace: You don't like the idea?
Ellen: I love it!
Never underestimate mysterious characters with strange hair.
— Noah, here (sketchbook).
It sounds like one big awkward moment.
Male French Immortal: This would be an excellent time to use our special memory retrieval techniques.
Female French Immortal: It's a shame we forgot how to do those.
Why does this bother me so much? I've seen Grace as a guy before, back when she was in my form! Why didn't that bother me this much?! [beat] Either I'm a narcissist, or I'm just that girly. Either way, it's a disturbing revelation...
Male French Immortal: ...I don't think you've thought this through...
Female French Immortal: Of course I haven't!
Suspension of Disbelief #967 - Being Morphed by a Beam of Energy is Good for You
— Title, here.
Sarah: What kind of girlfriend are you?!
Elliot: The guy kind?
Grace: Thank you, Daddy!
Mr. Verres: Daddy?! Since when— I'm not— I'm just—
Grace: You're like a father to me!
Mr. Verres: ...But you're my son's girlfriend.
Grace: We're a strange family.
Hedge: You're happy?
Vladia: Yes! Can't you tell? I haven't threatened to hurt anyone in days!
Elliot: I'd better go make sure the cake won't transform anyone...
Grace: You needn't worry! [Tedd's] metamorphic food additives are only theoretical at this point!
Grace: We should play cupid and help get their relationship going!
Sarah: No, no, we shouldn't meddle! We might make things worse!
Grace: Darn. I guess it's just as well; Tedd's dad said I'm not allowed to run around naked anyway.
Sarah: ...I can never tell when you're joking...
— This Comic ("Because Cupid is Traditionally Represented as a Naked Cherub, THAT'S Why!")
Susan: If you really want to thank me, you can remove your cat from my head.
Grace: But he looks so comfortable!
Susan: Um... Grace, no offense, but isn't Tedd our resident Mad Scientist? Do you know what you're doing?
Grace: Oh, don't worry, I'm plenty crazy!
How dare you be someone I can't dislike...
— Justin, here.
I'm wearing a skirt, and I have boobs. I'm not going to start worrying about my manly image now!
Grace: This isn't the first time he's seen me as a guy. He had no problem with it when I was in his form and looked like him!
Susan: Maybe he's a narcissist.
Sarah: Or just that girly.
Ellen: Nanase still won't open up to me. She won't let me into her closet. ...Or whatever would be metaphorically appropriate given our situation...
Elliot: You know technically, if you got into the closet with her, that would suggest you'd be hiding your interest in girls as well.
Ellen: Given that I'd be in the closet with another girl, I don't think I'd be doing a very good job.
Mr. Verres: [thinking] Wait a minute... Did I actually agree to buy pizza for eight teenagers?! NOOOOO~!!!
Female Agent: You have objections to my findings?
Mr. Verres: No, no. That cry of anguish was completely unrelated. Please continue.
...I sure as heck don't want to risk getting Elliot pregnant!
Which, by the way, is a sentence I never thought I'd say...
Nanase, don't take this the wrong way, but... HOW THE HELL ARE YOU NOT FAT?
I had believed I would be able to fill half this journal by this point; I've yet to reach even ten pages. I may only reach ten pages by way of complaining about how I've yet to reach ten pages.
Karaoke isn't about good or bad! It's about picking up a microphone and letting your spirit soar free in the company of others! Singing well is nothing compared to the liberation of heart and soul that is Karaoke!
That's what is says in the instructions, anyway.
Hey, look! A singing fish!
Grace: I knew of nose beepery and second life dreamery, but I only knew about as much as I think Elliot did.
Grace: I have my own dictionary.
You were only OK with me being a male because it feels different to be with one's own self... and couples switching bodies is #37 on your list of weird things you like.
It's also possible you're just that girly, but I don't think you're a narcissist.
Agent Wolf: Agent Verres, do you recall the incident with the trans-dimensional walrus?
Mr. Verres: No, Agent Wolf. I have somehow forgotten that there was a dimension-hopping walrus.
Agent Wolf: Right, well, there was this dimension-hopping walrus...
Mr. Verres: [facepalm]
I mean, I like uniforms, but what's the point if everyone in a group is wearing the same thing?
Grace: Tedd said if I was Superman, he'd be Batman.
Justin: And you're dating. I think I've read that fan fiction.
Ellen: (coming into class) Uh, hi, Mr. Alephnull? I'm Ellen, and this is Grace.
Mr. Alephnull: [cooly] Ah, yes, the mysterious new students.
Ellen: What? No. No, we're not mysterious!
Mr. Alephnull: Of course you are. Two new students joining us on the same day with the same schedule and who apparently have known each other beforehand? It reeks of mystery. [dramatically] Mysteries, however, are what math is for! If we take today's date, factor in your respective days of birth... Apply the visible percentage of the current moon phase, work in your genders (XX) as variables... ...And a little of this... ...A little of that... ...Carry the one... [normally] Huh. That's odd. The end result appears to be a duplicate squirrel of some sort.
Mr. Alephnull: [brightly] Nah. I'm just messing with you. That was pure gibberish! Come, let us get you two introduced.
Grace: I'm sorry!
Rhoda: Oh no, no! I'm sorry! Don't feel sorry! Making you feel sorry makes me feel sorry!!
Grace: I'm sorry I'm sorry!
Diane: Rhoda? Are you in here?
Grace: I'm sorry!
Rhoda: I'm sorry!
Mr. Washington: Mr. Raven! You will stop being creepy and weird this instant! Do you hear me?!
Mr. Raven: [overly pleasant] Objection... Withdrawn.
Mr. Washington: Mr. Raven, what did I just say about behaving weirdly and creepily? A moment ago, you were yelling, and now you're smiling and taking it all back? What are you—
Mr. Raven: [gushing] Oh, don't mind me. Didn't get enough sleep last night, low blood sugar, bit my tongue, cut off in traffic, you know how it is.
Mr. Raven: I'll see you two back in class. HAHAHAHAAA!!!
Ellen: ...Is that the strangest he's...?
Mr. Washington: I've seen worse.
What exactly is the significance of a sneeze that results in zapping? That will be addressed later. For now, it is enough to know that Ellen has sneezed in such a way that has significantly increased the mass of her hair and bust. This happens regularly to several women I know, so really, I don’t get why Ellen is so shocked here.
This could be it... the opportunity I've been waiting for! All I have to do is wait for Ellen to eat dinner with Elliot, and amplify any desire Ellen may have for pepper to its maximum! HAHAHAHA!
...Wow. I really am desperate for a plan.
— Magus, here.
Mr. Raven: "Awakenings"? Is that even a word?
Catalina: Who cares? It sounds cool!
Mr. Raven: There is nothing "cool" about improper grammar.
Susan: I hate this stupid school and everyone in it!
Elliot: ...Even us?
Susan: Especially you!
Susan: No, sorry, I'm just stressed out. All I'm trying to do is help people, and I'm getting nothing but grief for it.
Is it apparent yet that I like the idea of people simply giving Tedd dirty looks and his defending whatever horrible thing he just said while the others remain silent? Well, I DO.
Nanase was originally going to do a Spit Take in the last panel, but I considered it too gross and didn’t want to deal with the aftermath of spat out milk getting all over the table, their lunches, and most likely Justin. So instead, Nanase just nearly chokes while drinking. I suppose it says something that I'd rather have that happen than have an unsanitary mess to deal with even within a comic, but I’d rather not put too much thought into that.
Susan: ...I think you've injured my brain.
Tedd: Injured it with logic!
Susan: Sure. Let's call it "logic"...
...The point with THIS specific girl is that she has no issues flaunting her stuff and will gladly portray herself as a sex object. Granted, nothing that she says or does in this comic explicitly establishes that, but I'm counting on all of you to unfairly judge her based on this one brief encounter.
You should be ashamed of yourselves.
Speaking of the alien in the last panel, even though we clearly weren't...
Elliot: Ellen, please, a little privacy! Bathroom time is me time!
Ellen: I don't even want to know.
Elliot: What? No, wait! Interpret that in a good way! A good way!
Nature: Hug him! Hug him like you've never hugged anyone before!
Nurture: What?! No! Don't do it!
Nature: Hug hug hug hug hug- MMPH!
Nurture: [grabs Nature] Quiet, you!
Nature: [flails arms] MMMPH!
Nurture: Quit squirming!
If I don't spell it all out now, the only one who needs know the difference should I change things later is me.
Assuming I don't mention it in the commentary. Which I'm likely to do.
...That girly scream was less manly than I would have liked...
Speaking of using "she" to refer to Elliot, isn't amazing how complicated and confusing pronoun usage can get while discussing El Goonish Shive?
He’s a guy who cares, tries hard and means well, but is completely nuts.
— Commentary, here, referring to Moperville North's principal.
We've got a reputation to protect! We can only report on confirmed monsters, like Mega Hogs, or Bigfoot!
— Ed (News Exec), here.
Ed, I grew up in Moperville. Weird stuff happens here...
— Carol Brown, here.
I think you broke Tedd.
Why would anybody do that?!
...It is worth noting that clouds have very little pride and rain only as necessary.
...That still leaves us with two options.
One, you restore power, unblock communications, and surrender.
Two, you die.
Abraham: ...The diamond has proved impossible to destroy, and attempting to hide it has failed. I suspect it has a will of its own, somehow finding its way to cursed beings.
Mr. Raven: Have you considered Mount Doom? I'm sure we could rustle up some sacrificial hobbits.
Abraham: I... What?
Mr. Raven: Mount Doom? A fictional volcano? How dare you survive to this age and not get that reference.
Abraham: Feigned frailty, no "En Garde"... Have you no honor?!
Raven: The lives of my students are more important. Besides which, I did warn you...
You've asked many times what my name is. I have had many, but I will give you the full name I have chosen for myself.
Pandora. Chaos. Raven.
Refer to me as one or as all, I will live up to the name.
— Chaos, here.
With each spell cast, a chance for new power.
Spells that reflect who you are...
What motivates you...
And the sacrifices you have made.
You are willing to die for her.
If you weren't...
You would never have earned this spell.
Try not to die too quickly.
— Chaos, here ("One Last Spell")
Tedd: For the record, I am much more interested in figuring out the science behind all this than staring at a woman's naked breasts!
Tedd: ...Oh, dear lord, what have I become?
Elliot: I dunno. Mature?
...Okay, no, he's totally a bad guy. Is that a spoiler? I don't think it's a spoiler. Look at that thing. It probably ate a puppy for breakfast right before it burned down an orphanage and talked loudly on a cell phone at a restaurant.
Sarah: I thought you liked Grace.
Susan: Liking someone and wanting to spend sixteen hours in a car with them are two entirely different things.
DIE BY THE SHELLS OF YOUR FALLEN COMRADES, YOU @#$! TURTLES!
I'm actually okay with turtles, but these ones kidnap princesses. That's just wrong.
People have different standards when it comes to arguing what is and isn't a vampire...
I have frequently seen Susan described as having a "bored" look on her face. For a long time now, I have seen it as something else.
Susan: I've summoned a fairy version of you that acts out my subconscious.
Nanase: Sounds like it.
Susan: What the hell.
A general goes to war with the army she has, and her army is herself, a shapeshifter, a girl with a beret, and an embarrassing fairy doll. Go team Susan!
Oh, what the hell? What part of my subconscious do you represent, my drunk hippy side? Because I will drown you in conservative talk radio.
I think I've got a ways to go before I go that far off the deep end, but I'm getting there. I'll keep trying, doing my best, and maybe, just maybe, one day I will successfully go completely off my rocker and jump over dozens of sharks.
Dying is usually inconvenient.
Don't worry! It's just a minor angst-induced awakening! She totally won't be in a murderous rage afterward!
[it gets worse]
Okay, so maybe it's a major angst-induced awakening.
Susan, I believe you are in serious need of stress relief. Angst-induced awakenings are usually triggered by things like murdered loved ones or a village burning down, not disappointment over origin stories.
Susan: I require illusory carrots.
Commentary: This comic has at least the third-most subtext-filled request for illusory carrots in the history of comics.
Susan: But you don't owe me anything...
Jerry: Immortals owe you something. I'm here and have pointy ears. May as well be me.
There has been an ongoing debate regarding whether Sarah should get magic. It has existed before Sarah ever officially expressed an interest in magic, but it's kicked into high gear since then.
And now we have a comic ending on a cliffhanger that could result in Sarah getting magic but could easily go either way.
Ha ha ha.
Okay, in all seriousness, I am SO hiding from the forums this week.
— Commentary, here
Once again, personal growth and maturity have gotten in the way of a good time.
I'm done thinking for today! It's caused me enough trouble!
Perhaps you are unfamiliar with my vernacular. "Piss off" implies that I wish for you to leave. And preferably injure yourself.
— Sirleck, here.
Sirleck: I have no reason to listen to you now.
Magus: Oh yes, you do.
Sirleck: Really? And what reason is that?
Magus: Because you can't hurt me. I never sleep or run out of breath, and I have nothing better to do than follow you around and incessantly babble about anything and everything.
Sirleck: I will listen.
Magus: To my plan or incessant babbling?
Sirleck: Your plan, so both.
My training could inadvertently give a sociopath atomic breath or something. While awesome, that would be totally irresponsible.
— Greg, here.
Any similarities to any real people living, dead, and/or the opposite gender are entirely coincidental.
If defying the laws of physics made Doctor Who cry, he'd never get anything done.
This is one of those things I'm apathetic about that everyone else finds creepy, isn't it?
But seriously, how could I NOT have mild mannered Elliot be attracted to Justin? That would be like having a hang glider and not playing a guitar solo in the light of a full moon. It just wouldn't make SENSE.
Arthur: There are those with power. The misinformed would call them wizards. They are but people with power they did not ask for and cannot explain. For now, they are hidden, but remember my words. Their weight will grow.
News Anchor: Coming up next: Join me for the next fifty-five minutes as I speculate why wizards would be prone to obesity.
Arthur: My words. The weight of my words will grow.
News Anchor: Thanks. I almost had something to talk about.
Does anybody else feel weird that we're rooting for covering up the truth?
Come to think of it, does a meme without cat really count as a meme? I mean, REALLY count?
I'd like to say that people in general could handle and be trusted with the truth about magic, but then, I've met people.
— Justin, here.
Mr. Dunkel: If you're going to be out late fighting evil, you need to call home first!
Mrs. Dunkel: That's right. It affects our ability to plan supper and alibis.
Elliot: I fail at perversion.
Ellen: Need some tips?
Ellen: But don't you want to see what the party animal form is like?
Elliot: That form doesn't sound like a good idea on a school night. Or ever.
Ellen: It shouldn't be that bad. The book made it clear that any outward signs of drunkenness would be purely for show.
Elliot: Goodnight, Ellen.
Random Girl 1: I can't believe he stood up to that fire monster!
Random Girl 2: I can't believe he kicked it all the way into the river!
Random Girl 3: I can't believe he's gay! Not that there's anything wrong with that. I'm just upset that I can't ask him out.
Random Girl 1: Don't you already have a boyfriend?
Random Girl 3: Of course I do. He's right here.
Boyfriend: I am less than happy right now.
For whatever reason, I found being less specific in the comic more amusing. It's possible that Disney is just a funnier word than Mulan, or that something is broken in my brain. I bet it's both!
I'm honestly not sure if this is possible, but the idea intrigued me and the comic already has a shapeshifting squirrel girl with four parents, so it's a bit late to be worrying about what does and doesn't fully match up with reality.
This comic now has my official RECAP SEAL OF APPROVAL! This seal is valid everywhere on Earth except Arizona. I don't know why it's not valid there, but it's beyond my control. My apologies if that inconveniences anyone.
The biggest challenge was the logistics of a bear riding a pogo stick while simultaneously playing an accordion. One or the other, certainly, but both? Madness. Hours of experimentation involving a makeshift pogo stick and a very uncooperative feline later, however, and I had my answer. Thank God for science.
Grace: I even feel bad that the summoner might die. He tried to kill our friends, and he won't get killed unless he tries to kill more people! Why should I care?
Tedd: Because you're empathetic. And possibly a hippy.
Grace: That doesn't mean I have to do drugs now, does it?
Tedd: No, I don't think that would end well for anyone.
At some point during the production of this comic, I decided I wanted to draw some silly faces. I declared this loudly and threw in a "dammit" to show I meant business. A nearby cat showed no outward signs of being impressed.
Just because someone's athletic, nimble, and has ridiculous hair doesn't mean they've been trained in some dojo. It's entirely possible that they're some manner of chosen one and/or have a part time job saving princesses on the weekend. I knew a guy like that. He was nice, but he was annoying to have around at parties because you just knew you weren't going to top his stories.
This is the part of the commentary where I WANT to say all sorts of stuff, but I don't want to speak too much for the comic and can't think of anything to say so I sort of ramble until I reach some manner of non-sequitur to end on. Hey, look! A pony!
The entire reason I speak with so much care is that the additional concentration needed helps me focus and not lose my temper.[...] I am good at controlling my temper now, but I was suspended on my first day of high school for beating up two seniors who were playing keep-away with my backpack. I heard they are offensive linemen on a college football team now, whatever that means.
I had an orchestra all set up for an epic anthem of fighting awesomeness, but then I remembered that this isn't actually a fight scene and fired them. They then bluntly reminded me that they had a contract, so they instead followed me around and gave my day a musical soundtrack. It was kind of cool, but a pain in the butt to organize the various forms of transportation necessary. There are some things compact cars weren't designed to transport, and orchestras are among them.
Moperville South apparently has movie-sized air conditioning ducts for ease of suspenseful sneaky sequences, which at the very least explains how Noah fit in there. This does nothing to explain how the hell he's keeping himself from falling in this comic, but I'm sure there's some illogical explanation for it.
Not everything I have to say needs to be a long rant. Just 99% of it.
That gag's been beaten to death, reanimated, and beaten again. And it amuses me every time.
Dex: ...To save this world... I bring an apocalypse...
Greg: Apocalypses don't work that way.
I considered having Arthur kick a puppy and talk loudly during a movie, but I think it's adequately clear that I'm not trying to make him likable. Authorial intent counts for very little, however, so it's entirely possible you might like him just fine. Just keep in mind that I have that puppy on standby and directions to your favorite movie theater.
I'm not an expert on massive holes in roofs. I could try to learn more. All I'd need would be a stepladder, a jackhammer, and a darn good lawyer for after.
Why yes, the magical fireball of death did stop mid-air while traveling at a fantastic speed without exploding. It's a magical fireball of death. Are you REALLY going to tell it what it can and cannot do? It could put on a top hat and dance around the room and I'd still tell it it's brilliant. No reason to go around getting something like that cross.
Greg: I'm assuming you're a friend, as I'm guessing you didn't manipulate this guy to blast yourself with a fireball.
Child Left Behind: Manipulate?
Greg: Granted, you could just be a horribly incompetent bad guy, but then I'd just punch you in the face or something.
Child Left Behind: That will not be necessary.
Greg: Do anything evil and I will punch you through the face.
Child Left Behind: I under- through the face?
[into phone] SHE'S OKAY!
Why yes, I imagine me yelling into the phone would hurt your ears.
— Justin, to Greg, here.
If something is a foolish shortcut to power, I have been talked out of it.
— The Child Left Behind, here.
Party Elliot: Holy crap I feel like I just chugged down an espresso not literally of course that would hurt unless it was cold which wouldn't taste as good wow I look different than I thought I would but I guess it sort of makes sense I look what's the word I think it's spunky but I'm not sure that makes me think of Spunky Brewster but I
Melissa: Personality shift?
Justin: Um, yeah.
Party Elliot: don't really know what Spunky Brewster is or was it Punky Brewster I've
Melissa: So which is the real—
Justin: Not this one.
Party Elliot: only heard of it before was that a TV show or something wow I'm full of energy
I've maxed out on manliness talking about ponies and what-not. I need to go balance things out a bit by doing girly things like lifting weights or watching some manner of sporting event.
Where the hell were my car keys while I was transformed?
— Elliot, here (upon finding his keys in his pocket after transforming from a form without pockets).
Ellen: You just need to be more impulsive and outgoing! You have it in you to do that without magic and turning into a girl. Hell, I'm evidence of that! Just consider me "Exhibit A".
Elliot: *Pointing to her chest* Exhibit D's.
Commentary: Your honor, I request further exhibition of the evi— [THWACK]
I'm going to move on before I trip over my own line of thought.
"We know that usually when someone who is heterosexual switches sexes..." is it weird that "usually" can be said in that sentence without irony?
— Amanda, in Q&A #5
To answer your question about charts, hair fairies might be real.
— Amanda, in Q&A #5
Searching for references for people with their arms crossed made me feel like the entire search results page was judging me.
It kept going off on tangents. Naturally occurring tangents, but tangents nonetheless. OVERWHELMING TANGENTS. Like, Mecha-Godzilla tangents of doom that also naturally turned into massive exposition and recapping, and not because I was trying to exposit or recap anything, but because that was naturally where the discussion would go after a certain point.
Seriously, it's like I'm trying to write oranges and then these apples show up and I'm all like no get out of here you apples and the apples are like no we're better than oranges but I shoo them out anyway but they keep coming back no matter how many times I tell them I'm trying to write an orange.
...It's possible I rely too heavily on apples and oranges in my metaphors...
Grace: ...I am not horrible at volleyball!
Ellen: Grace, you either dive for cover or launch the ball into orbit.
Grace: That's how I deal with most of my problems.
Ellen: You just need to broaden your areas of study to include other things and spending time with your friends. "Does that new movie suck? Will my friends like it? What have they been up to? How are they feeling? How quickly can I undo my girlfriend's bra?"
Tedd: I do own a stopwatch...
Ellen: [yelling] You're sexy, you're almost entirely responsible for my existence, and you have not once apologized for all the mistakes you made that lead to my creation!
Tedd: How could I apologize for— you think I'm sexy?
Ellen: [yelling] You could say you're sorry, for one!
Tedd: No, I mean... Yeah, I screwed up a lot, and maybe I could apologize for that, but if I hadn't, you wouldn't exist! I am not sorry you exist! If you're the result of my mistakes, then they were the best mistakes I ever made!
Ellen: You confuse the hell out of me.
Tedd: Now that I'll apologize for.
Susan: Maybe you just think a woman can't be physically strong without turning into a man.
Sarah: Nanase, Grace, Ellen, and my boyfriend literally turns into a woman to become stronger.
Susan: Yes, yes, I realized the stupidity the moment I said it.
You know, it's weird. Ever since Catalina showed up in this storyline, I've been getting a lot of comments about ships and shipping things, neither of which I know much about. I know next to nothing about boats, I rarely have to mail anything that won't fit in a letter-sized envelope, and I especially have not had occasion to mail anything that would have to be transported by a boat. I'm not even sure what would be transported by boat these days. Fish? I dunno.
— Commentary, feigning ignorance here.
Mr. Raven: I have no intention of speaking with the man who tried to deport me to Russia.
Mr. Verres: To be fair, you did enter the country using falsified information.
Mr. Raven: The only thing I lied about was my age, and I'm not from Russia.
Before you go, allow me to remind you that there will once again be the weekly comprehension quiz again, on Friday. Seriously, I'm tired of hearing the "I didn't know" excuse...
Female Extra: So, like, these two guys like me, and one of them is really nice, and the other's kind of a jerk, but they're both hot—
Mr. Raven: OUT! To your next class! Classroom temporarily closed, date the nice one, OUT!
Female Extra: But the jerk is so cool...
I know you're half immortal from when you fought the wizard and I'm an alien-human hybrid who can talk with animals and I live with Mr. Verres AND I overheard your phone call last night. So... Wanna save the day?
Grace: [imitating Mr. Raven] "This girl is a liar! She couldn't possibly have read all of that so quickly! BLARGH!" OOOO-EEE-OOOO...! "Oh, wait, these girls are awesome! I must teach them!"
Mr. Raven: That is not how it went.
Grace: And then I like to pretend you bought us apology ice cream, but you totally didn't.
Mr. Raven: I'm not dragging a minor into the woods with me to track down a giant wild animal!
Grace: I'm eighteen! I'm a major!
Mr. Raven: As though that makes you an adult.
Grace: Legally, it does. You can do all sorts of stuff with me!
Mr. Raven: You shouldn't say it like—
Mr. Raven: In the meantime, be more careful with sensitive information!
Grace: Did you know you dropped my note to you [containing very sensitive information] on the floor?
Mr. Raven: ... Yes.
The older I get, the stricter my criteria for thinking of someone as TRULY being an adult becomes. It used to be simply being eighteen or older in my eyes. Then I started thinking that it's hard to consider someone an adult if they're still in high school. Then I was like "dude, they're not even old enough to legally drink", and so on. If I live long enough, I'll one day be accusing sixty year-olds of being darn kids.
More secrets, more problems, am I right? It's like, you think your secret is yours to share, but revealing yourself implies implication of other people, and by the time you realize that's the case, it's too late, and you're not sure if they'll squeal, so you have to lure them into the woods under the pretense of a woodsy slumber party and frame a surly old bear for the impending carnage because, frankly, that bear was a jerk and probably deserved worse than that.
It's not really plot relevant, so I don't bother specifying in the comic itself, but if I HAD to choose EXACTLY when this scene was taking place, it'd be right before their lunch period. That's really not important, but I want all those nerds to tell me what alignment Grace would be in D&D and they feast upon random trivia.
Sounds nuts and stupid. Need any help?
There's no evidence that Raven had any idea who exactly he was protecting. He also didn't seem to care.
I've recently decided to never sketch comics on an empty stomach, and there's good reason for the decision. Beyond simply not drawing as well, there are a variety of "what the hell" sort of mistakes I am very prone to making if I draw when too hungry. Here are a few of them:
- Flipping the positions of the characters
- Drawing entirely the wrong character
- Drawing the wrong emotion on a character
- Putting characters in the wrong outfits and forgetting accessories
And my personal favorite:
- Drawing Tedd as the wrong gender.
It's possible that last one has happened with other characters, but I can only recall with any certainty it happening with Tedd. It doesn't even have to be a scene where any transformation is going on, either. Tedd just sometimes winds up being a guy or a girl when he's supposed to be the opposite. Fortunately, it's not that difficult to correct that sort of mistake when it's Tedd.
Expect to see characters moving around like cheerleaders regardless of what's being discussed in future comics.
I have come to know much about squirrels. Were you aware that they eat nuts?
If it is true... if she is indeed the one who defeated Damien, that could change everything... and not just with the boar! With both her and Noah at my side, we could accomplish so much! We... *stares at photographs on cabinet* *shadowed gaze* ...must take care to not repeat past mistakes...
— Raven, here.
Thanks to the magic of character development, Grace had the courtesy to at least try and be physically modest. Thanks to the magic of Grace being Grace, however, she has failed.
So, basically, when I call a woman "dude", it's like they're a starship captain.
Grace: Awww, a kitty!
Grace: Oh, no, you're very scary! Very snake-like. But I don't mean you or Mr. Raven any harm. I'm a friend!
Grace: Yeah! I'm Grace. What's your name?
Grace: It's a pleasure to meat you, Mr. Fuzzball.
Raven: His name is Max.
Grace: He says he's one of those, too.
I think my old cat believed I could control the weather. She was an indoor cat, only allowed outside briefly and if supervised. If it was raining when she wanted to go outside, I would open the door in order to communicate "dude, it's raining." She would then look at me as though to say "well, turn it off, then."
That might sound weird, but seriously, how weird must it be from an animal's perspective how much control we have over light and water in our own homes? We flip a switch and there's light where none was before. We turn something and water rushes in. It really makes me wonder what they think we're capable of.
Grace may have a clearer view of the world now than she used to, but it's worth remembering that her basis for normalcy is living with Tedd and hanging out with Ellen. I don't think anyone in her shoes would have a perfectly clear view on what is and isn't weird.
I have to wonder if I'm going to find myself in a situation someday where the best thing I could do for nature would be to selectively shoot at it.
Grace: So why do you care [about saving the boar]?
Raven: ... There's no place for it. It doesn't belong anywhere and no one wants it. Its very existence is problematic and reason enough for people to want to kill it. It may not be logical to want to save such a beast, but... I pity it.
* somber look*
Grace: Would it be inappropriate for me to hug—
I believe whoever did this was likely well intentioned. Or ineptly evil.
— Raven, here.
Raven: ...You will do everything I say. You will not risk your life or safety. If I tell you to flee, you will flee. If I tell you t leave me to die, you will leave me to die. Above all else, your objective is to return home unharmed. Do you understand me?
Grace: Leave you to die? But—
Raven: DO. YOU. UNDERSTAND. ME?
Raven: Leave now, and tell Tedd what we are up to.
Grace: What? But I don't want him to worry.
Raven: His trust is worth his worry.
Grace going along with it is simply cute and establishes Grace as being, well, Grace, and I think Grace has been firmly established as Grace before now.
Tedd: You should have told me where you were going.
Grace: I didn't want you to worry.
Tedd: But you lied to me.
Grace: It's okay to lie to people if you think it's for their own good!
Tedd: Who gave you that idea?
Grace: Everyone I have ever known ever.
Raven: Put on this orange vest. It's actually a transformed t-shirt, so I can adjust it if it doesn't fit.
Grace: Why the orange vests?
Raven: Because it's an indicator to other hunters to not shoot you should the illusions fail, and I was unable to conjure a giant bulletproof hamster ball to put you in.
The boar was THIS close to having its "dialogue" translated. I know you can only imagine what I mean by "THIS" given that this is just text, but picture the tips of an index finger and a thumb close together. No, not that close. There you go.
This is the closest I've ever gotten to including an uncensored s-bomb into the script. Ultimately, however, I think the comic is better without cracking open that can of worms, and much like how the boar's grunts and snorts don't need translating, I don't think Raven's face in panel seven does, either.
Raven: I'm sorry I brought you out here. There was no point in trying to save it.
Grace: Mr. Raven, you're very smart and we're both upset right now, but that's stupid. Someone has to try. If everyone accepts the worst outcome as being inevitable, then that's what it's going to be. Nobody else was going to try and save the boar. They didn't even consider it a possibility.
Raven: There are several reasons they didn't.
Grace: I don't care! Even if it seems like there's no hope, at least one person has to be willing to try for a better outcome. We're never going to get better outcomes unless someone tries. And if someone has to be an idiot to try, then I'll gladly be that idiot!
Raven: I still believe you are wrong when it comes to trying to save the boar... But I like your reasons for being wrong.
So long as nerd rage exists, no force on earth can stop complaining on the internet. Except maybe an electromagnetic pulse of sufficient magnitude to wipe out the entirety of the internet. That might do the trick.
Akiko: So you're Nanase's boyfriend?
Ellen: ...Sort of?
Akiko: That is so cool!
Nanase & Ellen: It is?
Akiko: Yeah! Real boys are weird and gross. It's cool that you two are dating!
Ellen: Oh. Well... thanks?
Akiko: That's what I'm going to do when I'm older, too!
Nanase: You're... what?
Akiko: Date girls, like you!
Nanase: Akiko, you can't just decide you're going to like girls.
Akiko: But I do like girls!
Nanase: I mean you can't just decide you're going to be attracted to girls.
Akiko: What does "be attracted to" mean?
Akiko: How old do you think I am? Seven?
Ellen: No, no, it's true! See, if I get too close...
Ellen: *leans toward Nanase* Whuh-whuh-whuh- *thumps into Nanase* Woah!
Akiko: *continued disbelief*
Nanase: She's not buying it.
Ellen: Well, you're not selling it.
Am I going to have to look this up on the internet? [KRACK-A-THOOM]
— Akiko, still not buying it, here.
Akiko: So why can't I decide to be attracted to girls when I'm older?
Nanase: It's a feeling you get. It isn't a conscious decision.
Akiko: So you didn't decide to think she's pretty?
Nanase: Well, no. She just is!
Ellen: I'm more hot than pretty.
Akiko: I guess that's consistent with my data...
Nanase: You have data?
Ellen: About my hotness?
Akiko: It actually explains a lot! Like why two friends would fight over the same person, or why someone would like someone they don't like, and why a dragon would want to date a unicorn!
Nanase: Your data is from cartoons.
Akiko: Of course it is. I'm eight.
...My point is that I'm simply not sure if everyone's actually arguing about what they think they're arguing about.
Not that there'd be anything wrong with that, but—wait, do lesbians have to say that?
— Nanase, here.
Matt: I... I-I was wondering... if you were doing anything Friday night?
Susan: *continues staring*
Susan: You... want to go out with me?
Matt: Well, yes, I would.
Susan: But you don't even know me.
Matt: Not that well, no, but I like what I know so far.
Susan: I'm sorry, I have a thing on Friday at a place where I'll be preoccupied with some stuff that will unfortunately make it impossible for me to, uh... *stares again* Bye! *flees*
As a general rule of thumb, I don't believe people should base their dating habits on sitcoms.
Unless you can somehow figure out how to emulate Jerry on Seinfeld. Granted, his relationships often ended horribly, but he was basically dating a new attractive woman every week. He must have been doing SOMETHING right.
Justin: You should apply at the comic shop! We're going to be having more gaming events over the summer, and we need another person to man the register.
Grace: That'd be great! Oh, but I'm a wo-man. Will that be a problem?
Justin: If by "problem" you mean "likely double the odds my boss will hire you", then yes.
Moms have to be intelligent, knowledgeable, and capable of utterly destroying anything that dares to threaten their children.
Granted, I think most moms can do that by the power of motherly instinct alone, but add martial arts to that and mama's ready to bring on the pain.
Logic: Sarah's right, you know. While there is certainly a sexual component to his motivations, his intentions seem to be fairly innocent.
Nurture: Hey, Logic.
Logic: Hello, Nurture. Are you here to debate the issue?
Nurture: Actually, no. After getting to know some males better and seeing relationships that actually work, I believe we overreacted.
Logic: Huh. What about you, Nature?
Nature: I think we broke that poor guy's heart.
Logic: And what of you, Curiosity?
Curiosity: Who KNOWS what might have been?!
Logic: Okay then. It's unanimous: We feel terrible. Have fun with that, Ego.
Susan: [Wall Bang]
Psychology majors, take note. This is how your mind actually works.
— Commentary, on the above comic.
Tedd: Okay, but I can only pay you in unimaginable power.
Sarah: That works.
There are very few situations when you can say "let's make magic together" and not have it come off as some sort of pick-up line. This is one of them.
Warning: Potential side effects of working in Tedd's lab include transformation, transformation, another type of transformation, and transformation.
— Caption, here (sketchbook).
I suppose it's POSSIBLE Sarah won't get transformed at any point while assisting Tedd.
Possible, but not bloody likely.
I think it's polite to ask before turning someone into a woman.
Sarah: You're not even going to give me a tour before using me as a test subject?
Tedd: I could, but it's better if you're utterly clueless before this test.
Sarah: That is not encouraging.
— Sarah's first day volunteering with Tedd, from This Comic. (Yes, that is Tedd)
I know you're here in spite of me being the madman at the helm, not because of it. I'd like to be upset about that, but I can't really blame you.
Sarah: ...Nothing happened.
Sarah: What are you— wait. Did it transform me and mess with my memories?! Am I supposed to be a woman?!
Tedd: What? No! I mean, yes! I mean... It didn't do anything.
It was such a common theory, in fact, that I feel it would make me seem incredibly clever were I to claim that I had planned for people to make that prediction. This would be a lie, of course, but I'm going to claim it anyway.
Sarah: Are you insane?
*Works on a sculpture made out of mashed potatoes* This means something. This is important.
Sarah: ...You were okay with looking like Grace for fifteen hours.
Tedd: Oh, like that's the least bit shocking.
Heidi: Ooh! I should interview for the job in this form! It has so much energy and can-do-spirit!
Ellen: It also has the judgment of a chipmunk.
Heidi: Chipmunks have excellent judgment! They prepare for the winter and everything!
And now, a glorious look at what I wrote in the script for panel four of This Comic:
Disappointed face is disappoint.
Take THAT, Shakespeare.
This is one of those comics where I'm really left without a whole lot to say. I mean, yes, the dialogue took me hours to write, but that sort of razor wit leaves very little left to be said. I could go on about the complex, wildly varied visuals, but that, too, leaves little for me to ramble about.
Justin: Grace, this is George. Should you work here, your first challenge will be not strangling this man.
Grace: That shouldn't be too hard. He's much taller than me.
George: Not punching me in the belly, then.
Happy Fourth of July, everyone! Yes, everyone. It might not be a holiday outside of the United States, but you can still have a happy day, darn it!
SKETCHBOOK WEEK BEGINS! Color sketchbook entries Monday through Friday! Woo! This isn't just a stalling tactic to give me time to work ahead on story comics, it's a PARTY! YEAH!
...The story will resume July 30th.
Nanase: What's your thing?
Tedd: I don't have a thing.
Nanase: You clearly have a thing.
Tedd: Not a relevant thing.
Nanase: I think it is a relevant thing!
Tedd: My thing is my business, and— Sarah, why are you laughing?
Sarah: [snicker] Thing. I mean, nothing.
It's easy to be jealous of Nanase. Hell, I'm jealous of Nanase. [...] And before you say anything, it has nothing to do with anything she's done with Elliot.
Mr. Tensaided: Wow. That guy's like a misguided henchman for a charismatic Super Villain waiting to happen.
Mr. Tensaided: ...Dammit.
This is the part where someone e-mails me to tell me that white isn't a color. Also, now that I've said that, this is the part where someone else will send me an e-mail explaining why white totally is a color. This will be followed by the part where I disregard both e-mails and eat a sandwich.
I think the line I've quoted more than any other from Star Wars throughout the course of my life has been "we're doomed".
Susan: Why do you care, anyway? That guy's a sarcastic jerk.
Elliot: So I don't like him. I don't like most people. I still care about what happens to them.
Susan: See, it's that sort of mentality that makes me think you'd risk your life to save an enemy.
Elliot: Oh, and you wouldn't.
Susan: Excuse me?
Elliot: You don't like most people either, but you'd still fight like hell for them. You may put on a better grumpy-face, but you're at least as big a softie as I am.
Elliot: I, uh, did imply it was a good one...
Susan: Elliot, that guy's core will be fine.
Susan: You know, his core. The center of his well-being. His essence, his morale, his midichlorian count... they're fine. All of those things will be fine. There is no core breach imminent.
Elliot: I know that.
Susan: Good, because I'm not sure what I'm even saying at this point.
Justin: Your job for tonight is mostly unchanged, except people will be paying entry fees. We have two tournament formats, modern and sealed.
Grace: What's the difference?
Justin: From your perspective? Price. Sealed players get unopened packs to make their decks from scratch, so they pay more. Modern players bring their own decks made up of cards found in recent sets.
Tensaided: And both formats are vastly inferior to the Olde School format!
Justin: Your job will also include listening to this angry man.
The process of figuring out This Comic's layout beat me up and took my lunch money.
Tensaided: I cast Fiery Sacrifice, sacrificing my goblin to gain three energy... [FWOOSH] And I use that energy to summon Gnomish Inventor! Which I then immediately sacrifice... [FWOOSH] To activate its ability, allowing me to play the four-energy cost Library Of Schematics! Which I then immediately sacrifice... [FWOOSH] To activate its ability, allowing me to search my deck and play any equal or lesser value device for free, and I choose... GARGANTUAN CANNON!
Justin: Which you then immediately sacrifice?
Pay one energy, activate: Attack with a monster from your hand. That monster then dies because, well, cannon.
— Gargantuan Cannon Card description, here.
I don't know what you are... I don't know what you could be... But I know you've been spying on me, and I have a particular set of skills. Skills that go beyond quoting the move Taken.
Man, I can't wait for this scene to be over so I can get Tedd out of that white T-shirt.
...That didn't sound right...
You know what? I need to stop calling them web critics. It sounds like I'm talking about snooty spiders. Less intimidating than regular spiders with their discerning tastes preventing them from biting most people, but still spiders.
Thursday: As for why Tedd's apparently female in the metaphysical panels, I leave that open to speculation. I will also laugh maniacally if I learn that anyone hadn't noticed that prior to reading the previous sentence because, hey, it's Tedd.
Friday: For the record, I got to laugh maniacally a LOT yesterday.
Elliot: If you want to do a sketch like [discussing female uniforms from ST:TOS], you should tell me. I wouldn't normally just tease you like that.
Susan: We tease each other all the time!
Elliot: Not about wearing sexy outfits!
Susan: Well, no, of course not. Normally I'd hammer a fool for that, but it's okay if you do it. [beat] FOR THE SHOW. It's okay for the show. Why don't I just tell you when I want to do a bit like that.
Have you been reading wikis again? You know the government has an entire team whose whole job is to fill those with gibberish.
— Mr. Verres, here.
That last panel isn't true, by the way. At least, I don't think it is. I've heard of crazier government expenditures, and it would explain a few things. Although, wikis related to TV shows and the like seem to be reliably accurate. Maybe those are written by genuine fans, and everything else is by The Men in Black? Or maybe they like TV, too, and getting to write super detailed episode descriptions of their favorite shows is one of the perks.
Tedd: If there were something like that, you'd tell me... right?
Mr. Verres: Tedd. If you ask me a question I cannot answer, either because I don't know or cannot safely say, I will say so. Or change the subject. Or fake a seizure.
Tedd: That was fake?
Mr. Verres: What I will not do is feed you misinformation. You're in too deep for that to be safe for anyone. If I knew what was happening, I would say so. Or pretend my phone is ringing.
Bad things happening on a holiday do have the potential to turn that holiday into an annual bummer. I still become a bit of a Scrooge around Halloween thanks to certain acts of vandalism that once occurred on Halloween, and it's been years since anything like that's happened.
Not that it makes me do anything particularly crazy. It's normal to leave motion sensitive sprinklers out on Halloween, right?
You heard it in this comic first: Elliot's a super bad guy. He's the BADDEST. Like, one time? He kicked a PUPPY. Lightly. While walking. By accident. He apologized to both the puppy and the owner. And bought the puppy a chew toy. BUT STILL!
Of course, who can forget evil Ellen? We all remember how successfully evil she was. So, so evil.
Elliot: [yelling across house] MO~OM! ELLEN'S WITHHOLDING RELATIONSHIP ADVICE!
Mrs. Dunkel: [yelling from other room] DO YOU BELIEVE IT'S FOR HIS OWN GOOD, ELLEN?
Ellen: [yelling across house] YEAH, MOM!
Mrs. Dunkel: [yelling from other room] YOU'RE ON YOUR OWN, ELLIOT!
Elliot: I've never been this confused before.
Ellen: Oh, sure you have. What about after you touched the diamond?
Elliot: That was pretty simple, actually.
Ellen: Really. The spontaneous creation of a female twin with all your memories. That was simple.
Elliot: "She's family. Help her." Not that complicated.
When Elliot can say he's never been so confused before without hyperbole, you just know you're dealing with a man who's powerful confused. Seriously. Consider the depths of confusion Elliot has faced both on and off panel in his lifetime. We're talking more confused than any cat I have ever known, and I have known some POWERFUL confused cats.
Personally, I like Grace's answer [to the question of why we look up when referring to Heaven]. It can basically be re-interpreted as "what are you gonna do, look at your feet? Those ain't paradise."
Grace: OKAY! LET'S GET THIS CHRISTMAS SPECIAL PARTY STARTED! WOO! I'm hyped! Are you hyped?!
Elliot: Um... sure.
Grace: Great! I thought we'd start with Die Hard!
- Do not try to hide your relationship feelings from Grace. The Grace knows.
- You know, except when she doesn't, but she'd had a busy couple of days! And it was the first year of the comic. Tedd didn't even have a mouth most of the time.
An instant message conversation is once again being represented by the chatters dressed up as their avatars.
This is due to the undeniable fact that just showing people typing at their computers would be the worst thing ever.
It has absolutely nothing to do with it effectively being the perfect excuse for Justin and Susan to dress up like it was Halloween time instead of Christmas time.
— Caption, here.
Diane: Someday, Rhoda? I'm going to meet the man of my dreams. He'll be rich and handsome, kind and compassionate, independent and assertive, and do everything I tell him to. There's no way I'm going to score a man like that without a lot of dating experience. This "Elliot" might not be that man, but he sounds closer than most. He'll make good practice. And, if not, he could still buy me stuff.
Rhoda: What if you just fall in love with someone someday and they fall in love with you?
Diane: [pats Rhoda on the head] That's adorable.
I'm going to save everyone some time and explicitly state that the silhouette in this comic is just of some generic guy in a suit. There's no reason to hunt through the archives or compare it to characters in future comics. Even if it does fit someone's silhouette, it will mean absolutely nothing. At all.
...Although, I suppose that sort of thing could encourage all sorts of fan speculation, which is always good... You know what? Forget the last paragraph. That silhouette’s totally not generic. I have someone totally specific in mind for it. They're cool. You should be on the look out for them forever, because I'm totally making this up. I mean, because you'll totally find the right match eventually*.
* No you won't
Elliot: What is love? [...] I mean... there are all sorts of ways to like a person and want to be with a person, but what takes it beyond friendship and makes it love?
Tedd: I can think of a few things I have no interest in doing with you.
I like making gravity's power over hair fluctuate based on individual character's moods. I think it would be awesome if hair was more like that in reality, although I suppose it would result in a lot of poker players shaving their heads.
I love that face in the last panel. I want it to be in every comic. Friday's comic might just be that face for sixteen panels (it would be eight, but we don't need to see the back of Elliot's head again, do we?).
Panel three was difficult for me to draw, as it's difficult for me to accept that my characters have nostrils. I mean, logically, I know they do. The art style doesn't show them unless necessary, but they must be there. It's not like they're constantly breathing through their mouths or absorbing oxygen into their lungs through their skin.
I like the idea of loud, angry silence. I'm sure it makes some sort of sense. Somehow.
Elliot: I guess I'm really not a bad guy.
Sarah: Who the hell thought you were a bad guy?
Sarah: Well, you're a dummy.
Elliot: So. This is it. We're broken up.
Elliot: And we're still Friends.
Sarah: Hell yep.
Elliot: No one is ever going to believe our break up went this smoothly.
Sarah: Eh, special circumstances. We both wanted the same thing.
Elliot: Nobody's gonna buy that. We should say you threw stuff at me and chased me out of my own house.
Sarah: Oh, sure. Make me the crazy one.
Elliot: Well, we can't say I threw stuff at you. I'm a guy. People would flip out.
Sarah: Hmph. Fine. But only if we say I threw a couch at you.
Elliot: You threw a couch at me.
Sarah: A big one. I was empowered by feminine rage.
Elliot: And then we calmed down and talked it through after you threw the couch?
Sarah: No, I threw more couches after that.
Commentary: I want to see Sarah throw a sofa now. That might have to happen.
Thank you so much! I don't know how our prized lockpicking gorilla escaped, but...
— Circus/Zoo Worker, here.
[discussing possible reasons behind the limitations of Nanase's Angel Spell]
Nanase: Of course, there is that other possibility.
Ellen: What other possibility?
Nanase: It's a spell that requires sacrifice, can only be used to defend, makes me look like an angel, and I got it immediately after asking God for help.
Ellen: You don't think...
Nanase: I don't know, but I thanked God all the same.
Nanase: I didn't know you had an interest in movies.
Diane: Everyone likes movies! Okay, most of them are absolutely terrible, but they're something to watch and talk about with others. I never realized it could be fun to just listen to people talking about them on the internet!
Nanase: Careful there, Diane. That's how nerds get started.
Diane: [horrified] It... It is?
Nanase: I was joking.
Ellen: I'm sure some of them get started that way.
Nanase: People are who they are. Watching reviews doesn't make you a nerd.
Diane: Oh thank goodness. Don't scare me like that.
Nanase: [deadpan] I'll try to be more careful.
Elijah: Hi! I'm Elijah, and this is Rick.
Rick: 'Sup. You must be Ellen, Nanase, and Barbie.
Diane: That nickname hasn't gotten any more clever with age, Rick.
Rick: Shame. You used to like it.
Nanase: *looks at Diane*
Diane: Shut up. I was six.
Nanase: I didn't say anything.
More comics need to have random dead dragons in the background that go unacknowledged.
Ellen: Hey Charlotte, did you really think the Locker Room Ghost might've been real?
Charlotte: I don't think ghosts are real, but the universe is a vast realm of endless possibilities that doesn't care how well I understand it. If ghosts are real, ghosts are real.
Nanase: And you thought we'd be a good choice either way.
Charlotte: I figured you would at least either catch the culprits, or confirm a supernatural element.
Nanase: So we'd either solve everything or confirm spookiness. Good call.
Charlotte: I also figured you two were a good choice because I graduated from Moperville South last year and I have a doll with Nanase's face on it.
As for what the hell is going on, there's bound to be some answers in an upcoming comic itself sooner or later. Maybe later! Or soon. Somewhere in between? I suppose we need to define our variables. "Soon" and "later" are vague, and no way to run a proper scientific experiment. I also have a tendency to refer to "comic" as both EGS as a whole and individual updates, so we need to clarify that, too.
Tell you what. Let's get a committee together of twelve distinguished professors in order to decide on what variable values to use and see if they all wind up transforming into women without any of them noticing. That should tell us something.
I've received a lot of guesses so far about how this is happening. Fewer guesses as to why, but "why" is always the trickier question. Well, most of the time. Maybe. "Why did you make a comic?" Because comics are rad! "How did you make a comic?" Allow me to show you my 500-step comic-making process.
Absolute statements are ALWAYS flawed.
Oh my agnostic outlook...
— Charlotte, here.
Charlotte: This changes nothing of our objectives beyond how outraged we shall be while completing them.
Nanase: I was already at eleven, but you're right.
Not-Tengu: ...Tengu is but a screen name! My true name is—
Nanase: Aren't Tengus supposed to have bird-like features?
Not-Tengu: Um, yes, but as I was—
Nanase: You're more like a weird bat.
Not-Tengu: Yes, but—
Charlotte: They're also supposed to have huge noses. I refrained from nitpicking on the forums, but I see no reason not to now. Speaking of which, you are so banned.
Not-Tengu: As though I care about your forums! Your selection of smiles was woefully inadequate, and new post notifications were frequently delayed!
— This Comic (Last line is from next comic)
...I'm 100% sure we'll learn his true name eventually. You know, most likely. Maybe.
Ellen: You mean like a cult?
Not-Tengu: A "cult"? Honestly, such intolerance of other people's beliefs.
Ellen: You enslave minds!
Not-Tengu: And I believe that's okay.
I should probably give it another chance. Sure, it's silly and weird and all that, but consider what comic this commentary is for.
God? It's me, El— Wait, you're God. You know who the hell this is. Sorry about thinking "hell".
I thought about keeping Nanase and Ellen silent for a bit to ratchet up the tension more in this comic, but no. Ellen flying for the first time demanded proper acknowledgement, and character moments like that have very expensive attorneys at their disposal. I don't know if they're properly trained or not, but they had suits and everything. There was no choice in the matter.
Most people I've talked to think it's Ellen being narrowly rescued in this comic, both based on her expressions and positioning in the previous comic. I'd deny it, but just look at panel two of this comic. LOOK AT IT! That is so Nanase grabbing Ellen's tail right there.
Literal tail, I mean. She's not... Ellen actually has a tail right now. Two, actually. And one was grabbed. LITERAL.
Please stay down. I'd rather you not die prior to understanding why what you did was wrong.
"Cheerleadra": Did you just threaten to kill this guy?
"Shade Tail": No! Sort of. I was being intimidating!
...The last time someone took this guy down, they were a powerhouse! A legendary monster hunter with a long family history of fighting monsters and evil wizards and...
* notices Mr. Verres & Agent Cranium glaring*
And that's classified. I said nothing, and if I did, it was the summary of an anime Cranium makes me watch on our dates.
Also, we're not dating.
— Agent Wolf, here.
Ellen: ...It... feels wrong to stick our noses in her family's business.
Nanase: We didn't stick our noses anywhere. Our noses were minding their own business when Diane got thrown at them.
Ellen: Now there's a visual.
Lisa: What's our gimmick this time?
Lisa: You know. We had the shrinking test, then we had the talk show... What do we have now?
Amanda: We have answers to reader questions... and a green screen!
Lisa: So we have the basic concept and a blank comic background.
Amanda: We're keeping focus. And it won't always be blank. Stuff will be added in post! See?
Lisa: Well, no, I can't see stuff that will be added after we record this.
Amanda: *whispering* Just play along. I'm sure there's something cool there.
Lisa: There, and I bet on your chest, too.
Amanda: What are you— Oh. I probably shouldn't wear a green shirt.
Lisa: Yeah, you should take that off and not replace it with anything.
Elliot: ...So in short, this movie stinks.
Susan: Figuratively, of course. Literally would be absurd.
Elliot: Before we go, I've mentioned having a girlfriend, Sarah, many times in previous reviews. I figure my suddenly not mentioning her might start rumors, so I want to just get the truth out there. The two of us did recently break up. Don't feel bad for us, though@ We're still friends, and our breaking up was a mutual decision.
Sarah: *bursting through door* LIKE HELL IT WAS!
Elliot: Sarah? What are you talking about?!
Sarah: I know all about Ysolda, you bastard!
Elliot: I keep telling you, she's a video game character, and she only liked me for my mammoth tusk!
Sarah: Why you vulgar... DESPICABLE... *picks up couch*
Elliot: What? Wait! That wasn't a euphemism!
Sarah: RRRRRAAAAA— *throws couch*
[ BOOM ]
Oh no... I hear sirens! IT'S THE CONTINUITY POLICE! You'll never take me alive, coppers!
And so begins the next "seriously and for reals" storyline! It's called Identity. Why? I don't know. I have a dart board with words on it. An inch to the right, and it would have been called Pizza, while an inch to the left would have been worth 50 pts and a spin on the wheel of adjectives.
Tedd: [after watching the above video] Um... Wow.
Sarah: I know, right?
Tedd: That, uh, couch throwing effect—
Sarah: It was supposed to look fake.
Tedd: Fantastic job.
Sarah: It's so obviously staged. Nobody's going to take it seriously.
Susan: Your misplaced faith in humanity is adorable.
Susan: Last I checked, I think we had a little over a thousand subscribers?
Everyone: ONE THOUSAND?!
Tedd: That's... Wow. That's impressive.
Sarah: I have retroactive stage fright.
I apparently worried some people after the last comic. There may be foreshadowing of one or more things, sure (even when I'm not trying to foreshadow something, I'm probably foreshadowing something), but it would take something HUGE for Grace and Tedd to break up, and I don't particularly want people to worry about that (not when I have so many other things to make everyone worry about).
I guess this means that Elliot guy is available. Not that I'm interested in some funny athletic minor celebrity guy who's openly sensitive in his movie reviews.
— Unnamed Girl, here.
Diane: Elliot, you handsome idiot! Do you have any idea what this will unleash?!
Commentary: I'm quite certain that Diane has no idea what she's talking about and that Elliot and Susan's latest review won't result in any sort of mayhem or hijinks.
Susan: I still don't understand this "retroactive stage fright" business.
Sarah: Of course you don't. You take over assemblies if you don't like what's being said.
Sarah: You shouldn't just assume people don't like you.
Susan: All you've done on the show is yell and throw a couch, and already people like you more.
Sarah: No they don't! Like I said, Cecil knows me, and that other guy was his friend. That's only two people. It's not like everybody suddenly likes me now.
Strange Girl: You have a good heart.
Sarah: Okay, no, that was clearly just a random crazy person.
This is one of those comics where I thought of it in my head and was all like "yay!" Then it came time to actually make it, and I was all like "I have to draw Elliot getting past people by running on a wall? Whose idea was that?!"
Tedd: In retrospect, that Griffin was probably noteworthy.
Elliot: SHE WAS JUST ASKING FOR DIRECTIONS!
Sarah: Boys have been approaching me all day! It's like I've gained some magic power that makes people want to talk about geeky stuff with me.
Sarah: What about you? You're not feeling an inexplicable desire to talk to me about Star Trek, are you?
Susan: Yes, but that's normal.
Catalina: 'Sup nerds! *glomps Sarah*
Susan: Hello, Catalina.
Sarah: Why don't you ever do that to Susan?
Catalina: I want to live.
Susan: I have found the front of the bandwagon, and it is enormous.
Sarah: How enormous?
Susan: If I did not know better, I would suspect Tedd's father of writing it.
Sarah: Oh. My. God. Someone actually left a comment like that on an internet video?
Susan: I can't find a single spelling or punctuation error.
Catalina: That's impossible!
Legal notice: It's possible that parts, if not all, of this commentary was a dirty lie. Except maybe this part. And the reference link. That's probably not a lie, unless it links to the wrong comic. If it does, that was totally an accident. Unless this is the part of the commentary that's a lie. I have to say, this has gotten confusing.
— Commentary, here (Sketchbook).
I am aware that this makes me an incredibly evil person. I would apologize for this, but being evil, I feel I shouldn't.
I totally cheated with Tedd's positioning in the second-to-last panel of the previous comic. He basically teleported behind the sofa from his chair by the computer and ARTISTIC LICENSE! That's what I meant. That's the thing that happened. Artistic license, not cheating. Yeah. BAM. Artistic.
I enjoyed having a day off this week! I wouldn't want to only post four story comics a week every week, but for one week? It was nice. I'm going to have to pay attention to holidays more often! Although I'm pretty sure Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years are the only ones I'd be comfortable allowing myself, and they're all bunched together.
I'm going to have to invent some of my own holidays, aren't I? Now I know how greeting card companies feel.
Susan: *looking at Justin's avatar* What are you supposed to be?
Justin: I'm a monster trainer! The very best, you might say.
Susan: I would think that would involve more padding.
I can't think of any comics to reference link that I haven't linked to, like, a thousand times recently. This makes me sad. I'm going to fill the void with a completely not relevant reference link to that one time Jeremy attacked a catnip plant.
- Jeremy totally attacking a catnip plant
Ahhh... That's better.
I'm pretty sure I just confused myself, and if I think I'm confused, I probably am. Unless I'm confused about being confused.
It's madness, and I don't do what mad people tell me to do. Not even when they're me!
— Susan, here
*Susan and Justin RPing Star Trek / Pokémon crossover with crashed saucer in background*
Susan: Why would you let a Pikachu pilot a spaceship?!
Justin: He's electric type! I thought he could handle it!
Elliot: Who would I even ask out?
Tedd: [...] You could meet new people.
Elliot: What do you mean?
Tedd: Ask out girls who aren't already your friends? Get to know them on dates? Work to find someone you're compatible with?
Elliot: I don't understand.
Now, I'm not 100% sure about this, but I'm thinking that maybe, JUST MAYBE, Elliot's dreaming again. If so, then it's probably worth noting that Elliot's technically the only person actually in this comic and is basically conversing with himself, but let's not jump to conclusions, as Tedd / dream Elliot might say. It's entirely possible that I've lost my mind and decided that characters will just transform for no reason whatsoever without anyone noticing.
Actually, regardless of whether it's a dream, let's just say I've lost my mind and characters might just transform for no reason whatsoever without anyone noticing. That sounds like fun.
Nah, don't worry. I'm just kidding! I won't actually start doing that.
Life really is all about the small victories. Although, I guess big victories are cool, too. And you can totally learn from failure and wind up all the better for it. I guess life is about a lot of things.
What?! Ashley, no! Openly communicating with someone you like like that? That's not how we do things in this comic!
I channeled all of my natural talent for awkward introductions and starts of conversations into this comic. Consequently, I was surrounded by a greenish glow of awkwardness while making it. This was, appropriately, quite awkward.
Ashley: You must think I'm an idiot...
Susan: *exploding from chair* I do not think you're an idiot!
Ashley: *recoiling* EEP!
Susan: I'm sorry. That sounded about ten thousand times angrier than I had intended.
Mr. Verres: It's never going to happen, Tedd. You need to accept that.
Mr. Verres: See, this is the opposite of what needs to happen.
Wizard: Do you not remember me at all?
Grace: I... sorta have a sense of deja vu, but...
Wizard: I was afraid of that. I am a wizard, but more importantly, I am an emissary with an important message. This will be my third time giving it to you.
Diane: I get it. Girl caught him on the rebound when he was vulnerable.
Ellen: That's not what...
Diane: I was going to give him space, but if competition is on the move and taking advantage of his fragile emotions, then so must I! She thinks she knows seduction?! She doesn't know what seduction is! Not that I'm interested in him or anything.
Ellen and Grace: ...Seriously?
Diane: I won't admit to it, in any case.
Ellen: You just said you were going to seduce him.
Diane: I only said that other girl doesn't know what seduction is!
Ellen: That girl you referred to as "the competition"?
Diane: I'M COMPLICATED!
— This Comic (Continuation of above)
Justin: Are you okay?
Luke: Yes! I-I'm fine! Perfectly well! Uh... It appears that you do, in fact, sell comics. Right! That was all I was checking!
* Luke leaves*
Justin (To Grace): I think he likes you.