Well, at midnight tonight I will, assuming that I don’t have a page finished, be 3 days behind on my schedule. I am back where I started when I asked for guest strips however longs ago that was. I’m guessing just after Christmas. Yes, right after the death of my uncle I imagine.
I may as well tell you all what’s been going on. It’s connected to the aforementioned death. My uncle had 3 children, two of age and one still a few years from it. A couple of months ago his wife had a seizure that left her in need of constant care. It is about as horrific fate as you can imagine because she has no short term memory and only remembers her life up to a certain point. So basically every day she wakes up to find out her husband is dead and her children are grown up. It’s kind of like 50 First Dates if the point of that movie was to illustrate a living Hell. Needless to say everyone involved has been a little stressed.
My part in the ensuing chaos this caused has been keeping an eye on my father and the animals, and making a space for my young cousin to occupy. That space was my… office? Artcave? In any event I compressed my belongings into my bedroom. Luckily I played a lot of Tetris in my youth. I have folded space itself to make my ridiculous collection of artifacts fit in this room. Honestly though it’s not unlike my first apartment. In fact, this room is larger than my allotted living space at that time. Also I’ve compressed a lot of my stuff into storage over the years. Particularly the comic books.
My parents getting custody of my cousin was kind of a given. Which is why I have been able to keep up as long as I have. As soon as things went tits up I started preparing in any free moment I had. So here we are. Things are still unsettled, but you can tell what the puzzle is supposed to look like, and a 15 year old girl has been added to the list of things I’m supposed to help keep from dying.
How bout some fiction?
“Who’s that one?” Twig asked quietly, pointing at Niona.
“Ah, sorry, yeah. That’s Niona, she’s a scholar. That’s Regalius, he’s a tone mage… and that’s… Alina Redgrave.” Julius said, pointing to each one in turn. At the revalation of Alina’s name Twig’s eyes almost tore her face in half trying to widen wider than they’d ever been before. Before Alina could even speak Twig had crossed the distance between them and was all but groveling at her feet.
Twig couldn’t seem to form words and she was nearly crying, but she managed to scrabble around in a little pouch and produce a bright stone, like the one Julius summoned her with, and press it shakily into Alina’s palm.
With that she sprinted back to Julius and buried her face in his chest again. He seemed almost as surprised as Alina.
“Uh… Twig says, should you ever need help, just speak clearly at the stone.” Julius instructed. “If it’s in her power to help she’ll defend your life to her last breath… Mistress.”
“This is an exquisite gift,” Alina replied, turning the little stone over in her fingers. “but I certainly haven’t earned it. If anything I should be giving her something.”
“She was in the capital, at the battle of the gates.” Julius explained. “You can understand how… I mean…”
“It is a very rare event when someone repays that debt.” Nodded Alina solemnly. “Our accounts are balanced, Twig, but I’m afraid I can’t bring myself to return your present. I’ll have to owe you for a while now.”
Twig forced herself to look Alina in the eyes and nodded.
“She is wonderful, Master…” She said in a tone even Julius had trouble hearing. “As wonderful as you.”
“I was with her you know?” Complained Regalius, pulling himself to his feet. “We were in the same company. It’s not like Alina did it all by herself you know.” He remembered himself for a moment and cast a quick glance at Alina, who had on the expression of someone who had heard this many times already.
“Not that she isn’t the commander for a reason.” He continued carefully. “But no one ever gives me presents when they meet me. Or Niona for that matter.”
“I don’t believe you, Elf!” Twig replied, casting an appraising eye towards Regalius. “You seem like a bad elf…”
“It’s true, as hard as it is to believe sometimes… Regalius is a hero.” Alina chimed in. “I’d never’ve survived without he or Niona.”
Twig regarded Regalius for a long moment, slowly digging around in her bag, then violently whipped a stone at him. He caught it by luck as much as anything else because his hands were in front of his face when he sensed danger. In spite of the method of delivery he seemed genuinely pleased with his gift and even managed a believable thank you for it.
Twig offered Niona a stone by means of an upturned palm. She still seemed unwilling to let go of Julius, although she was holding on to his sleeve now, rather than his whole body. Niona’s smile seemed to put Twig much more at ease. By the time she had risen and made the short trip to where Julius and Twig were standing Twig had even managed to release Julius and take a few steps away.
“You must have been 14 or 15 at the battle of the gates…” Niona said. “Had you already been studying combat?” Twig shook her head.
“My daddy was a soldier, but I was sposta to be a witch. Sometimes I watched the training though.” She explained.
“How extraordinary…” Said Niona, turning to Julius “And you taught her to shadowphase, with no real combat or magic training to speak of?”
“Yeah… It, uh… She does it like she was born to it.” He replied nervously. “She only has to see something a couple of times and she can copy it almost perfectly.”
Suddenly Niona made a complex gesture with her hands that ended with a shower of sparks erupting from her fingertips like a gun. Without speaking Twig copied the movements almost exactly, which resulted in a smaller, but significant, sparkle of her own.
“Astounding! How utterly fantastic!” Niona grinned. Julius seemed a little disturbed. Twig had already replicated Niona’s cantrip perfectly and was well on her way to improving it.
“Yes, fantastic as always, Twig, but you probably shouldn’t-” He said, making to stop Twig from already trying an eigth time. Unfortunately, before he could break her concentration, a tongue of blue flame was doing significant damage to to the pillar Regalius was now scrambling away from like a cockroach. Twig was squealing with laughter at her new trick.
How very 90s.
Is there a set time period is this comic or is it always 20XX?
It’s always 18XX in an alternate universe where we were smarter faster.
So does that mean we will be seeing some steampunk tech soon?
What are you talking about? The whole damn thing has been steampunk. There are so many pipes in the walls. SO MANY PIPES!
You mean “space age tubes”? Everyone knows those are for hot-wiring cars.
I died laughing. You killed me.
know how you feel, man. keep on trucking
I smile reading the comic, but I laugh reading the posts. I’m tempted to go back to read the posts of every page for maximum entertainment.
That’s a good plan. Unfortunately most of the early posts are lost to server malfunctions. On the bright side there are still a lot of them.
That’s the mark of a great web comic, the post are just bonus content.
I love this comic’s fan community. It’s like a large family of … (I don’t know how to phrase this so sorry in advance if this offends you.) … Crazy people. Not the Bad Crazy though, the Weird Crazy. The kind of crazy I myself am.
Kinda like how we all are.
They say that your comic attract people like the person that makes it. In this case that is certainly true. Most everyone who comments here is broken in some way, but just keeps going.
A beautiful, awful truth.
Nothing beautiful about it; tragic perhaps, but not beautiful.
It’s awful THAT we’re broken, yes.
Broken but functional! Mostly….. sometimes…….
As I am oft to remark, normal is boring.
Viva la insensatez!
Growing up, it was my goal to be normal.
I failed fantastically at this endeavor. Of course, this was back when everyone else was trying to be different. The irony of trying to be normal in this environment didn’t occur to me until later.
I always heard people tell me there is no normal. I didn’t believe them until about 3 years ago, when I realized I was into adulthood now and everyone was off their tush crazy.
actually let me amend that.
Sometimes you work for a big corporation. The big bosses of this corporation come in 2 flavors, crazy and normal. The normal ones are the serious, no-nonsense, uncaring kind who you don’t like working for.
See? No one wants to be normal.
Yikes. Real Life intervenes again. Take care. Don’t get too stressed. :)
There is something there, and Thomas is trying to negate it before he gets attached.
Calling it now.
Why do I say this? I’ve seen it happen before. He who watches others knows all.
Seems you garbled the url to the page, dood.
/comics/1102-buh… right? Kinda got a misplaced one, there. Keheheheh.
Also I haven’t really been reading your blog story (no offense meant), but I’ve been giving the last few pages’ worth cursory reading (mostly due to not knowing what is going on, haha), seems to my *critical sniff* expert degree in gaming that the shadowphaser is akin to a Final Fantasy “Blue Mage”. Or if you’d prefer something else, the main hero (forgot his name) from the anime “Needless”. Get hit with it or see it done and you instantly know how to do something, or how it works.
Just a cursory observation. Maybe at some point I’ll backtrack to read from the start.
sharp eye, but honestly, at this point I don’t give a fuck.
I like this.
Oooh! I can sympathize. If you need someone to have mutual venting sessions with, shoot me an email. I have an 11 year old daughter, and my husband’s ex-girlfriend and their 14 year old son are moving in with us in 2 weeks. Having been a 15 year old girl once, I can also offer personal insight if needed! Okay, no, not really…apparently I blocked those insights a long time ago because my 11 year old baffles me! But I am great at listening and offering sympathetic comments (and advice if it is requested)!
I can’t even imagine your living arrangements. I would kill someone.
Family always comes first. It sucks that these things happen, but sadly it is inevitable.Take as much time as you need and keep that 15 year old alive. Worry about the web comic later, once things settle down a bit. I would offer assistance but I’m useless at anything but talking.
This is what happens when the booth barnacle is manning the booth, I take it.
I’m still holding out for Dawn’s “why” she’s here before I really try to analyze the situation any more than I have.
I hope your cousin, you, your immediate family, and your extended family do well in this time. I mean, it’s obviously already been rough. Still, I reserve the right to hope and pray on your behalf.
Death in our family hasn’t ever really been scary. I mean, my mom was, in a way, relieved when her parents died. Not because she’s mean or hateful. Her dad told her one day just to take him to his burial plot in the cemetery. He didn’t want to go back to the nursing home. Her mom liked the nursing home better, but didn’t really continue to live.
My grandfather had Alzheimer’s, and my grandmother needed my grandfather to stay independent.
My dad’s first brother-in-law died of cancer, I think. My dad’s second brother-in-law died of a bad case of self-inflicted gunshot to the head. My dad’s sister has been married three times, but never divorced. Her current husband is doing well, though they’re both getting close to 60 years old if they’re not already there.
All things considered, my immediate family has had it really well. There’s drama with other families in our extended family, but ours has been relatively drama-free.
Thanks for telling me, well, us… but it always feels like you’re speaking to one person (whomever is reading your writing at the time) and so thanks for telling me. It’s interesting, in a terrible/funny way, that something like that can happen outside of a movie and it can be that bad. I always thought the worst thing that could happen would be to wake up every morning and be back in a terrible past. No, it’s to wake and be in a bad future.
Teenage girls are tricky; I don’t even know what to say about that. Fifteen was my most wild year, and she’s in a rough spot. You need a break too though… You ever go to any Cons? I feel like you do… Maybe go to a convention and let your fans take you out or something. I’m sure we’d do it. Or e-mail some of us; the woman with the 11 year old might help. I’ve still got babies but I am willing to share my little free time with you.
I also wanna commend you on keeping up a great comic and a great story with every post. Your work is something I really look forward to, and I know it takes far less of my day to check your update than it does you to ensure the update gets here. You rock.
Oh Thomas. You needn’t be ashamed of your nerd-dom. Embrace it! Especially that awkward Naruto phase that everyone has had at some point of their anime experience.
Revel in the Narutos!
My Naruto “phase” lasted only long enough to get tired of “Believe it!”.
It didn’t help that I didn’t have access to TV shows, really. Still, I’ve seen enough drawn-out anime that I decided not to get involved.
Inuyasha kind of ruined me in this regard. I really liked it, and watched it religiously for awhile. But then, there was never a conclusion.
I should admit I never saw the last season of Inuyasha as it was released on Cartoon Network.
DragonBall Z was… Well, DragonBall Z. I liked it when I was younger, but I still haven’t seen half of the aired episodes. I’m not compelled to fill in the blanks anymore.
Yu Yu Hakusho was on of the ones I liked best. At least it came to a “stopping point”.
I liked Evangelion until I had a chance to see it all at once.
FLCL was short, sweet, and to the point. It made me feel truly sorry for those people who killed themselves over the original ending to Evangelion.
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann was fantastic in that it didn’t take itself serious, but went nuts trying to outdo itself. It, too, was relatively short.
Trigun and Cowboy Bebop I still like pretty well.
I never saw Big O all the way through, but I liked what I saw.
Sorry. Got carried away. I named a bunch of anime in a row that I didn’t like, and realized I sounded like I just don’t like stuff! Such a grump! So, I thought I’d throw in some stuff I actually do like.
I wonder if some of you like me less for it…
Overall, I don’t consider myself an anime fan, but I don’t ignore anime, either.
Oh, two more I have to mention! Witch Hunter Robin and S-Cry-Ed. They were both ridiculous, but they were fun to watch with a friend and make fun of. I liked Witch Hunter Robin better of those two, but I did have to suspend disbelief a few times.
Fushigi Yûgi subbed but not dubbed. Then anything else that studio dubbed with her was as bad. It also was a bit drawn out and HEAVY on the melon drama.
Youre Under Arrest was also a great series.
Just watched Gilgamesh – ugh – why did I watch the whole thing through? The reviews were too kind to it and the author I can place in the same basket as for Pet Shop of Horror.
See, there are more of us out here.
He is uncomfortable with her bringing up their similarities and the good times they had. This does not mesh well with his preferred method of igniting everything that was into hatred.
That, or he just feel plain awkward. I mean, Carol.
Or, you know, that his ex girlfriend is acting like they’re still buddies and it’s really freaking uncomfortable, considering the fact that he kind of hates her?
It rips me up to hear about your aunt. I had a stroke myself a year and a half ago, and lost memories of things I never expected to ever lose. I lost a lot of physical ability as well, but I still survive. Day to day I build new memories. My prayers go out for you and yours.
I love the strip and like the written story. I hope you will be able to continue both.
Hey Crave, would you be willing to come to my town in Animal Crossing: Wild World some time and buy something from the shop so I can get it to the final upgrade? If not I understand, and don’t want to be a bother.
Just tell me a time and I’ll try to be there. I’m in the mountain time zone so take that into account.
You could do it now if you have the time, I’ve been time traveling so the time in my town is not correct at the moment and the store is open. I will go and open my gate.
The game froze before I found the store.
I reopened the gate if you want to try again. The store is in the upper right hand corner of the town.
My internet chose to die on me for about two minutes and I lost everything.
Guess I was wrong. I did need luck. XD
I wonder if I should just open the gate and then not try doing anything else till you leave? Both of us moving around in town seems to kill my connection.
I will just leave my gate open and not do anything else for a while.
There you go. Hopefully I bought enough stuff for it to work.
Thanks, I just closed my DS after I opened the gate this time. I guess there is a problem with my internet that makes it lag if two people are trying to do something at the same time.
My husband and I have this problem if we both try to go online at the same time.
Yup, it worked. Nook just told me he’s going to be closed for expansion tomorrow. Thanks for all the help. I really appreciate it.
Wow, just actually read your blog post. Damn dude, no pressure on you at all at the moment. You have my sympathies, at least a 15 year old is mostly capable of caring for herself.
I can sympathize with having to compress your stuff, having done so at a few points in my life; 3 bedroom house to 2 bedroom apartment to a smaller apartment to a single room (thank the cosmic muffin for closets and on-site storage). My feels for you and your family.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: you do excellent work, sir. The fact that you can continue to do so under adverse conditions speaks volumes about your talent and ability. Reading BF (and now also your unfolding fiction story) is something that I look forward to. Awesomeness abounds.
So is he cutting her off because the memories and/or her dorkishness are bothering him too much, or is he about to do something nice?
I believe I have located the first mention of the Teen!