1023 My Life Is Thunder.

Jess has unlocked a vast sea of potential cock jokes. It’s like dickmas up in here.

In an effort to be prepared for teenager related issues I have been getting up early. Five AM is the target time period, but I keep waking up at 3AM. Which is not awesome. The other side of that is that I want to go to bed at 7PM. Which makes posting the comic more difficult.

Right now the teen is convinced that she has contracted the t-virus and will be the cause of the zombie apocalypse. She is also in my bed, which is not awesome if she is, in fact, sick and not just a teenager. I am also trying to get her to understand why Clone High is an awesome show.

I have my work cut out for me.


Here’s some more of the adventure story:

“Do you think they’re corporeal?” Asked Niona.

“You mean can they hurt us?” Replied Julius.

“I’m not sure.” He continued. “It’s so hard to tell with spectral things…”

“I think these are trapped souls.” Interjected Alina. “Or at the very least bound to this infernal mechanism. There’s a good chance they have influence in our dimension.”

“Can you dispel them?” Twig asked shakily.

“I don’t think so. Temporarily maybe, but they’d be drawn right back.” Alina answered. “We four know shield charms. We should be able to repel them as a group. Long enough to undo whatever this is anyway.”

“Twig and I know some as well…” Julius mentioned in passing.

“Excellent. We should be fine then. I’ll generate a barrier for us all, if it looks like that won’t be enough we each come in as needed according to ability.”

“Wait.” Julius interrupted. “Where do twig and I come in?”

“It’s Me, Herrin, Regalius, Niona Twig, then you.” Alina explained.

“I’m last?” Julius sulked. “I studied as a temple guard…”

“Your protege, has already displayed more natural talent than any of us, apart from Regalius maybe, but as a team I’m more comfortable relying on known variables and tactics.” Alina replied testily.

“Still…” Julius mumbled.

“Realy?!” Alina growled. “This is the thing you decide to argue about? In the bottom of a haunted temple!?”

“No, no!” Julius backpeddled. “I just felt a little slighted.”

“I can’t even tell if you’re being serious.”

“I’m kind of wishing I hadn’t brought up the issue at this point.” Julius recoiled.

“In that we are agreed.” Alina replied, slugging Julius hard on the arm.

Julius summoned all of his will to stifle a scream. It was like being hit with a rock. Eyes watering, he moved ahead at Alina’s direction. The group stepped into the room completely and slowly made for the center. Evidence of tampering became more and more apparent as they went. There was no way they could avoid all of the hazy specters so Julius elected to simply approach one. At first it didn’t take any notice, but as they moved by it seemed to be deciding if it had actually seen anything. It was vaguely female. Its slim arm reached out as if to interact with them, but was halted by Alina’s barrier. After a few moments a small band of the spirits were slowly following the team. A few even made to impede their progress, but simply fell away, unable to find purchase on anything.

Though apparently safe Twig was clinging to Julius as tightly as she could, while trying to seem cool in front of new people. She need not have worried however, as the ever increasing hoard of disembodied people was beginning to frighten everyone. Especially because the more spirits joined in the more the faint whispering that seemed to be everywhere sounded more like actual words.

The machine in the center of the chamber had clearly been tampered with brutally. Evidence of rough handling was everywhere. Discarded plating, pipes, screws, and all manner of tools littered the area. The workmanship was poor at best. The glowing liquid “blood” had formed scabs around places where the seals weren’t tight enough. Corrosion was setting in in places. This had been done relatively recently, and the job was sloppy and amateurish. In spite of this the team was having a difficult time understanding what the machine was actually for and what the recent additions were meant to do.

“My best guess,” Said Niona. “Is this is some sort of battery, or maybe even an engine. I couldn’t begin to tell you how it functions though. I know a little about machinery, but this is… something different. A combination of mechanics and magic perhaps?”

“Aren’t they supposed to be opposing disciplines?” Asked Regalius.

“Generally speaking, yes.” She replied. “But sometimes opposing forces can be combined in productive ways. Like water and fire to make steam power.”

“So… it’s magic and machinery to make… what, do you suppose?” Asked Julius. Everyone was silent.

“The original mechanism powered the temple obviously.” Offered Alina. “But I don’t see whay they bothered. There’s nothing here worth protecting. Not anymore anyway.”

“She’s right. It doesn’t make any sense.” Agreed Regalius. “Why go to the trouble?”

“It’s possible that there was something here and the original creators moved it, or lost it. That’s lost to history. There are huge blanks in the historical record between the silver age and the fall.” Answered Niona. “We may never know the point of any of this. I think dispatching a full archeological survey would be worthwhile to say the least.”

“Assuming we can make the area safe…” Added Alina.

“Indeed.” Said Niona.

“So we’re back to square one.” said Julius. “We don’t know the why of this place or the why or who of this tampering.”

“Someone with better historical data than we have for sure…” offered Niona.

“With people capable of getting here unharmed…” Added Regalius.

“Who has a superior knowledge of necromancy and mechanics…” muttered Julius.

“This is bad.” Alina growled. “We need to disable this somehow.”

“We can’t.” Said Julius. “Not without killing ourselves in the process.”

“I think it might be a worthy sacrifice.” Replied Alina.

“That’s totally insane!” Replied Julius. “Can you imagine what would happen to the morale of the people if we lost you? It would be a catastrophe!”

“You sound like the council!” Spat Alina.

“Well they aren’t the council for no reason are they?” Julius retorted.

“They’re a ridiculous gathering of cowards and thieves!” Shouted Alina. “I don’t trust them any further than I could toss them.”

“I expect you could toss them a fair way actually!” Shouted Julius. “Damn it all, I can’t believe I’m defending them… Throwing our lives away isn’t going to help anything.”

“I KNOW THAT! I’M Just… sick of it all…” Alina replied, losing her thunder. “I want to get out of here. We need to leave this place. I don’t feel right.”

“Seconded.” Exclaimed Regalius.

“Me too.” Said Herrin.

“I think it’s safe to assume this place is toxic…” said Niona.

“We’ll have to think of something once we’ve been out a while.” Alina declared. “We’ve got enough information to work out a plan…”

“Can you warp us out of here, Regalius?” Asked Niona.

“No… something is wrong with this place. I’ve been trying to send stuff outside since yesterday.” He replied. “I can’t even begin to tell you how that girl managed to get in here. It’s nothing short of miraculous.”

“It wasn’t as bad before.” Said Twig. “It was gross, but I could still see master… Now it’s greasy, and putrid…”

“We have to walk back out…” Groaned Julius. “Weak…”

From somewhere a voice floated down to them.

“You don’t have to leave right away do you?”


Glad I’ve never met anyone like her, if I still had a heart I’d have ripped it out myself after hearing all that…

There is a big difference between living every day like it’s your last and being a total douche, Jess in my opinion is a douche. You can live life full tilt without hurting other people, from the sound of it Jess really needs to learn that lesson.

Obviously, you get it. I believe @Crave is setting Jess up for just such a slap-down. I think I even know who will do the slapping, and that will be most of the surprise.

my best guess is it’ll be either Thomas or Carol. Because Jess is the kinda person used to getting what she wants sooner or later (usually sooner by my guess). Thomas has no real interest in her, but she is for sure interested in him. But she’s got nothing on Carol, so she’s in for a rude awakening either by outright rejection from Thomas or something far worse from an angry Carol if she pushes this flirting too far.

Interesting — I hadn’t thought of Thomas or Carol. I was contemplating someone on, shall we say, a higher level…

Oh, hey, @Crave, be careful what you say and do. I think Orphan Abuse is still unlegal in at least sixty-four states (and that will be used as a weapon against you)…

Yeah so, I liked her character at first, but for fuck’s sake. What a whore. Please tell me that she develops AIDS later on.

Well, that’s only a wee bit of an over reaction there. Here’s a thought experiment: If it was a make character delivering equivalent dialogue, would your reaction still be just as toxic?

Thank you. Also: if @Crave had “perfect” characters, would there be any genuineness about the story? There is no perfect person; why then should there be perfect characters in stories that are supposed to emulate real life?

Here’s a thought experiment right back at you, @Grymm: How about you put down the social justice bong for a moment and interact with others like a normal human being?


Ok, it’s a bit much to wish this kind of hate on a character. Real or fictional.

I’m not particularly fond of her outlook on life, love and lust, but for all we know she’s only banging guys who were only interested in banging her back, and maybe they were all perfectly content to get a good-bye-blow.

If that’s how they want to live, who are we to judge?

Why is 5am a desired time to post webcomics?

Would it hurt the comic if you posted it at an hour that is better for your sleep cycle?

I don’t know anybody who posts at 5 AM. 10 PM Eastern is generally the accepted time for comic posting, unless you’re a useless layabout who posts whenever, with no set schedule.


Do you even have a comic anymore…?

I was more commenting on my posting procedures when I DID have a comic…

It’s been long enough I didn’t remember you not posting on a schedule. In any case, where’s the new content? Why aren’t you wowing me with your brilliance? I know it’s there. I DEMAND YOU GIVE ME IT!

Ug. I just have a glaring case of The Dumb. I thought you wrote you strive to post the comic at 5am. Blargel. DON’T LOOK AT ME!!!

“Living every day like it’s your last” and “Living at the expense of others” are two very different things.

And for the utter lack of care she seemed to show for her brother’s feelings towards Nina, I feel like Jess is in the latter camp.

Especially taken in combination with her statement about bad break ups only count if they’re bad for her.

I feel like there would be some overlap in the venn diagram of those things…

I’m sure there would be, but I guess it comes down to ‘do you want to live your life at the expense of others’.

Last day or not, I think I’d want to go out as what I perceive as a good person.

I suppose Jess just has a different perspective. Especially since ‘living every day like it’s your last’ doesn’t really apply when it’s not, because, let’s face it, unless you’re actually going to die, you have to live with the consequences of your actions. (And in some cases even if you die, your friends and family have to live with the consequences.)

If we all lived like this was really our last day, without fear of consequences, we’d basically be living the life of Mad Max.

Finally I’d get my chance in Thunderdome…

If everyone lived each day like it was their last I think there’d be a lot more crying than people expect. Also if your last day was in a nursing home you’d probably spend a lot of it shitting yourself.

My current plan is to go to a restaurant with my children, lean over and say ‘I crapped myself. It’s your turn to deal with it.’

Actually, I do live like each day is my last. I spend my time surrounded by loved ones, and I never know whether I’ll wake up the next morning. That isn’t such a bad thing, and I suppose it’s true for a lot of people, whether they realize it or not.

I expect that many people would go completely crazy if they knew for sure it was their last day on Earth. They’d do things for which they’d get arrested, and blow all their money on one last binge, or worse. Me, I’ve got family I’d be leaving behind, and I couldn’t do that to them.

On a side note, I love your fantasy story, but have a point about style. When you do speech with quotation marks, if the sentence would end with a period, use a comma. The ‘said’ part doesn’t start with a capital letter unless it is already capitalized.

Example 1: “We’re all going to die horribly,” said Julius.
Example 2: “We’re all going to die horribly!” Julius said.

I hope this is of use to you, if you care. I know a lot of people don’t care, in this 21st century full of texting and Netspeak.

Someone somewhere disagrees with you because my text program corrects the capitalization after quotes. Also, I think that’s a dumb rule with the commas. The sentence that is actually said should be contained fully in the quotes with the attribution separate. That’s always seemed lame to me.

I can see that point. Growing up (such a long, long time ago) I never had a problem with the comma-in-quotations because the quotes were inside the sentence. If I took the quotations away in my mind, it made more sense to have the comma there. So: I have to pee, said Junior. Instead of: I have to pee. Said Junior. English language is fluid, which is very hard for me to admit, what with the advent of the dictionary and public education and all, but living languages are changing languages, as long as we can understand each other.

A lot of people disagree with me about a lot of things. My own computer tells me my sentences are wrong when they’re not. It sometimes insists the first word of every line be capitalized, or tells me my word choice is wrong when it isn’t.

My information on literary style comes from “The Elements of Style” by William Strunk, Jr. and E. B. White (yes the E. B. White that wrote “Charlotte’s Web”). Often just called “The Strunk,” it was the go-to source for answers in the proofreading dept. at the publishers where I used to work. I still refer to it often, as I have a problem with “it’s” and “its.” Sort of a mental block, I guess.

I have found that this is the style preferred in print media. Even so, my co-author friend does the same thing you do, requiring me to carefully edit everything we do together.

In my experience, Jess is being somewhat immature. It’s a different kind of immature than Thomas, or other characters in this comic. Nevertheless, that’s the way I’m calling it.

Normally, those people who were “rockstars” when in high school or young adult find themselves not being taken seriously when real life comes knocking. There’s a saying that’s a little quaint by today’s standards, (and I’m not sure this is quite the proper context) “Dance with the one who brought you.”

If Jess doesn’t start taking Ed more seriously, she might find that his generosity runs out when he is ready to move on. Will Jess have declared a major by then, or will she still hope that her youth, hotness, and femininity will carry her to the end of her life?

There are those who say they that just means you die pretty. The candle that burns twice as bright burns only half as long, etc.

For my part, it has long been my desire to live a very long time, and live well. I will face a time when my youth is spent and my body broken. My mind may even be lost to Alzheimer’s. I can’t say. What I can say is I would rather chase wisdom than my own wiles if it means maintaining peace in my life. I really enjoyed being made of nothing but spit, grit, and fire as a Marine, but that was the only context in which behaving like that was appropriate. I decided being loud and obnoxious was not profitable anymore once I left that environment, so I chose to slow down.

The only thing is, I wasn’t prepared to leave when I did. What does that mean? After 10 years of not holding a job for more than a few years, and having long periods of unemployment between jobs, I wish I had thought ahead earlier than I did. I’m taking the time now to set things back in order, but I’m definitely paying a price. I think the price is worth paying, but things would have been easier if I had just decided to do things right the first time.

I think there is no ‘right’ way to do things, sure it’s worthwile to think about the best course of actions before taking it, but we do the things the way we do because we are ourselves, and sure, afterwards ya gotta deal with consequences, but that is something we all gotta be ready for.

I still like Jess just…not this part of her. She’s starting to seem cold hearted and selfish. And kind of like a whore but whores will be whores and it won’t affect me.

What Audra said – There’s a difference between confident and sexually positive and being selfish or at least oblivious to other’s feelings.

Just sayin’, most people would have the common decency not to make out with their brother’s first crush, regardless or not of how much time has past.

The use of the word “whore” really bothers me because it’s so judgmental. All we have to go on right now are Jess’ flirtatious comments – some big talk. It’s nice to see that most of the comments sensibly are concerned about her being a better person and treating others well – I’m totally on board with that. I just think it’s wrong to label a female character a whore because she talks freely about sex with no hang ups. I would think it was wrong for a male character also, to set the record straight. Our society (American), in our laws and in our popular culture, has deemed promiscuity “OK” – not all people agree with that, but there’s no laws against sleeping with whomever you want and some aspects of our culture certainly promote sexual thought, freedom, pursuit. At worst, Jess is living as a product of that culture – she may have some consequences that come with that, it’s true. Whore means prostitute. It casts a person as immoral for having a sexual nature. It’s a word that punishes people for choosing to have sex. It’s a sinister word because it’s a label that doesn’t wash off, even if you’ve admitted mistakes and worked to become a better person. I guess I just don’t like it.

Not to make this a sexist argument or anything, but the word is often used by men against women in general, so as much as people pride themselves on being able to remove their emotions during a logical debate, that may still play a factor.

And when you talk about the definition of a word used so liberally as an insult, no one really cares anymore.

Skank means someone who smells poorly, queer means odd, faggot means a bundle of sticks.

Google the word “literally” and look at the second definition. Endorsed by Oxford.

I can’t hate Jess just yet; she is after all more social than most people on the work environment and the only one mayorish that does not need the store to survive. Independence comes with a price, thanks for me it was not my morals but with my fun time. Yet I still have a feeling she is being manipulative more than really a slut. Mind bombs have a serious effect on guys and telling them stuff they might have want or wished could set some sort interest initiation. Tho I pretty sure Carol could reset the interest counter by a long shot Jess is entitled to her try. Seriously try fighting against this. /comics1/56-first-loser/
I do believe it’s the only way she could think of to make Thomas imagine her as a girl is placing evidence she and her brother are different.

Thanks. With that link, I started re-reading the archive. At least we can kind of see that there was some mild interest between Thomas/Jess right at the beginning (pre-Carol days) so Jess might see it as something that she just needs to entice Thomas enough to “get” him. Curious to see how it works out.

Wow, this got way more heated than I anticipated.

I must say, though, if we put Jess next to John, I wonder how many double standards we can pull out of a hat.


It’s like comparing She-Hulk and Iron Man. They’re both kind of slutty but people find Iron Man endearing as an over all character while She-Hulk’s sexual escapades became the primary focus in a lot of awkward, and potentially uncomfortable, stories putting the rest of her personality on the back burner.

That said, I still lose interest in Iron Man stories when they focus on his sex life and enjoy the current Robert Downey Jr. one where he’s in a relationship with Pepper over the comic book one where he bangs Gamora in a space bar.

I don’t hate to make this assumption, but she seems like the type to fake it till she makes it, having confidence in her certain kind of “charm,” and might not have too much by way of refusal, due to the stereo types many force themselves into. I think it might be that she is hiding something, many things, and showing the more obvious bones to the skeletons so others might not inquire so immediately… Then she runs into Thomas, perhaps a challenge for her own enjoyment, perhaps somebody she considers competition for her brother’s affection/fondness.
Although I forgot how many people she has encountered, she only seems to be aiming for those that her brother might consider to be friends, and perhaps relying on his tastes or trust, or trying to burn a few bridges before they get properly secured. Her brother seems to be used to this kind of thing, and rolls like a dwarf kicked in the head… I hate to think of what that sibling relationship’s version of “stepping on toes” is.

One does note that she might make a tactical withdrawal, due, perhaps only to the nature of what may or may not be the parting shot- I have not read the new comic. I feel as though Thomas is used to doubting others, and considers the closet door to be the wrapping in the the search to find “that bag,” the one that fits the tune of “deception and fraud,” and not minding all the other lacerations and contusions, so long as you do not try to hamper the medical examination… or perhaps he likes to take things apart and see how they tick and test the mettle’s resistance( that was not mispelled.)

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