1078 WTF.

For the record, I’m aware of some of the errors in this page. It was the first one I tried to animate and was quite a handful on many levels. I intend to fix it when time permits, but none of the problems are anything that ruins the joke, or whatever, so here it is as it is. I hope you get a kick out of it.

In addition to this page here is a section of creative writing for those of you who enjoy reading. It has nothing to do with Between Failures except that it is based, tangentially, on something that will happen later on in the story. I may add a little to this after the comic posts because what I’m posting right now took about an hour to write, not counting the bits that I wrote in my head when I was falling asleep and when I was in the shower.

The forest wasn’t dense, at least not in this part of it, but Julius had been bumbling around for quite some time in spite of the map he was now peering at quizzically. A tiny dot was labeled with his own name and another with the word destination, and an approximate distance. Apart from that the map was blank. He took a step forward and watched the distance number climb slightly. Turning around, he took two paces in the opposing direction. The number decreased. Scowling, Julius brushed a leaf from his dark hair and began walking again.
It had, perhaps, been a mistake to simply take the map without looking at it first, but when one is handed a map one expects certain things. Topography, for example. When the intermediary handed him the rolled up hide Julius had simply assumed, as would most anyone, that the map would be more than a simple enchantment on a bit of animal skin. This expectation had carried him a fair way into the woods with a confidence that was unwarranted. By the time the trail ran out he was too far in to even think of walking back for an additional map.
He forged ahead and was initially pleased by the simplicity of the enchanted map, until the stream. He scowled at the memory kept fresh by his soaking pants. It looked shallow enough to walk across, and most of it had been. For reasons know only to whatever force controls geology a deep trench had been scraped along the bottom of the river bed. At first it sloped gradually, but near the center of the water it simply dropped off and he was partially plunged into ice cold mountain water. His love affair with the map began to ebb away from that point forward. Somehow Julius had managed to stay on schedule, although he was far more tired than he wanted to be because of his, magically inspired, straight path travel.
Now he was very near his destination. A laborious scramble put him on a ridge that looked down into a wooded valley. He could make out a stone structure built into one edge almost hidden by the trees. At least this bit would be downhill.
He attempted a step, but found his right foot held, quite firmly, where it was. A pair of roots were slowly tightening around his ankle. With a weary sigh he pulled his shortbow from his back. Scanning the ground he quickly found the source of his problem. A willowy tree, several yards away, had vaguely feminine features. A face was nearly obscured by drooping leaves, but he could clearly see a playful smile. He held up his bow so that it gleamed clearly in a ray of light. The tree grinned even wider.
“I’m sorry” He yelled, with his free hand cupped to his mouth. “I’m kind of in a hurry. Maybe when I’m finished, okay?”
The roots had stopped moving, but they hadn’t released him either. The branches of the tree seemed to droop forlornly. The smile faded into a pout. Unfortunately patience Julius might have had for this creature earlier had been spent on a certain bit of cartographic equipment. He fumbled with his quiver for a moment. Two arrows later he found the one he was looking for. One with a sickly purple amber covering the head. He aimed it at the roots and looked towards his new friend.
“I really must insist.” He called out.
The woody face turned away haughtily, albeit much more slowly than would produce the same effect for a human woman, and the roots slowly released their grip. Julius replaced his gear, took a step away, then pitched a candy onto the ground near his former captor’s “feet”, which began transporting it back to her immediately.
The hits just keep coming, he thought to himself as he began stumbling down the slightly steep wall of the valley. After several long minutes of hazardous scrambles Julius finally found himself on mostly level ground. He glanced at his map just to make sure the stone structure was, in fact, his goal and trudged onward.
As he moved closer signs of other architecture became more frequent. Bits of wall and road peppered the mossy ground where trees hadn’t decided to be. The forest became more and more thin as he walked. Soon he could see a clearing in the distance, and at the edge of that clearing stood a woman in light armor.
He slowed his pace even more. People in armor had a tendency to dislike him before getting to know know him on a personal level. Caution was in order. He crept a few more paces forward and crouched behind a log. Carefully he retrieved his bow again, taking aim with no arrow. He looked into the space where an arrow should have been and the tall, blonde, woman was suddenly brought into crystal clear focus.
He armor was blue with gold trim and of a style popular with Elven dragoons. Her mane of hair and green cape moved gracefully in the slight wind. She was leaning casually on a pike with a blade as clear as diamond… and she was looking right at him.


Well you definitely threw me for a loop.

But I’m guessing there’s a side to this character we aren’t seeing.

There is?

I had an ex like this… didn’t understand how she could have so much damn energy, but it’s trying just to exist in the same room as her.

Lasted about three weeks before I turned her on to three friends of mine… so far as I know, the four of them are still banging.

-twitches- I’m just…not liking her more and more.

In other news, I really like that short story. :) I’m intrigued!

Panel 2… I’ve seen men make that face before. That is a NO ES BEUNO face right there…

I agree with MissBAMF… Thomas’ ex is a really crappy version of Carol. Definitely an upgrade ;)

…The hell? I made a comment right here. It showed up on submission and everything, but now it’s gone. It’s GONE, MacReady.

What happened?

Anyhoo, my original comment before it got whisked off to the Bereau of Lost or whatever was that IMO she comes off as a cross between Carol and Jo, and if Carol and Jo are seeing that too….

Constance, honey…

You just… you need to…

Body language, Constance.

Learn about body language.

Honestly, I’m starting to feel bad for Constance. Not because of anything Thomas has done, is doing, or will do.

But because she’s just so damn oblivious.

I just…

There are no words.

Yeah, I thought she was trying to be malicious or vindictive or… something. Now it turns out she just doesn’t get normal interaction. I don’t think I’d hug anybody with a look on their face like that.

Constance, you’ve just been downgraded from evil to “not all there”

… understandably why he doesn’t like going near her now, she’s oblivious to the fact he wants nothing to do with her(something i suspect he’s explained multiple times)

You know… those shifting eyes remind me a LOT of a certain webcomic that this particular one has been making references to. Starts with an MS and ends with a PAINT ADVENTURES.

I’m not.

Seriously, I’m not confused in the least bit. This actually reminds me of a relationship so long ago and the reaction I had after seeing a particular person after a few years of separation. Not to say that Thomas doesn’t have a reason to be enraged, especially when she hugs him. And she-who-shall-not-be-spoken-of just being oblivious to that fact.


Just reinforces the understanding that there are two sides to every story. I don’t remember Tomas’ side of things or if we ever got the details. Constance version of events should be enlightening.

Just reinforces the understanding that there are two sides to every story. I don’t remember Tomas’ side of things or if we ever got the details. Constance’s version of events should be enlightening.

Clingy-needy-whiny-touchy-feely! Eww, eww, eww! Now, I just wonder what their breakup was like.

Perfect Dafuq? expressions on Carol and Brooksie, BTW.

In re: your story fragment. I like it — it has sort of a retro, 1950s humorous sword and sorcery feel to it, with a modern D&D/video game update. Starting in the middle of the action with a dribble here and there of the back story is a nice touch — actually a lot more mature style of writing than starting at the beginning and belaboring the details chronologically — been there, done that, it ain’t pretty and it calls for a rewrite. Thank the Powers that Be for word processors and the wonder of Cut and Paste.

If I might pick a nit:

He armor was blue with gold trim and of a style popular with Elven dragoons.

I suspect you meant, “Her armor.” And yes, I do know you meant Dragoon and not Dragon (so it’s right the way it is, people, if someone thought that was a spelling issue). Aside from that, can I say, MOAR!

I think I’m going to post my latest on DeviantArt, where you and Amber can pick it apart.

I’m glad to be a female who isn’t like that. Whether it’s from an overabundance of energy or obliviousness or whatever, I’m just glad I’m not like that….Of course, I used to be extremely opposed to hugs anyways, and I, still more often then not, am the one being hugged first, possibly against my will.

I like the short story. I wish I were a better writer myself so as to offer anything constructive, rather than just the fact that I enjoyed it and would love to read more.

Dear Person Who Makes The Comic,

I just wanted to say 2 things.

One: I regularly check this comic, and have for a long time. I love it. I love the story and the art work, and I love the occasional Chekhov’s Gun you throw in. I had no idea the site had ever crashed; in my opinion you handled it perfectly. But maybe I am just an understanding person who only sees what they want to see, and I saw new comic.

Two: You always update on time. Even when your site went down, you update on time. And it’s good stuff. I wish I could say that for the other comics I read. Do some? Yes. Do all? No. I just wanted to say, thank you for being like clockwork, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday without fail. It makes my days.

Internet Person

Could it be that Thomas, our protagonist, was really the jerk in the relationship?! Dun-dun-DUUUUUUNNNN!

I remember Crave admitting several times that Thomas has some jerk-like tendencies,
so it’s not that much of a stretch.

But I got the impression that the relationship just didn’t work out (or Constance moved away or something) and Thomas just doesn’t handle breaking up well.

Interesting and unexpected development. I’m sure I’m not the only one who expected Constance to be a calculating, vindictive, and arrogant woman; it turns out she’s a super-hyper overenthusiastic otaku. I have known girls like these, and these girls are usually *insanely* popular with geek boys. Jo is sort of another variation of that personality type – cute, weird, unpredictable, etc. Manic Pixie Dream Girls rather than Snark Knights like me and Carol ;) Anyway, it’s unusual to see that type of girl portrayed as the villain (even if that’s just Thomas’s historical revisionism).

My initial impression of Jo and Carol’s reaction was that they were thinking “THAT is the force of evil you’ve been going on about? But she’s so cute and happy!” but reading the comments, maybe I’m wrong and they’re just thinking “omg, what the flick was that?”

I believe it was mentioned above (below?) but…

She seems to me to be similar to a combo of Jo and Carol. Take Carol’s confidence and hair, add Jo’s body type, energy, and penchant for fangirling, and mix in a bit of sugoi writing kawaii desu, and you’ve got this… creature… that Thomas is staring down. I don’t think I dislike her as much as I don’t like her. I have a friend or two that are somewhat this way, and they always baffle me… I like the fangirling, and the energy, and what that translates to in a relationship, but I’ve met plenty of girls that have that without running about throwing Japanese terms and bubbly bounces around like they’re going out of style. My girlfriend currently is similar to that: She has the energy, and all that implies, certainly, and the ability to just go happy hardcore (which is adorable in moderation) but she can, and is, serious and focused, in a way that type of woman rarely is. I see Jo as a sort of 2.0 of that, in that she is able to be serious, but always has a little bit of a quirk, just not over the top. And Carol… is just not that.

Aaand leave it to me to rant and ramble randomly about types of people. I analyze too much, don’t I?

Omg she really doesn’t understand body language! Poor Thomas looks like it’s taking every bit of strength to keep him from flat out shoving her away.

Haha, I wondered if it was just me that interpreted Thomas as nearly quivering with rage/high emotion in panel 2….

maybe from her perspective they parted amicably? She seems sincerely happy to see him again. Not a bad thing.

There is a slight possibility that she’s actually extremely manipulative, but it would require incredible acting ability. I think she felt the relationship ended in such a way that they could still be friends, and didn’t get why they didn’t talk anymore.

There are two possibilities that I can see, one, Thomas takes out his anger and frustration on her, most likely through subtle means, showing he hasn’t actually grown much in the story, or more likely, he allows her to have her day and doesn’t do anything to ruin things, which would show a high level of maturity. The first would not be good for either of them, it would keep him angry and it would hurt her, and the second would allow Thomas the possibility of healing and closure, and the possibility of fixing a broken friendship.

Hopefully the signing will go well, for both of them.

Thomas has already stated that he intends to see that the day goes successfully for her even if only so that he never has to look at her again. He also understands that her having a successful signing would be good for the store – and by extension good for the people working there at the store. Thomas cares about Nina, Jo, Carol, Ed, John, and Mike. He might even care about Reggie. I doubt he has any positive thoughts about Wes beyond “at least he hasn’t destroyed things yet”.

I see one of two things happening.
1) Constance has a very successful day signing lots of books and then is shocked to realize that Thomas has moved on – upgrading to Carol – with resulting drama
2) Constance has a flop of a day and goes to Thomas looking for comfort only to discover he really doesn’t care and has no comfort to offer – exposing his jerk side, but maybe giving him some perverse pleasure – more jerkishness…
Either way I expect him to demonstrate that he is truly committed to Carol and Constance has no place in his life any more except as a bad memory.
I suppose we could also be surprised to discover Thomas able to forgive his ex and wish her well even as he gently nudges her out the door to continue her life without him, but that would require some serious maturing on his part.

You can see it from his face, Thomas only hates her more for still being chipper and thinking he’d be happy to see her. Been there, and is understandable

That is fairly obvious, I’m wondering if he’s matured enough to be able to be a friend, even if he would prefer ANYTHING else.

Hi :) I literally started reading BF yesterday, and:
1) I’d like to say “thanks a lot for your work!” – I’ve really enjoyed it!
2) if I fail my exam tomorrow (2nd year uni), I’m blaming BF :P not in a bad way, of course!

Thanks again, and I look forward to reading more! :D
Time to add this to a bookmark and leave it shut till after exams… 9 days to go till freedom…


… And apparently I expected it to work that time >_< haha! Just ignore me where it doesn't make sense :P

Wow. Yeah, I’m with the “This chick can NOT read body language AT ALL” crowd – the little motion lines around Thomas in the penultimate panel read to me as him literally shaking with rage at her being this close to him. That’s the expression and posture of someone holding back with literally everything they have to keep from physically escalating the situation.

I feel Thomas’ reaction. She acts just like my ex fiancée does now. She wants to hug me when she sees me and act like everything is cool, and I’m thinking ‘Someone get this b**tch off me before I beat her with a box of Pop-Tarts!’ I’m surprised Carol didn’t instinctively take her down.

Your title… is very aptly named… as those were the first words out of my mouth when I saw that.

Dafuq!? Aren’t women supposed to have some unspoken language? How does she not understand what Thomas is “saying” right now?

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