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Smithson Thus Far... ·

Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: The water cooler is goldbug!
Rob (rrreed) says: An intelligent water cooler. Gives the concept of gossiping around the water cooler a whole new spin. Someone page Jon Moore!
So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Heh.
Marleen de Kramer (malabarista) says: Sounds suspiciously like a Sirius Cybernetics product to me...
Incog Neato (ghede) says: Nice to see Tip took something away from that encounter with the Silverfish.
Terry Smith (wcfan) says: 'Share and enjoy!'
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(Sung to the tune of "Bye Bye Blackbird")

Right next to the kitchen sink,
Handing out refreshing drink,
Wa-ter cool-er ...

There's a note from Annex One;
Read the caution? That's no fun!
Wa-ter cool-er ...

I'ts got quite a talkative pro-cli-vity,
Must be all that ra-di-o-ac-ti-vity;

Made from steel and chrome al-loy;
"Service is my only joy."
Cooler ... is cool!


Steve Ford (fordsfords) says: Signor Colossus - good one!  (I want to be known as that.  Alas, my wife refuses.)
Camille Dumas (camidumas) says: Try 'El Magnifico', ford^2.
Dan (selcouth14) says: Is Sweetheart filling up her bowl with coffee? Because that is fucking adorable.
Edwin Quantrall (reynard) says:

"Service is my only joy."


Next day's newspaper headline...



Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says: Reynard for teh (Ed)win!
Rockphed (rockphed) says:

Despite some confusion over Tip's gender, he looks very male right now.  I want to smack him for taking two women when I have none. :(

Adam Underfoot (unnatural20) says: ...augh, at least you guys aren't taking the electricity puns I wrote for my comic. The puns are intentionally bad. (The comic is not.)
Rob (rrreed) says: A billion volts! That’s enough to elect anybody, she should be president!
Real Unimportant (realunimportant) says: Surely this should have read "1.21 gigawatts"?
So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Eep.
Sean Willard (lignamorren) says:

Well yeah!  A billion volts is no fun at all unless you're grounded! 

Tiff Hudson (tiff_hudson) says:

This new storyline has a lot of potential!

"I love it. I'll have pun, pun, pun, pun, pun, baked beans, and pun."

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

OK, but when did Unity get a new arm?

Oh, silly me ... she just went down to the firing range and broke into the arms locker.

(Well, as long as we're doing puns, I just, y'know ...)

John Vertical (tropylium) says: Speaking of puns, whenever I see "volts" used as if they could be absorbed/sold/etc, my mind usually turns to the fact that Finnish voltti means, beside "volt", also "somersault".
Johnn Reynolds (sleepyjohn) says:

Sweetheart will never order a gin and tonic again.

that Finnish voltti means, beside "volt", also "somersault".  That's re-volting.

OK, but when did Unity get a new arm?  Panhandling.  "Arms for the poor, arms for the poor..."

K C (spotweld) says: Is it just me or does that striped sweater really look nice on Unity?
brolin_1911a1 (brolin_1911a1) says: This current thread has a lot of potential if there's not too much resistance.  This could continue until it hertz.  Time to stop and sit down to a nice dinner of marconi and cheese.
Jeremy Berg (pisceneanteater) says: We'd better wattch it with these puns before things get ohmy G-d grade ridiculous.
Shaenon Garrity (shaenongarrity) says: I really shouldn't have gone with a pun, but I knew you guys would get a charge out of it.
Basil Jelly (basil_jelly) says:

K.C I think you are right. The horizonal stripe, medium singed look is the  one for Unity.Her color is autumn bonfire right?


Mark H- (eyeharvester) says: Oh, we do, Shænon, we do! I know that I, for one, got all amped up when I saw this comic; the pun seemed to leap directly into my brain and clear out all the static that was already there. Now, I can't stop making puns! Every other thought is one! I alternate between a normal thought, and a punny thought! The puns...they have this magnetic attraction to them! It''s kinda incomprehensible, in a way. I mean, wire we all so easily enthralled by them? Perhaps puns are contagious, and witnessing even a single one induces a whole new set of them in the brains of the observer. Aagh! But we most stop this! This comments thread doesn't have enough capacitance to hold many more puns! Someone has to break the circuit!
Incog Neato (ghede) says:

Why do people laugh at puns? They're punny. 

Where do you go for religious study of puns? A Punnery.

What is the the funniest drink ever? That one gimmick soda that had balls of gel floating in it that floated to the top while in storage and made it look like it had a covering of mucous. 

Adam Underfoot (unnatural20) says:

I am shocked- SHOCKED- that punning is going on in this thread! 

Still, it's positively amazing that current events have progressed so far as to allow this. Watt happened? Blast it, wire we allowed to pun so? I thought someone had been charged with preventing puns, by thunder!

Still, I'd rather not clash with anyone over this- I don't want to spend time in a cell for the crime of battery.

Edwin Quantrall (reynard) says: Apropos of nothing (especially the subject of today's comic), I'd like to recommend a new restaurant that I found called "Schadenfreude". It serves you right...
James Rice (jhrice) says: Watt's wrong with you people?
Alycia Shedd (leeshajoy) says: Silly Tip, that's a Code Lilac.
Rob (rrreed) says: I don't want to think about what a Code Plaid might imply, or—even less—a Code Paisley

Rob (rrreed) says: On another note, who's the "Dangerous Military Artificial Intelligence Gone Rogue": Nick or Gold Bug?
Owl Who says South (owlsayssouth) says:

okay. this makes no sense. i mean. come on. in this world, you are telling me that "dangerous military artificial intelligence gone rogue" got mauve? wouldn't that be more like an orange? or green? hell, red? cause, i mean, thats gotta be pretty common and or dangerious. high up on the sliding scale, is all iam saying.

i mean. yes, in theory it might be lower, what with build time. it has to take at least 5-10 years before most DMAI's go rogue, so that way they have gobbled up enough budget, and have been completed and upgraded sufeciently to wrek an equivelt amount of damage.

Joyce Melton (halfelven) says: This is a very dangerous situation, Tip using leg wax?
Real Unimportant (realunimportant) says:

Heh, I thought Sweetheart was swearing in the first panel... "Dingos, man; Dingos!"

 Are we quite sure we need to change the alert status? It will require replacing the bulb. 

So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Mauve!
Pete Bleackley (petethemadscientist) says:

In the Doctor Who episode The Empty Child, the Doctor tells Rose that mauve is the universally recognised colour for danger.

Rose: Isn't that red?

The Doctor: No, that's just on Earth. Everywhere else, red is just camp. Oh, the confusion that's caused... All those red alerts, all that dancing!

All hail Stephen Moffat!


Are you my mummy?

John Vertical (tropylium) says: Going by Unity's response I think they're trying to assign as different colors as possible to similar disasters. That way you don't piss off the red ants by accidentally addressing them in Termitese.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

@Rob: Code Paisley is for "Patchwork Necrotic Female (running type) and Genetically Modified Canine on a rampage, with optional panda".  Good thing we've never had one of *those* ...

(Sung to the tune of "King Of The Road" by Roger Miller)

Purple means "Dingos loose";
"Plague of cats", thats Chartruese;
Magenta, "Dancing moose";
And "Armageddon"?  Puce!

It's all ... so simple, don't feel faint;
Code book by Pittsburgh Paint!
It's a ... panic scene, by all means!
What's the damn code?

Indigo C (indigo) says: Now I wonder what a code puce is for...
Eric Burns (ericburns) says: I now have the cast of Mamma Mia cheerfully singing 'Dancing Moose' in the back of my head. Damn you, Ed Gedeon.
Brand Willis (brandyllyn) says: Actually, until I read your comment Unimportant, I still thought Sweetheart was swearing.  That would be the awesomest if Sweetheart spat out 'dingoes' every time she stubbed a toe.
Joyce Melton (halfelven) says: You know, I've tried the expression Unity has in panel three and it doesn't actually help me think. Maybe it only works for zombies?
Jeremy Berg (pisceneanteater) says: My dad used to work for the federal gov't.  They referred to the Homeland Security color-coded threat meter as "Ridge's Rainbow."
Rob (rrreed) says: Deep in the secret sub-sub-sub-basement of the Project Skin Horse building there a false brick wall. Behind the wall is a large, but false cask of amontillado. Inside the cask is a 1 meter diameter sphere of highly polished, synthetic, undoped, monocrystaline corundum secured to the bedrock below the building's foundations with twenty-seven titanium-alloy bolts. Embedded in the center of the sphere is a small, high-security safe and a tactical nuclear device on a timer armed by a trembler switch. Within the safe lies a simple, sealed folder. A neatly typed label on it reads,

Code Rainbow Polka-Dot
Burn Before Reading
Owl Who says South (owlsayssouth) says:

"we have a code Rainbow POlka-dot"

 "Damn temporal mechanics..."

Mark H- (eyeharvester) says: Wait...what colors are bees best at seeing? 'Cause maybe the joke is that, for Gavotte, these are all very clearly distinguishable colors...
Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: Ultraviolets, I think. And dogs are largely color-blind, unless the Captain fixed that problem for Sweetheart's litter.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(Sung to the tune of "Little Deuce Coupe" by the Beach Boys:)

They came outta the sky
In a silver disk;
They could conquer the world
Like they're playin' "Risk"!

They're wise and peaceful
And their I.Q.'s high,
But give 'em just one probe
And kiss the Earth good-bye!

They're the Little Green Men,
You don't know where they're from!

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(Plus, a bonus tune, dedicated to Eric Burns and all the ABBA fans:)

In the land of the Midnight Sun,
You're out looking for something fun ...
Bop along to the music,
Always missing the beat,
'Cause you got two left feet ...

Oh, the nightlife of Canada!
Don't want dining or cinema,
Cruising all of the discos,
All the nightclubs too,
Nothing can hold you back ...
(Check out that awesome rack!)

You are the Dancing Moose!
Antlers giving
My butt a goose!

Dancing Moose,
Sounds like something
From Dr. Seuss!
(Oh yeah!)

You can spin, you can twirl!
Who needs a damn flying squirrel?
(Ooo - ooo - ooo!)
Feeling free, cutting loose,
Diggin' the Dancing Moose!

So It Begins (soitbegins) says: ......
Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: Shouldn't Unity know better, given her origins? Look for JIM Henson!
Q. Pheevr (q-pheevr) says: Or Steve Whitmire, rather.
So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Heh.
John Campbell (jcampbel) says:

Unity's ponytails are almost as expressive as Sweetheart's ears.

Also, I have this suspicion that Tip is the only one in the office who can actually tell those colors apart. For Unity, they're all just "kinda purple, I guess", Sweetheart has memorized the correspondences, but can't actually see color (or colour, I guess), Gavotte sees a totally different colorspace than humans, and when Moustachio was built, the world was still in black-and-white. But Tip has dresses in all of those colors.

Pete Bleackley (petethemadscientist) says: Sweetheart is bichromatic unless Captain Bram enhanced her retinas. He obviously enhanced her liver, as she can drink coffee (it's lethal to most non-humans).
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

"Unity, you are not to destroy anything," is like saying, "Breathe, but don't use up any oxygen" or "Keep your eyes open but don't detect light with your retinas."

In the meantime, I'm still trying to figure out "Juana Sal".  That translates as "Jane Salt".  Who is Jane Salt?  Are we into Ayn Rand territory now?

Johnn Reynolds (sleepyjohn) says: Sending Unity to the most famous secret base in the world and telling her she can't destory anything is like sending a kid to Disneyland  and telling her she can't go on any of the rides or speak to any characters.  Sad psychopathic undead assassin!
Shaenon Garrity (shaenongarrity) says: I guess there's a reason Sweetheart gets along so well with those kill-bots at the New Jersey safehouse.
Aaron Shades (prof_tinker) says:

Poor Unity. Maybe they can stop by a junk yard and she can stand in for the compacter for a few hours.

And side not: You mean other people *can't* tell the difference between all those violet shades? It's like scarlet, crimsion, and bugundy. Easy.

Rob (rrreed) says: Aw, let Unity destroy an F-117. They're all just sitting in storage now that they've been retired.
Edwin Quantrall (reynard) says: Doubtful. More likely they'd let her self-destruct an Air Force target drone. ( )
Dave Corbett (mr_dave) says:

Rob Reed (rrreed) says: Aw, let Unity destroy an F-117. They're all just sitting in storage now that they've been retired.

Actually, that's only the official cover story. The truth is that they had to park the F-117 stealth fighters in an alternate location while the regular hangar was being renovated, and now they can't find them... 

Michael Brewer (wusemajor) says:

I see we have Tip's last name now.

...And only a bug would concider teeth luxuries. 

Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: No, I think the luxury is the caramel, which is bad for one's teeth. And possibly bad for mandibles too.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

"Laverne and Shirley"?  OK, you all know the theme song ...

A, B, CIA!
D, E, FBI!
Depression! Recession!
Department of Jetpack Suppression!

(music starts)
We're here to help you!

All across the country zoomin',
Helping any soul non-human;
Please trust us, we're the gov-ern-ment ...
(We're here to help you!)

Tip will try to analyze them;
Unity will vaporize them!
Says Sweetheart, "If you're sen-ti-ent,
We're here to help you!"

Tracking down a rogue A.I.
Who invades a gamer's cranium,
This time, who knows what we'll do
Trying to help you?

We're the factor no one's planned on!
Here we come, all hope abandon!
We care, 'cause we're the gov-ern-ment ...

Yeah we're Project Skin Horse!  Skin Horse!
We'll interfere, of course!
Yeah we're Project Skin Horse!  Skin Horse!
Going from bad ... to worse ...
For you and yours!

Incog Neato (ghede) says:

Whaddya mean we have Tip's last name now? It hasn't always been like this?

Dennis "Tip" Wilkins?

... I HAVE to know the origin of that nickname. If it was an actual name, it could be short for something, like... Tipothy, or Tipward.

So It Begins (soitbegins) says: .......
Steve Ford (fordsfords) says:

"Dr. Wilkins is packing..."

I assume we don't mean packing heat?

Also, in panel 1, it looks like Unity's zipper pull went upside-down and cloned itself.  Is she holding something in her hand?  I can't quite parse the image.

John Breckenridge (jbrecken) says: I think she's holding the "security passes" mentioned in that panel, that kind of plastic ID badge with an attached clip.
John Campbell (jcampbel) says:

"Dr. Wilkin is packing..."

Yes... yes, he is. I believe Unity left Ira a note to that effect.

Joyce Melton (halfelven) says: Sarcasm from a swarm of bees? Ah, irony with a real sting, or a few thousand of them.
Vlad Taltos (flyingfish) says: Now all we need to know is what "cisspecies" means.
Aaron Shades (prof_tinker) says: Incog, you overthink this. Can't an oz refference just be an oz refference? Couldn;t he actiualy have the name FROM the books? Why not?
James Kehl (shykta) says: @Vlad: Cisspecies would be the opposite of transspecies; i.e. all Tip's genetic parents were human. (Of course, it's still possible he was adopted and raised by a pair of Monty Python lumberjacks!)
Terry Smith (wcfan) says:

Ok the cast reference says Tip was in the US Army, but I distinctly recall somewhere being told he was in the Marines.

Which is it, please?

Brian Rogers (billionsix) says: I imagine Gavotte having a sort of husky, sultry, Kathleen Turner-ish voice, with buzzy F/X mixed in.
Jeffrey Channing Wells (channing) says: Tip was an Army officer, not a Marine.
Joseph Osako (schol-r-lea) says:

sleepyjohn said: Sad psychopathic undead assassin!

Save that line for when they have to go to Antarctica. Or maybe not - Piro might sue. 

Pete Bleackley (petethemadscientist) says: Surely Sweetheart is the one with the husky voice.
Mud Mudd (ceramic) says:

1. Always thought Tip would have one of those squeaky voices men sometimes have; sort of high but lacking in treble, but you perpetually suspect they'll suddenly sound like any ordinary woman.

2. Amused no one has got this yet.The phrase 'mauve alert' comes from the British scifi/comedy sitcom Red Dwarf. Specifically episdoe 5 season 4. The ship AI actually said 'purple alert, before reflecting that the situation was closer to a blue alert than red alert and changing her announcement to 'mauve'.

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The education bestowed on Shaenon K. Garrity by her parents had been expensive, athletic and prolonged. ... full profile