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Smithson Thus Far... ·

Michael Martin (mcmartin) says: Yay! Our Tax Dollars At Work!
John Wells (johnwwells) says: This? This is what an illustrated Mundementia One would be like.
So It Begins (soitbegins) says: ...................(jaw drops)
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says: You just *know* Dick Cheney worked here are some point in his career ... in fact, that's probably his voice doing the narration.
Jon Stout (brasswatchman) says:

Hey, look, you may complain about Anasigma's methods, but what are you doing to control overpopulation, huh?

You just *know* Dick Cheney worked here are some point in his career ... in fact, that's probably his voice doing the narration.

Well, there's my nightmare fuel for the day.

David Toboz (professor_zobot) says:

...My god. They ARE evil.

But evil in a surprisingly efficient and orderly way. I'm impressed.

Paul-André Hamel (tek27) says: Worse than just evil... Bureaucratic evil! *shivers*
Shaenon Garrity (shaenongarrity) says:

The history of this strip is kind of unfortunately revealing. In Jeffrey's original script, little Jimmy just got turned away from A-Sig Central for having insufficient clearance. I voiced the opinion that he ought to be disappeared instead, changing the final line from, "Destroying the dreams of small children is one of the things Anasigma does best!" to simply, "Destroying small children..." Then, when it came time to actually draw the strip, I put in Mary Blair's Fiery Jaws of Death. I have problems.
Jeremy Berg (pisceneanteater) says:

"Hey, look, you may complain about Anasigma's methods, but what are you doing to control overpopulation, huh?"

Well, if I may make a modest proposal. . . 


Edwin Quantrall (reynard) says:



Robert Hutchinson (ertchin) says: "Jiminy", thinks Jimmy. "If only I could get a ride in AAAAGH OH GOD THE BLOOD"
Rob (rrreed) says: Yep, one crank call to a tobacconist's asking for Prince Albert in a can, and you're a marked man for life!
Jon Stout (brasswatchman) says:

Well, if I may make a modest proposal. . .

Meh. It's been done. Turns out the Irish are too stringy. :)

Joyce Melton (halfelven) says: Is murdery even a real word?
Alycia Shedd (leeshajoy) says: It is now!
John Campbell (jcampbel) says: I've got this feeling that the list of things that make Unity murdery is long and varied.
So It Begins (soitbegins) says: .................
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

When Unity says she feels "murdery",
The readers ask, "What is this wordery?"
Linguistic debate
Will degenerate
Into etymological nerdery.

Owl Who says South (owlsayssouth) says: well, i dont know. Unity hasn't technically murdered anyone yet. or technically planned to murder anyone. destroy things? sure. and we cant be too sure on her opinions on the status of, well, things not human. can one murder a sentient toaster oven? or is it just destroyed? where does one cross the line between murder and meh?
Joyce Melton (halfelven) says: It's sad when circumstances drive a poor zomboid to neologism.
Rob (rrreed) says: We still don't know what Unity was doing out "waiting in the car" while Tip and Sweetheart were visiting with Dr. Lee.

Honestly, can you see her staying put? The necroid(?) whose idea of a good jolt to start the day is 120V @ 10A? In Area 51? With stealth blimps, scram cannons, and possibly alien technology to get into, blow up, or both?

Or if she did stay put, what's the carrot or stick Sweetheart used with her?
Rob (rrreed) says: And BTW…

"Get thee to a murd'ry, why woulds't thou be a skinner of breeders?"
Tiff Hudson (tiff_hudson) says: Yay, Unity! What a pun!
Incog Neato (ghede) says:

Well, I belong to the Toastery school of... holy shit that actually is a word. Well, no auto-correct anyways. Umm... where was I... of linguistics. If it's a noun, add Y to it, it is then an adjective. "That thing over there sure is... toastery."

Mel Van Weelden (kessalia) says: Yippee for Payless!  The selection might be small but at least they HAVE pumps in size 12... 
Dan (selcouth14) says: Tiptoe...nice.
Joyce Melton (halfelven) says:

Tiptoe through the minefield

By the minefield, that is where I'll be

Come tiptoe through the black ops with me

Tiptoe through the slaughter

By the slaughter of the murder room

And tiptoe through the black ops with me

Knee deep in bodies we'll stray

We'll keep the sheriffs away

And if I kill you in the slaughter with a heat ray

Will you reassemble me?

And tiptoe through the black ops with me! 

Joyce Melton (halfelven) says: Murder room should have been "murdery" there, i copied the wrong copy. A murdery is of course where you do murder as well as the feeling of needing to commit.
Incog Neato (ghede) says:

Neurologists, programmers, and robotics engineers. 


Basically, they poke to see what works, don't know why it doesn't work, and stick legs on it. 

Joyce Melton (halfelven) says: Don't stand too close, General.
Owl Who says South (owlsayssouth) says:

oh jeeze, no wonder the general asked for field personel. people who are labeled "top" in their fields generally dont get out much. when you are createing an Artificial inteligence, you would be better off hireing your mother to work with it.

well, mabye not your mother. a mother. but not helen's mother. that would end only in tears. and a large, burnt, irradiated hole in the ground.

Rob (rrreed) says: Can't imagine why Unity doesn't like these guys. They like blowing things up, she likes blowing things up!

Maybe they tried blowing her up…
Mel Van Weelden (kessalia) says:

Yeah, I know neurologists, programmers and robotic engineers, and they are some of the worst geeks and nerds i've ever met. *L*  The neurologist is the most normal but that's not saying much.


Maybe unity doesn't like them because after they blow things up they are expected to do paperwork about it.

Terry Smith (wcfan) says:

Ah, with AI it's not that when it does't work they don't know why, it's more subtle than that.

it's when it WORKS they don't know why.



Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: Unity's just jealous!
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says: OK, the Big Freakin' (tm) Gun count for Skin Horse now stands at one.  "KA-BOOM" ... ah, Marvin the Martian would be proud.
Jeremy Berg (pisceneanteater) says: My Illudium Q36 Space Modulator!
Mark H- (eyeharvester) says: Y'know, these characters look shockingly clean-cut for a Shaenon Garrity comic. Therefore, I'd bet money that they are up to no good whatsoever. None
eNoob (boonead) says:

Woooh Pad Thai!

Although with a name like "Lee," she's probably Korean :(

Shaenon Garrity (shaenongarrity) says: Every time you put a frowny face after the word "Korean," it makes Derek Kirk Kim cry.
Incog Neato (ghede) says:

And makes the rest of us uncomfortable!


Anyways, we need more on-screen explosions. Lots more. In fact, I want the next two Engineered Lifeforms to be sentient explosions. Just endlessly exploding to communicate, move, and eat. I want them in their own musical. Maybe a broadway reimagining of the 1812 overture.

Incog Neato (ghede) says:

Lee is the program! Nick is the programmer! TIP IS THE MATRIX.  

Hmm, that fills the quota for bizarre plot twist suggestions. 

Rob (rrreed) says:
  • Without warning, a tough-talking librarian arrives and calls upon the power of cheese!
  • Meanwhile, a sex-crazed locust grabs Rocket Nixon by the lapels!
  • Elsewhere, a drunken princess detonates her father's royal tomato garden!
  • "SURPRISE!" yelled the hysterical quarterback.
  • "Only a reverse tachyon spin phase inverter can save us now," muttered the padre.
  • Just then, a sinister cashier attacked the psychic farmer from far-off Freedonia.
  • "tHE CakE ISn't a LIe," replied GlaDOS monotonously.
  • Clearly, this is the time for the return of Johnny Socko and his Giant Robot!
And of course, the classic…
"No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!"
So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Heh.
Terry Smith (wcfan) says: Tip picked a bad time to forget how to pick up chicks...
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(Sung to the tune of "You May Be Right" by Billy Joel)

Trouble straight ahead is loomin'
This darn thing is acting human;
Might as well enjoy a nice massage ...
Yeah, he makes my toesies curl
Yeah, the guy looks like a girl ...
It's a trans-ves-tite with no de-col-le-tage!

It might go right!
It might malfunction!
But do I really care? 
I say it's neither here nor there;
Shoulders are tight,
So's lumbar junction ...
Who cares what's wrong?
Those hands are strong ...
Down, to the right ...

(So nice and strong, down and to the right ...
So nice and strong, down and to the right ...)

Real Unimportant (realunimportant) says: @rrreed: you forgot to reverse the polarity of the neutron flow.
Jeremy Berg (pisceneanteater) says: @Terry Smith:  I disagree- Dr. Lee is shaken, discouraged, and confused, in which case she probably does need a hot oil massage.  Tip's totally going to score.
Edwin Quantrall (reynard) says: @ Rob Reed: Dang! A "Johnny Socko" reference??? And I thought that *I* was the only one who remembered that little  piece of "so-bad-it's-good" '60s Japanese/live-action/Giant-Robots TV history...
Joyce Melton (halfelven) says: Panel three, Tip's body language is classic defensive, crossed arms and legs. But when she looks at him, his confidence comes back and he makes his move. The boy is a natural.
Tiff Hudson (tiff_hudson) says: One hot oil massage for Dr. Hotness, coming right up!!!
chic geek (onechicgeek) says: Zing! And Tip is shot down. Personally, I think she's jealous that of the two of them, he's wearing the more attractive outfit. Not to mention he's the one with the confidence to wear a stylish hat.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says: And as we all know, "Any thesis where you lose your hat is a BAD THESIS."
Owl Who says South (owlsayssouth) says:

"You mean dis is vun of dose plans vere ve don't kill ANYBODY?"

Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: Martin: That, or the hat will inexplicably end up on fire at some point.
Rob (rrreed) says: "Dot iz vuy I desine muy hats to be parzually fuer resistent. I ken zay dot I meent for it to ketch on fuer!"
Tiff Hudson (tiff_hudson) says: Oy! So much for this weekend's hot oil massage scene.
Jeremy Berg (pisceneanteater) says: I'll have to remember the "soft sciences" dig for the next time certain people make fun of my creative writing degree. 
NigaiAmai Yume (nigaiamai_yume) says: We are SO long overdue for some Skin Horse/Jagger fan art!
Terry Smith (wcfan) says: Yes Jaggers and Unity would get along very well indeed...
Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: I posted Unity/Jaeger fan art weeks ago, actually. And it was a Sunday installment to boot.
Jeffrey Channing Wells (channing) says:

Well, it depends on whether that's just a normal slash or an *ahem ahem* sort of slash.  We still haven't gotten any of that yet.  What's wrong with you, Internet people?  I thought you all were like total porn experts or something, and could be counted on to produce copious quantities of porn at the slightest provocation, or even if someone were to startle you with a sharp loud noise nearby.  Don't tell me that's all just a myth...

Shaenon Garrity (shaenongarrity) says:

Jeffrey! No! What have we said about wishing for porn?
Jeffrey Channing Wells (channing) says:

It's less that I'm "wishing" for it than it is that I am somewhat boggled at its absence.  The only explanation is that there's probably a porn logjam somewhere up the pipe, and when that baby clears out, *wham*.  I'm getting the Kleenex ready.

FOR THE TEARS THAT I WILL BE WEEPING AT THE TIME.  Not for the other thing.  I know what you were thinking.  Yes, you.

Joyce Melton (halfelven) says:

The internet is for porn.

We have it on the highest authority.

The internet is for porn.

And webcomics of superior quality.

The internet is for porn, the internet is for porn.

I heard they announced it on the avenue

The internet is for porn 

It's in a Broadway show, so you know it's true --

The internet is for porn!


And webcomics of quality, too! 

C. R. (crazybelgium) says: Tip wins.
Adam Underfoot (unnatural20) says: Tip wins so hard.
eep eepish (sylvn5) says: She did ask for it specifically.  Also, Tip's pretty impressive to remember to make that quip after what one assumes to be hours of extremely distracting activity.
Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: THIS IS NOT HOW WE SOLVE PROBLEMS!
Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: (Okay, maybe it is.)
Brian Rogers (billionsix) says: Tip is evil! Evil, I say! Using his confidence and skill to sweep a woman off her feet, causing her to be lost in the ecstasy of the moment and losing herself to passion? That is wrong! This is why rules of courtship were invented! If Tip wants to be a gentleman, he should supplicate to her, asking for a chaste first date, and slowly gaining permission to enter her boudoir, thereby affording total control to the woman, giving her the bland, passionless, but safe experience that women believe they really want!!!
Rachel (admiralshazbot) says:

Incidentally, I'm loving the hair-sheen thing. It's very cool.

Also, Tip's kinda awesome.

Rob (rrreed) says: You realize, of course, that this means that Sweetheart and Unity have probably been left on their own to deal with the Project Whirligig A.I.

Shall we start a pool on the body count?
Zarathustra's Id (zarathustrasid) says: I believe Tip's conflict resolution technique was first pioneered by Barbarella, not that he doesn't give it his own flair.
Rob Davidoff (eofpi) says: I took a second to pick up on the last panel because of the scene and costume changes. Then I laughed. And didn't stop for a while. Excellent, Sir Channing and Madam Garrity, excellent.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

OK, I've always had a thing for the "sexy librarian" look.  Dr. Lee and Tip make that "sexy librarian squared".  (Although I certainly hope Tip doesn't have a square root.)

So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Heh.
Joyce Melton (halfelven) says:

You're a real sweet cookie with a transvestite flair

But are you man enough to take on this girl's dare?

You're planning another notch in your lipstick case 

But this girl is gonna to put you in your place.

C'mon and hit me with your best shot.

C'mon and show me what you've got. 

I know you don't plan on fighting fair

You're dressing up to take my dare 

C'mon and hit me with you're best shot

Oh, good lord is that what you've got?


NigaiAmai Yume (nigaiamai_yume) says:

"A [woman]? Under the age of 80?"


Mel Van Weelden (kessalia) says: I am gonna be giggling all freaking day now. thank you. *L*
Johnn Reynolds (sleepyjohn) says: Wow, he even relaxed her eyebrows.
Mud Mudd (ceramic) says: Wow, Tip is hairy. He ought to grow a moustache. Or a goatee. That will definitely cement his position with girls looking for scientists. On the other hand, if his goal is to bone all and every type of girl possible, keep the skirts.
Terry Smith (wcfan) says: Wow, they even have the famous L shaped bedsheet from the movies!
Connor Harris (connor) says: It is funnier if you read Dr. Lee's lines with a british accent. Then again, it's funnier when you read just about anything with a british accent.
eNoob (boonead) says:

Hah, so it is!

In a way, I think Tip's superpower is more dangerous than anybody else's.

Typhin Reynard (typhin) says:

Signor Colossus strikes again, it seems.  ^_^

David Harmon (mental_mouse) says:

You realize, of course, that this means that Sweetheart and Unity have probably been left on their own to deal with the Project Whirligig A.I.

And, Tip's ego aside, the "Oh, good lord" is probably Dr. Lee's realization of that same point...  

I do love her expression in that last panel... and I'd say the "L-shaped sheet" was averted, as she's actually clutching it to her chest, and it's not that low in the first place.

Jeremy Berg (pisceneanteater) says:

@Rob: I too, laughed out loud at great length when I got to the last panel.  I kind of freaked out the cat.

Also- where the hell was Dr. Lee stashing that queen-sized bed in the lab? 


Daniel Barkalow (iabervon) says:

And that neatly resolves the situation from Tuesday. If neither of you is wearing anything, you can't be wearing the same shoes. And chances are that she'll be too distracted when they get dressed again by what Sweetheart and Unity have been up to. Brilliant solution, Tip!

Robert Hutchinson (ertchin) says: This probably isn't the place for a more critical comment. So I will just nod politely towards the wordplay.
Josh MacLeod (alcar) says: Awesome.
Mark H- (eyeharvester) says: So...uh, does this qualify as "exposing rats to novel activity"?
Jon Stout (brasswatchman) says: Depends on the rat, I suppose.
Mikhail Borg (mikhailborg) says:

This does clear up a issue about which I'd been wondering: whether Tip's prowess with the ladies really measured up to his storytelling. The answer would seem to be "yes".

 ZZ Top knew what they were singing about. Every girl really is crazy about a man in a sharp dress. 

Cris Fisher (chrysilla) says: Oh dear, welcome to Torchwood ;-)
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The education bestowed on Shaenon K. Garrity by her parents had been expensive, athletic and prolonged. ... full profile