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Smithson Thus Far... ·

Ray Phoenix (graypheonix) says:

Hmmm, bitch-assedness?  Is that even a word?

 Also, first in for the week!

Brian Rogers (billionsix) says: Is that pronounced bitch-ass'd-ness? Or bitch-ass-ed-ness?
Joyce Melton (halfelven) says:

Let's ask Ed. :)


NigaiAmai Yume (nigaiamai_yume) says:


I'm going to assume this does NOT mean he was promoted by a woman, given his experession....

Resentment over the military attempting to use the Peter Principle on a cross dresser?

NigaiAmai Yume (nigaiamai_yume) says:

*checks TV*

My mistake, an attempted use of the DILBERT Principe, or "Being Kicked Upstairs".

James Reinsch (cttcjim) says: I so know how Gavotte feels. Putting faith in the least of three crazies.
Katie Powell (pencilears) says: bitch-assedness is too a word. its more stupid and agressive than an act of douchebaggerey. or dumbfuckatude.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says: There's no "ed" in "bitch-ass'd-ness".  My wife is not a bitchass, she's more of a smartass.  (She gets a little behind in her thinking.)
Tiff Hudson (tiff_hudson) says: Promotions to O-2 and O-3 (Captain) are relatively automatic for those who start at O-1, unless they screw up in a big way. It's sort of a breaking-in period for young officers. The serious competition (and politics) start at O-4, when only a limited number of these young people are allowed to receive what's called the "Field Grade Lobotomy".
Ciara Cole (ciara) says: On my way into work today, I saw a "Unity Disposal and Recycling" truck.  I think that's quite accurate and appropriate.
Johnn Reynolds (sleepyjohn) says: Starting off a sentance with "With all due respect, ma'am" and concluding it with "bitch-assedness" kinda takes you across the entire spectrum of polite discourse in just eight words.
Johnn Reynolds (sleepyjohn) says:

And a late thought:

The title of the story line: "Dead Dogs".  The destination of the field team: Alaska.  Is there a zombie Iditarod?  To commemorate the valiant dogsled team that didn't get the medicine there on time?

Ronan O\'Donovan (captainkobold) says: Here's a thought: Sweetheart's not actually _bad_ at her job, and Tip doesn't seem to want the field promotion, so what the deal? I wonder what this mission will involve that Sweetheart couldn't cope with, hum...
Erin Palette (palette) says:

Maybe Sweetheart has to go undercover? You can't command a team if you're undercover.


I mean, Sweetheart has some seriously underused espionage abilities. Would you ever suspect a dog of being a double agent?

Sol Foster (sol) says: Didn't Sweetheart have siblings?  Maybe some of them went north to Alaska...
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says: Sol: Sweetheart's siblings were Candian.  They went west to Alaska.
Paul Gadzikowski (pgadzikowski) says: "Limited". Good word for it.
Andy Wetmore (efogoto) says: Now Sweetheart, that's the face for a RAMPAGE! Where was that when the panda showed up?
Eve Elliott (stroth) says: Huh. Sweetheart can do terrifying. I guess her creator wasn't compleatly useless at the whole mad science thing after all.
Andrew Kunz (miyaa) says: Well, if you ain't the lead dog...
Rachel Blackman (rainpacket) says: Best. Sweetheart expression. EVER.
So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Eeeegdas!

Though, that is a cool Sweetheart expression.
Johnn Reynolds (sleepyjohn) says:

Well, if you were a "real woman", and had just been replaced as alpha by  a transvestite whose legs were almost as hairy as yours, a rampage would definitely be on the short list of options.

Fear the Sweetheart.

Terry Smith (wcfan) says:

Wow - with this and Free Fall at

There's TWO excellent current webcomics with growly canines!

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

"Tip, go do something you hate!  Being miserable builds character!"  (With eternal thanks to Bill Watterson)

Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: "Go pack." Cute double meaning.
David Harmon (mental_mouse) says:

It's interesting to see just what does set off Sweetheart's growly mode -- apparently, it's mostly "territorial".

David Toboz (professor_zobot) says: With everyone talking about the awesome Sweetheart expression here, I feel like we're being negligant in mentioning Tip's incredibly expressive distraught expression in the 4th panel. Poor guy's been put in the nasty position of having a friend be angry at him for nothing he's done wrong, and he's expressing it perfectly.
Andrew Kunz (miyaa) says: "Sapient canids" reminds me of a particular vicious enemy from Charlie and the Glass Elevator.
Eric Burns (ericburns) says:

This may be the first time I've ever said this with a Garrity or Wells production... but typo (write-o?) in panel 3: "Difficult" instead of "difficut."

And I had an idea that's what this was regarding when we saw the chapter title.

Adam Underfoot (unnatural20) says: The vermicious K'nidds?
Brian Rogers (billionsix) says: heh. I remembe Charlie and the Glass Elevator! It was so long ago that I had forgotten the name, and was seriously starting to wonder if I had actually imagined it, and if it really existed. :)
James Rice (jhrice) says: There have been a "typo" or two in the past.  One particular occasion, I got balled out when I pointed one out.  I got balled out for reading the strips ahead of their release date.
Andrew Kunz (miyaa) says:

@Adam: Indeed! Those vicious vermicious K'nidds! (The Glass Elevator: the second most famous rectangle box since the TARDIS.)

I'm also betting Sweetheart will find love out in the cold, cold Alaskan wilderness. And there'll probably be a Sarah Palin joke or three out there.

Shaenon Garrity (shaenongarrity) says:

Eric: Fixed.

James: That was getting bawled out? That was nothing! As I've long suspected, I've been far too easy on you readers. This is why I keep getting sass and backtalk.
So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Ahhhh.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "How Much Is That Doggie In The Window")
(I know, I've used it before, but it just fits too well)

The sapient ca-nids in Alaska,
The ones with the long, thick, warm hair;
They're making a film about their dinner ...
They call it, "A Private Affair" ...

Mel Van Weelden (kessalia) says: Holy cow, I actually guessed RIGHT about a foreshadowed plot twist??  That never happens. *L*
Joyce Melton (halfelven) says: Shaenon: James didn't say he got bawled out, he said he got balled out. I don't want to speculate.
Brian Rogers (billionsix) says: Today, I saw a copy of Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator at the supermarket for $2. Weird coincidence.
shui lung (draconautus) says:

To the tune of "Captain Kidd"

Oh I am a vermicious K'nidd hear me wail,hear me wail . . .
Oh I am a vermicious K'nidd hear me wail.
I am a vermicious K'nidd and to try and eat Charlie I did.
Oh I am a vermicious K'nidd hear me wail . . .

 It's been long enough since I read the book, that I can't remember if vermicious K'nidds wail or not, but it fit so what the hell.

Andrew Kunz (miyaa) says: Actually all they did was spell out "Get Out!" before they attacked the Elevator. What saved the Earth and Elevator was the heat of reentry.
Anders Smith (mrsitouh) says: OK, Tip just ratcheted up about 10 notches on the Badass-o-meter here. He's one of the 'real' Army guys, not some desk jockey like I'd assumed.
NigaiAmai Yume (nigaiamai_yume) says:

I feel sorry for Gavotte, the one time they HAD to use Unity as Field Commander.

Part of me wants this to be a Noodle Incident. The other, sadistic part of me wants full details. ^-^

Chris Reed (animeraider) says: Shaenon, I've been reading this strip from the beginning, and I have to say, I love how you draw Sweetheart's ears.
Nathan Hogue (sailorleo) says:

I'd actually say the Elevator was the more well known of the two, to be honest.

It took the TARDIS a while to become something the average person would recognize in North America, much as I might wish otherwise.

Pete Bleackley (petethemadscientist) says: Nathan: How did it do that? The Chameleon Circuit's been stuck on "Obsolete Police Phone Box" since 1963.
Carl Fishman (carlfishman) says: Anders; Well of course.  It's a given in any sort of hip fiction that a cross-dressing man is going to be much more "manly" than anyone who wears trousers!  (Except perhaps for a woman.)  It's just funnier that way, as well as more correct.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

Y'know, someone (with the same skill at Flash animation that I have at songwriting) could do a crossover adventure, "Unity Meats My Little Pony".  (Yes, "meats" ... the final scene would be a barbecue.)

Sequels would include, "Unity Runs Rainbow Brite Through A Glass Prism And Separates Her", "Unity Turns The Littlest Pet Shop Into The Biggest Buffet", and for the yuri fans, "Unity Meets Strawberry Shortcake And Busts Her OK ENDING THIS RIGHT NOW THANK YOU ...

Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: Someone once did a modified Alignments chart for Code Geass, with the axes being Fabulous/Manly and Badass/Useless instead of Good/Evil and Lawful/Chaotic.

Tip is clearly Fabulous Badass.

Mikhail Borg (mikhailborg) says:

Takes a real man to go out in public in a darling little loligoth outfit. Any guy with the nerve to try it at least once will learn something about himself - that I guarantee.

Johnn Reynolds (sleepyjohn) says: My first thought: Where was Unity before the Humvee caught fire?
Johnn Reynolds (sleepyjohn) says:

News flash: Moustachio has a French cousin!

eNoob (boonead) says: I'm waiting for Tip to demonstrate similar badassery in-panel!
eNoob (boonead) says: And then grip about a broken nail or something, of course.
James Fung (jgf) says: Heh.  "Go pack."  =)
Tiff Hudson (tiff_hudson) says: "Those poor ponies" that's what happened at Assateague!!
shui lung (draconautus) says:

Actually I kinda picture Unity having a flash of inspiration and strapping flame throwers on the ponies in an attempt to turn them into the equine equivalent of flamethrower tanks. And of course it all goes horribly wrong . . .

Or maybe it was jetpacks . . .

"Sky ponies in flight, to Unity's delight . . ."

Michael Brewer (wusemajor) says: ....Are they playing Interstellar Pig?  ...Am I the only one who got that?
Andy Wetmore (efogoto) says: I don't know that game, but I've have someone "find me in the Alps" in a Diplomacy deal. Treachery is such an ugly thing amongst friends. Fun, though.
Adam Underfoot (unnatural20) says: ...Hey, Michael, you're totally right. Mbridlengile is the
home of carniverous lichen. is my reference, here
Doug Wykstra (dougthehead) says: Love the Big Lebowski reference.
Rafe Saltman (rafe) says: Oh, feed my stork scrambled eggs gently with a chainsaw…
So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Hoo boy.
Eff Macadhaimh (macadhaimhs) says:

Hmmm..."Find me in the Alps"? It's becoming disturbingly easy to understand Nick's euphemisms...

 Love Tip's Alaska gear. Very Doctor Zhivago!

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "This Could Be The Start Of Something Big", by Steve Allen)

We're starting our mission now, we're off to Alaska!
We've even got stowaways to throw in the brig!
They're acting like total nerds
While eating french fries with curds!
I guess they're playing "Interstellar Pig"!

(Crud, why did I mention the french fries with curds?  Now I'm gonna be singing the "poutine" song to myself all day ...)

Drew (pseudowolf) says: Intergalactic Pig! I read that once ages ago, but I only remember enjoying the book and nothing of the plot or characters. Hm. I do believe a Barnes & Noble run is in order!
Jeff Abshire (danalog) says:

Damn, the Big Lebowski reference made me register to comment, after reading Narbonic for years...

For those who didn't get it...

Andrew Kunz (miyaa) says: Pigs in Space! (Sorry, it had to be said.)
Katie Powell (pencilears) says:

totaly saw this coming. Nick and the D of I are cut from the same nerd-fabric.

I am laughing and it is bugging the dog. =D

Ray Phoenix (graypheonix) says: Did that last word bubble make sense to anyone else?  Because I can't figure out what it was originally. 
Lawrence Delaney (ohtar) says: I'm pretty sure that somehow the Irradiation people got baloney jammed in his flight panel and that Nick's grumbling about this. The only censored word there is the first, which I presume is just one curse or another.
Katie Powell (pencilears) says:

@graypheonix "shit, not baloney in my flight panel"

as in "oh no that meat byproduct is going to rot and stink up my dashboard"

Rockphed (rockphed) says: For some reason nick reminds me of Parson in Erfworld in the first panel.  Are you guys cribbing off of Messiurs Balder and Noguchi?
Katie Powell (pencilears) says: No, that is a legit Use of Trope
Andrew Kunz (miyaa) says: Is there shark meat in baloney?
So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Euuuurgg.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

Marcie?  Chocolate syrup & spray cheese?  Not with her boss!  Now if she spent the evening with Tip, I'm sure he knows plenty of inventive things to do with spray cheese and chocolate syrup and whipped cream and honey and ... um ...

... not that I'd know anything about that or anything ... y'know ...

crazy dave (crazydave) says: A forum I frequent has the Scunthorpe Problem. One common invocation of it is that common dieting organisation: Weigh****chers
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The education bestowed on Shaenon K. Garrity by her parents had been expensive, athletic and prolonged. ... full profile