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Smithson Thus Far... ·

ysabet hasuko (ysabet) says: Sparkle WOULD, too.  Sweetheart's just too civilized to make a good Alpha.
Timothy Whitcomb (hroar) says:

The truth will set you free! 8-) Or somethign like that...More than likely kicked out. 8-)

Nate Cull (natecull) says:


(TUNE: "Subdivisions", Rush)

Sprawling on the outskirts of Alaska
Behind puppy-eyed borders
Captain Bram's new order
Superdogs bred for slaughter
And to take the future back

Now he's gone it's like a disconnection
No more vivisection
It's time for an election
An Alpha for selection
To be leader of the pack

Nowhere can a Sweetheart
feel safe to turn her back

In the tunnel walls
In the glowing halls
Conform or be cast out

In the Captain's lab
From his Science Slab
Be cool or be cast out

Any escape might help to smoothe
This no-win game for her
But the white North has no charms to soothe
The restless dreams of Fur...

shui lung (draconautus) says: I think Sweetheart is still a bit tipsy at the moment. I might have to take the fifth on this one, but I bet she still wants to be liter of the pack. Hair of the dog anyone?
Adam Underfoot (unnatural20) says: I don't think she's tipsy; she seems to be standing evenly on all four feet. No, she's just pinting for the old days- or the fjords. That's my sober appraisal, anyway. Of course, if she is still around in a few days, I wouldn't want to be'er. Spirits are high right now, but I think they'll be pished if Sweetheart doesn't share her liquor.
Her what?
Liquor! Liquor? I hardly know 'er!
So It Begins (soitbegins) says: *snicker*
shui lung (draconautus) says: If Sparkle has her way, Sweetheart will probably be whiskeyed away before any trouble be-gins. It'd be a rum thing if Sweetheart made Sparkle go absinthe without leave. Still it takes a Stout heart to take a risk and win or lose it Ale. Can Sparkle Scotch Sweetheart's nosescent bid to be pack liter once more? Vodka'n she do? Time to Lager up the wagons, trouble's a'brewin'! Before it's over, someone may end up high on (a) bier, wining for mercy . . .
Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: Sweetheart's pretty solidly a beta. Or canine middle management, to put it in more human terms. :)
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "You'll Be In My Heart", Phil Collins)

Just stop your whining, you lost fair and square ...
Such a disgrace ... you can't bear ...
You say that Sparkle was fighting dirty,
Just give it up, hush your mouth!

For one so smart, you act so dumb!
You swear you'll get her back, your time will come!
You want to stand on your own four feet now;
Hold up your head, and head south!

'Cause you were kicked right out!
Kicked right in the snout!
They kicked you out,
Kicked you right out the door!

Yeah, you were kicked right out!
Sparkle won, don't pout!
It was a rout,
Used you to wipe the floor!

Just wait ...
You'll be back some day ...
You'll make Sparkle pay ...
You'll retaliate ...
You will say, bold and sassy,
"I won't let you harass me,
Gonna -- hey is that Lassie?"
And then WHAM!  Leg sweep!

Kevin (ofscience) says: Sweetheart's usually pretty cordial, but I'd hate to see it when she finally schnapps.
Michael Brewer (wusemajor) says: I wonder if Sweetheart could take her now, after Unity's anger mismanagement courses?
Joyce Melton (halfelven) says: Muffin, Muffin, Bo Buffin, Nana Nana No Nuffin! Muffin!
Alix Tierney (almaseti) says: Doggy cuteness! But if they can publish papers, why can't they ask for help with the whole "starving and dying of werewolf-itis" thing?
Michael Brewer (wusemajor) says: There are times when I think Buddy is smarter than he lets on.
Naomi H (starbright) says: Sweetheart, Buddy, Jellybean, Sparkle, and now Muffin? Clearly Captain Bram wasn't trying to strike fear into the hearts of humanity. Unless he really was planning to conquer the world with the Power of Cute.
Ray Phoenix (graypheonix) says: Well, they are all canadian afterall...
Camille Dumas (camidumas) says: Teehee.  I mean, HEY, us Canadians are not cute.  <stamps tiny painted toes>
Jon Stout (brasswatchman) says: Hey, the Captain was a mad scientist, not a mad marketer.
So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Awwww.
shui lung (draconautus) says: He may have been a mad scientist, but he was clearly a dog breeder first. Long silly names are required for purebred show dogs
William Hostman (aramis) says:

3 names is "short".... including titles isn't overly gauche, either...

Dog breeders are F*ing nutters.

Robin Sandlin (desdinovab) says:

This is (only slightly) off-topic, but I found a free RPG for Mad Science in the style of World of Darkness here: If this is been posted before, mea culpa.

Cute is an excellent cover for pure evil. Just ask Sir Pounce! Not that I'm saying Buddy is evil, but I'm not saying he's not, either.

ysabet hasuko (ysabet) says:

So: is Muffin male? Sounds like it. And if he has any offspring of his own, does that make him a Stud Mu--

**writer gets karate-chopped and dragged off by same Comic Police who handled the 'Naughty Box' matter**

Joyce Melton (halfelven) says: We use to own a pedigree boxer (whose habitual expression resembled Buddy's) named something like "Adorant Princess Mary Columba of Kodye". Known as Princess. So yeah, long silly names are required for pedigree animals because so many of them are born.
EvilMid nightLurker (emlurker) says: desdinovab: Genius: The Transgression is a work of art, and I second the recommendation.  Even for non-gamers.
Andy Wetmore (efogoto) says: The Zen of UNITY: Make me of one of everything!
Michael Brewer (wusemajor) says: CMO?
Michael Brewer (wusemajor) says:

Right, Chief Medical Officer.  That should be it. Duh. 

...And Irony-chan's prophesy becomes rather more plausible.

Nate Cull (natecull) says: Chief Medical Officer, I assume.
Rob (rrreed) says: Not to worry, U.N.I.T.Y.! Your Vita-Ray-Irradiated, Yottacoulomb-Charged SPAM™ Blood Substitute is a proven and effective:
  • Broad-Spectrum Antibiotic
  • Antibacterial
  • Antiviral
  • Antidiarrheal
  • Antinauseal
  • Fungicide
  • Herbicide
  • Insecticide
  • Heavy Metal Chelant*
  • High-Energy Electromagnetic Radiation Block (<380nm)
  • All-Purpose Potion & Poison Antidote
  • Antihexant
  • Spell Breaker
  • Glass Cleaner
  • Floor Polish
  • Dessert Topping
*Not tested against Ununoctium-294.
So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Wildberry Muffintop? It'll be blueberry waffles next.
Nate Cull (natecull) says: Stop doing that!
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Doctor, My Eyes", Jackson Browne)

Doctor, I think I've been exposed
To a virus undisclosed;
If you think that you can cure me, tell me how!
'Cause my arm was bleeding raw,
So I took a werewolf paw
From a critter who's a bit short-handed now!

Doctor, my hand!
It's like no hand before!
Please understand!
It was so worth it, gimme four!

Tiff Hudson (tiff_hudson) says: Every time I see one of the dogs' full names, I have a flashback to Best In Show. Folks I know who show dogs tell me that BIS wasn't over the top; the movie didn't include any cheaters, like people who deliberately bump your dog to upset it or drop treats on the floor behind them to distract the dogs that follow.
Matt Buchwald (themysticalone) says: When the full moon ends, does her werewolf paw turn back into a hand?
N B (daveclone7) says: "Veterinarians Hospital" reference FTW
Tiwaz Tyrsfist (tiwaztyrsfist) says: We need a collected list of all the dogs names.
Andrew Kunz (miyaa) says: Captain Brams is Captain Crunch's evil twin brother. I'd bet my own mother on that.
Rockphed (rockphed) says: Isn't it Captain Bram?  No 's'.  Asside from Bram being easier on the brain than Brams, it also sound more like a mad science name.  Like Van Gogh.
Mark Orr (agentoracle) says: Or Like Bram Stoker... Genetically uplifted intelligent [i]Vampire[/i] puppies to fight the alaskan werewolves?
Rob (rrreed) says: @N B—By gum, you're right!

"Tune in again next week when you'll hear Dr. Bob say, 'Good night, and may the good Lord take a viking to you!'"
Moe Lane (moelane) says: Ah.  So that's how they'll fix this problem.
Benjamin Whetham (crosshair) says: My guess, the suspension medium for the slide is nitroglycerin. :P
Michael Brewer (wusemajor) says: I see you finally drew dogs in goggles.
Rick Shott (not_home) says: Does this mean somewhere down the road people will submit pictures of dogs in goggles?  Is this going to be the new fan submissions?  They are kinda cute.
The Auld Grump (theauldgrump) says:

Hmmm, the obvious answer is that the lenses are for color correction - as canines it is likely that Sweetheart and her fellow chimeras are colorblind. The goggles correct for this, and use a false color image to enhance what is seen through the microscope, highliighting the efffects of Unity's necrotic suspension on the virii. :P (Technobabble is so much more fun when it actually makes some kind of sense....)

The Auld Grump

Camille Dumas (camidumas) says: Also they look cool.
Nate Cull (natecull) says:

Why goggles? Because SCIENCE is AWESOME.

That is all ye know on Earth, and all ye need to know.

ysabet hasuko (ysabet) says: GOGGIES IN GOGGLES!!! FTW!!!  \o/
Jessie Tracer (electrickeet) says: Ah, but dogs are only colourblind compared to old-world primates or birds (or a few other things). They have what we can think of as full deuteronopia – they see blues, but reds and greens come across as the same sort of muddy yellow. There are ways to work around that limitation with false colour, but plain lenses wouldn't really help.... ...what? I researched it because I've played more than one mutant cat or were-canine in my time. And hey, something like six percent of the population is partially colour-blind. It's good to keep in mind.
Carl Fishman (carlfishman) says:

They seem to be wearing goggles meant for humans; specifically, meant to hook over human ears.  Which raises the question of how they keep them from falling off.  (Perhaps there's a strap that goes around the back of their heads which doesn't show up in the art?)

Myself, I was hoping for more steampunky goggles with seperate eye peices set in circular frames.

Shaenon Garrity (shaenongarrity) says:

I tried steampunky goggles but they were too distracting. Plus, why would you use goggles like that to look in a microscope? That's just silly.
shui lung (draconautus) says: Actually I think the goggles make 'em look like Agents FI and DO from DIB (Dogs in Black).
shui lung (draconautus) says: And god I hope the medicine that's SUPPOSED to be at the pharmacy today makes the pathogens in my throat start waving tiny white flags . . .
Terry Smith (wcfan) says: More important - how'd they get them on?
Timothy Tylor (timtylor) says: Complicated... but cuuuuuuuuuuuuuuute!
llearch n'n'daCorna (llearch) says: @wcfan: There are some things in heaven and earth, Horatio, that man was not meant to know... ;-]
So It Begins (soitbegins) says: The goggles! They do nothing!

What? Someone had to say it.
Eff Macadhaimh (macadhaimhs) says:

I was already wondering about the goggles in panel 1. Then when I realised it was Unity's blood they were looking at, it all made sense.

 Safety first - you don't want to take any chances!

Brian Rogers (billionsix) says: The reason you need goggles to look in a microscope is that it give Shaenon the excuse to draw dogs in cute goggles! What other reason is there?
Ray Phoenix (graypheonix) says:

Either that, or past experience has made them VERY careful. 

 I mean, hey, if minute exposure will turn normal people into werewolves (sorta) and kill the dogs, then wouldn't it make sense to NOT TOUCH THE BLOOD?!?!?!

Jeffrey Channing Wells (channing) says: You all are missing the most important reason, viz., CARTOON-SHAENON PROMISED.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)", Simon and Garfunkel)

Her blood
Will kick your ass!
No pathogen's allowed to pass!
Lookin' through the mi-cro-scope,
Muffin and Sweetheart,
Goggled doggies!

Unity's like none before;
She's patchwork and piecework and ready to roar!
Jeffrey's happy as can be!
Shaenon is drawing
Goggled doggies!

Andrew Kunz (miyaa) says:

At least they're not rose-coloured goggles.



Steve Ford (fordsfords) says: @channing - I remembered, and was about to comment on it.  :-)
Joe Glow (joe_glow) says: "even my blood will kick your ass" is probably my favorite line in skin horse so far.
BlackWolfe Coyoten (blackwolfe_coyoten) says:

To the tune of... oh, figure it out yourself. :P

I wear my goggles in the lab
so I can
so I can
Look inside the microscope and see.
And I wear my goggles in the lab
so I can
so I can
Look impossibly cute, don't I just?
While we're examining
Pathogens in U.N.I.T.Y.
Has she got lycanthrope?
And muffin turns and says:
Don't question why we are wearing these,
Oh no.
I cannot explain why we're wearing these,
Oh no.

BlackWolfe Coyoten (blackwolfe_coyoten) says: Argh.  "Muffin" should be capitalized.
The Auld Grump (theauldgrump) says:

For some reason I see the interface between the virii and Unity's necrotic suspension highlighted in a virulent green, possibly with red areas during anihilistic events.

 The Auld Grump 

Dov Mittelman (silentspeaker) says:

TAG, as per my contractual obligations whenever someone uses the word "virii" in a sentence, I am abliged to note the following:

1. The plural of the English word "virus" is "viruses"; unlike the case with the pair "bacterium/bacteria" et al., the plural was not borrowed whole from the parent language along with the singular, so normal English pluralization rules apply.

2. The plural of the Latin word "virus" is unattested, but it is the wrong construction for "virii" to be the correct regular pluralization. For one thing, the double i cannot exist in a word that didn't end in -ius. My own personal guess for what Emperor Claudius would suggest if you cornered him would be "virui". (Claudius had an interest in linguistics -- he wrote a Latin-Etruscan/Etruscan-Latin disctionary -- and so would be less likely than most Roman emperors to summarily execute you for bothering him.)

Honora O\'Toole (jinjur) says: Leave it to Tip to gay up lycanthropy.
Michael Brewer (wusemajor) says: It is telling that he is mainly worried about the appearance of his fur.
The Auld Grump (theauldgrump) says:

Mane 'n' Tail, for that healthy look!

The Auld Grump

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Rock The Boat", The Hues Corporation)

Ever since he's bitten by that mutt,
Poor Tip has had some trouble and nothing but!
And now he's got a feeling in his gut,
That something bad is coming ... but what?

Poor Tip is starting now to lose hope, he
Has been burdened by a bloodstream full of ... that ly-can-thro-py!
And he'll soon be feeling ... grumpy and dopey!
Yes, he'll soon be feeling ... grumpy and dopey!

Brush your coat!
Just brush your coat, Wilkin!
Brush your coat!
(Can we call you Rover?)
Brush your coat ...

Marleen de Kramer (malabarista) says:

>>Leave it to Tip to gay up lycanthropy.<<

Or to Buster Wilde...

Andrew Kunz (miyaa) says: Just have Tip eat a can of dog food. Most have stuff that gives dogs shiny coats. Ooh, shiny coats.
Drew (pseudowolf) says: Looks like Tip wants to be sure that if he heads down to Trader Vic's his hair will be perfect.
Erik Waer (raistandantilus) says: Hmmm... I think someone may need to reboot UNITY.
Tiff Hudson (tiff_hudson) says:

Just stir a raw egg into Tip's dinner every night. Now Unity is going to have to brush both of them daily...and with only one opposable thumb.

And...we see a little Last Man on Earth foreshadowing

Philippa Fearn (pippaf) says: @ Eric Oh yes And you going to do it.  Will take a braver entity than me that's for sure.
Andrew W (mrandrew) says: While raw eggs or dog food might work, for people with Tip's condition the right choice for a shiny coat is beef chow mein.
Typhin Reynard (typhin) says:

@Michael Brewer:  I don't think it's so much that he cares more about his appearance than his species, but that if he HAS to be a werewolf, he's at least not going to look like a stray.

"There's one difference between you and me, Muffin.  I make this look good."

So It Begins (soitbegins) says: now it's his coat.

Joyce Melton (halfelven) says:

Ah, is him little flowered butt a bitty sore? Hee.

Hm. Nice shoulders. 

Harris Bias (polychrome) says: Apparently lycanthropy is an STD.
Michael Brewer (wusemajor) says:

Given that they had special goggles that let them use the microscope, I'm somewhat surprised they don't have more canine friendly tools.

Naomi H (starbright) says: Wait, couldn't Tip just have injected himself?
Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: That lycanthropy is an STD is the motivating plot device of Peter Is The Wolf.
So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Ouch.
Mike Kozar (mikekozar) says:

I dunno, if you didn't think to have paw-friendly door latches on the critical areas, you probably weren't spending a lot of time making the medlab accessible to your uplifted dogs.

Unless you were worried about your creations trying to destroy you, an outcome not without precedent...or you happen to know the town is going all Duran Duran every full moon and you want to keep them locked out.


Kind of strange to have a lycanthropy outbreak near a canid reasearch facility, no?  Five will getcha ten there's a connection. 

KaT Adams (kat_adams) says: Uff... I hate shots, they always manage to fail the first time or three and I end up with a useless left arm for a day -_-;;
BlackWolfe Coyoten (blackwolfe_coyoten) says: @dvandom:  Heh, reading that line reminded me to check PitW, actually.
Rob (rrreed) says: @Mike—Sweetheart's kin just happen to have a vaccine, and you think there's a connection? No bet.
shui lung (draconautus) says: I'm amazed that Muffin could manage an injection at all.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "I Shot The Sheriff", Eric Clapton)

I got the serum!
Though at first I did not realize ...
I got the serum!
Although Muffin needed fourteen tries ...

Sheriff Julie Rome was so nice ...
Nice as she could be!
Took me home, didn't have to ask twice;
Now we'll just have to wait and see
If lycanthropy's an STD!

Geoff Dhu (radiofreedagenham) says:

The advice Tip gives in the first panel, truly, I will carry for the rest of my life.


p.s. been reading since February been commenting since RIGHT NOW

Mark H- (eyeharvester) says: @Ed - Y'know, "I Shot the Sheriff" is a Bob Marley tune. Clapton only covered the thing.
Rob (rrreed) says: Ed has been slipping a bit lately with his attributions…
Rob (rrreed) says: …and I'm still looking forward to seeing how the virus got loose in the first place. I have a hunch that it was by no means accidental, and that we've already met the perpetrator.
Megan Brunner (avid) says: Wait.  When did we confirm the Sherriff was a ware? 
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The education bestowed on Shaenon K. Garrity by her parents had been expensive, athletic and prolonged. ... full profile