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Smithson Thus Far... ·

Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: Yes, release of tension is something Tip knows about.
ysabet hasuko (ysabet) says: Hey, I use that method in my workplace all the time! Mindless rage goes great with a little coffee.
Benjamin Whetham (crosshair) says:

Somehow I think there is more to it than that. I'm sure we'll find out about it later.

As for mindless rage being a stress reliever, that depends on what the mindless rage is against.

Naomi H (starbright) says: Looks like we may be needing Tip's psychologist skills after all.
D. Connolly (theogrin) says: While the loss of humanity can certainly be a risk to one's sanity, I've always advised arbit-raging instead.  In a job market that's gone hairy, hedging your bets is a much less stressful proposition than hanging on by the skin of your teeth, even if you won't find a job tailor-made to your standards.
Rob (rrreed) says: This looks like a job for…

Dieter M. (tangerine) says: RRRRAMPAGE!!!
Nate Cull (natecull) says:

(Tune: "Bullet With Butterfly Wings", Smashing Pumpkins)

The world is a werewolf, and it bites
I am the sheriff, read death its rights
And what do I get, for all of my fights?
A heckuva way to relax at night

Because we all know
Jugulars regrow
We all love it so
Love our jobs

My mindless rage is a great stress-relief gauge
My mindless rage is a great stress-relief gauge
Someone might say squeezy balls work just the same
But my mindless rage is a great stress-relief gauge

Now I'm naked, just an animal
My mouth is caked, with bits of undead bile
Oops! Social faux pax, I need to change
Got some towelettes? Drycleaning's a pain.

Because we all know
Jugulars regrow
We're all... indisposed
Back in 5

Cause our mindless rage is a great stress-relief gauge


Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE:  "Popeye The Sailor Man", Sammy Lerner)

I'm Julie the werewolf cop!
When fighting, I just don't stop!
I'm wolf-y, I'm were-y,
I'm just downright scary!
I'm Julie the werewolf cop!

With werewolves attacking,
I'm never found slacking;
I just rip out all their necks!
My temper stays even,
It's great stress relievin'...
(It's almost as good as sex!)

I'm Julie the werewolf cop!
The floor with these guys, I'll mop!
My rage, can't deny it!
(You really should try it!)
I'm Julie the werewolf cop!

Jesse Wan (bargamer) says: Doesn't she mean OVER-rated? I'm confused.
Johnn Reynolds (sleepyjohn) says:

@bargamer: mindless stress is under-rated; not enough people believe in its wholesome therapuetic value.  They don't allow themselves to really enjoy massacring others in job lots, and the internal stress builds up to the point where their fur starts greying and falling out.

Unity's probably never had a sick day in her unlife.  It's the stress factor, I tell you.

Johnn Reynolds (sleepyjohn) says: And I think a crop of the last panel, with Julie's speech and her expression, should be the Next Great Skin Horse T-Shirt.
Robin (fiddlerbird555) says: In a pinch, a nice performance of Rocky Horror Picture Show will do as a good substitute for mindless rage.
Basil Jelly (basil_jelly) says: Mindless sex seems to work well too! Tip is doing ok.
Michael Farren (farren) says:

Tip doesn't do mindless sex.  If he did, his superpower wouldn't have a very big effect.

And who says Unity never has a sick day?  Had to take some time off to replace those bodily parts.


So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Tip + JulieSue + Superpower = ... ? LOLwolves, maybe?
Mickey Fxxxxxx (mickeyf) says: I'm embarassed. I only twigged to "Julie of the Wolves" a few days ago. But then, I see no one else has noticed or seen fit to mention that reference....
Crazy Bob (cbob) says:

Mindless rage is fun! And a requirement if you're going to drive in New Jersey in the summer. (think Parkway South on a Friday) Seeing the looks of absolute horror on the faces of those foolish enough to exist & are are also unable to figure out what "Exact Change" means(and pay that much to be in NJ) as you tell them why their children should die first is always good for a laugh.

It's relaxing.


Rob (rrreed) says: @Mickey—Oooh, good catch with Julie, there!

That does it, I'm going to have to start googling every character name, species, and profession to look for hits on childrens' books. First we missed Nick, now Julie.
Andrew Kunz (miyaa) says:
  1. Julie and the Wolves? I only know a Peter and the Wolf. Or maybe this has something to do with Jane and the Dragon?
  2. At least it's not a cursed Jusenkyou spring.
  3. Tip's Wolf form now looks like a chichiuaua compared to Julie's form.
  4. They're going to be doing this doggie style, aren't they?
Naomi H (starbright) says:

1. Julie of the Wolves is a children's book about an Eskimo girl who runs away and ends up living with a pack of wolves.
4. Yes. Yes they are.

Timothy Whitcomb (timothywhitcomb) says:

I dont think I want to know, either!

Well, Tip is Army , isnt he? Had ot pass SOME physical test some where. Though I imagine Julie has more day to day exercise, making her bigger.

D. Connolly (theogrin) says:

It does seem kind of like, with the exception of Artie (who may have been strategically altered), shapeshifting in both Narbonic and Skin Horse is an extremely ugly affair.

There's a 'coterie' pun here, but I fear I'm too lazy to make it tonight; my mind's stuck in an endless lupe.

Rob (rrreed) says: I posit that—unless "magical" means are employed—attempts to violate the Law of Conservation of Mass and Energy will inevitably be messy. And applying Clarke's Third Law to Mad Engineering Science dictates that the level of technology required to meet the "magical" threshold is going to be ridiculously high, and the messes proportionately large.
Pete Bleackley (petethemadscientist) says:

A thought

handcuffs=coital lock?

Nate Cull (natecull) says:

 (Tune: "I Love Rock 'n' Roll", the Joan Jett version)

I saw her dancing there like a wreckin' machine
I knew she must've been 'bout seventeen... corpses in
She said "Come on and change your skin
Nature is a wonderful thing"
And right away my heart went SKLORPH
Or was it my spleen, yeah spleen
Well my stomach sure went SKLORPH
And there went my spleen, yeah spleen

And it
Stained my camisole
And there's some kidney and wow, duodenum?
Stained my camisole
This is gonna be a bitch to clean

So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Eeeeuuuugh...
Mark Chapman (aardvark86) says: Sorry, what is Nick a reference to? I just Googled "Nick" and "helicopter" and didn't get anything enlightening.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

Well done, Nate!

 (TUNE:  "The Jet Song" from "West Side Story", Bernstein & Sondheim)

When you're a wolf, you're a wolf deep inside
From your leather paws to your thick furry hide!
When you're a wolf, you can change, you can morph!
It's a beautiful thing!  It's a visceral sklorph !

You know it's in you;
You really shouldn't fight it!
When prey is in view,
You know you want to bite it!
You're so excited!

When you're a wolf, you're bewitched, you're beguiled!
It's the love of the beast, it's the call of the wild ...
Of the Jack ... London ...
Reindeer ... huntin' ...

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

@Mark:  Nick is a helicopter ... a "chopper".  And in the original "Wizard of Oz" book, "Nick Chopper" was the name of the Tin Woodsman.

Jon W. (kd7sov) says: @theogren: What do you mean, may have been? We know that his change is a result of the interaction of his self-repairing DNA with a new nucleic-acid sequence specifically designed by Helen.
Johnn Reynolds (sleepyjohn) says: So shapechanging leaves a wet spot, too.  Who'd have thought?
Rob (rrreed) says: @Mark—Also, Nick's last name is "Zerhakker", which is a double pun. Not only is it a play on "The Chopper", but he's a computer "hacker" as well. Shaenon and Jeff put his name right out in front of us in the first strip he appeared in, and no one caught the reference until his first appearance as an Osprey a couple of months later.
Mark Orr (agentoracle) says:

This is why every time a new character is introduced, no matter how minor, the fanbase should immediately go through 9 or 10 passes with "How is this a pun" before putting it aside.

So far, all the doggies are "clean"... we hope.

Justin Kane (avatarjk137) says:

It occurs to me that I should wonder at this point: will Tip's lycanthropy be a temporary condition (the rest of the story arc), or will he be blessed/cursed with it for the rest of the strip?  Artie's fate in Narbonic was closer to the latter, but that would make it dramatically harder for Shannon and Jeffrey to turn Tip into anything else over the course of the comic (and remember how much they did to Dave?), evidencing the former.  If it is the latter, will he still be able to serve as the Skin Horse human liason, or will they need a new one?  Questions abound.

 Personally, I'm hoping for the latter.
Fandarel (fandarel) says: Doc Lee?
Cat Bascle (mage_cat) says: Even if Tip's lycanthropy became permanent, he may maintain some control over it, so he could still be effective as the human liason.  We're not all that clear yet on how the advanced stages work.
Benjamin Whetham (crosshair) says:

So does this mean that changing between human and werewolf has more to do with state of mind than the whole day/night thing?

When Tip changed back he was thinking about when he would change back and was worried about what would happen if it happened earlier than they expected. now Julie has managed to get him to change into a werewolf again by messing with his head.

 "Catherine Bascl"

Assuming what Julie Says is true, Tip should be able to manage just fine since he is used to dealing with non-humans all the tim where most of the other people did not. He just has to accept that he is a werewolf, he doesn't have to like it.

Either that or perhaps Julie knows a way to control the other wolves, drive them crazy, then have them follow her. Willughby figured out how to do it too and took control of the wolves away from her. Julie needs to get more wolves and is trying to lead Tip to the "Dark side".

Benjamin Whetham (crosshair) says:

THough now that I think about it some more I realize that we learned earlier that UNITY's blood killed the virus, so perhaps there is a cure to be found, but I think it would be more interesting if Tip was able to keep his werewolf ability, though stay the small and cute form he has now.

I also see Sweetheart or UNITY breaking things up sometime in the next few strips.

Jon McCormick (youko) says:

Seeing the two standing side by side like that makes me realize that Tip is actually larger than I thought. In the last few strips it showed Tip as coming up to about Julie's shoulder as a human, and now as a wolf he's only a little smaller than her. Definitely not the size of a normal wolf. XD

Just like Tip to want to focus on what's "really" important no matter the current situation. XD

Joyce Melton (halfelven) says: Tip is so out of his element here, it's hilarious.
David Vander Deen (dvddeen) says: Well they did say that they get bigger the more they change.  Maybe Tip grew?
So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Huh.
Carolyn Chan (hraefn) says: @Jon: Human Tip was coming up to Julie's shoulder in that strip because he was crouching down. You can see it in the first panel.
Jon McCormick (youko) says:

Re: Carolyn - Not quite. Look back at Oct. 1-3. He's clearly standing up and still only comes to her shoulder.

Totally agree, Joyce. It's great seeing him like that. XD

Basil Jelly (basil_jelly) says: See! Soft squeezy things that go squeek - as well as 'urk' and 'snap.'
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE:  "Love The One You're With", Stephen Stills)

It's the real you!  I can see
That you wear it ... so na-tu-ral-ly!
You're so sexy ... just a sec,
While I rip out ... somebody's neck!

Well, there's a paw ... in a furry glove,
And you know when push ... comes to shove,
That if you don't want ... wicked werewolf love, well then
Love the wolf you wear!
Love the wolf you wear!

Mark Chapman (aardvark86) says: @Ed & @Rob - Thanks. D'oh! Yes, I did read that at the time. The onset of senility is obviously a bit further advanced than I thought.
Benjamin Whetham (crosshair) says: I don't think Julie is doing a very good job of bringing Tip over to the Dark Side.
Andrew Kunz (miyaa) says: At the rate this is going, Tip will forever swear off of Alaskan furs. (Alaskan furs! Alaskan fuurss!...Sorry. Private joke about a local KC furrier store that somehow is still in business. Does the PETA know about this store yet?)
K C (spotweld) says: Knowing Tip..  if the lycanthropy were permament he'd probably figure out someway to get his shedded fur spun into wool, just so he could have a nice stylish cartigan for those non-wolfy moments.
Alana K (lockholm) says: Willoughby could be another kidlit reference to Wolves of Willoughby Chase, then.  
Rob (rrreed) says:

My dear Dr. "Tip" Wilkins,

I wish to extend to you an invitation to become a member of the Gray Side. The favor of a response is requested not later than ten minutes after your receipt of this invitation. If you were to join our ranks, I am sure we could achieve our goal of bringing national stress relief to the good citizens of these United States of America.

Ms. Julie Rome
Chief of Police
Paradise, AK
clark brooks (czark) says: I usually take off my glasses first.
Alix Tierney (almaseti) says: Hmmm. I wonder if Julie is going to let Tip just leave when all this is over.
Joyce Melton (halfelven) says: Alix, have you forgotten the coital lock?
So It Begins (soitbegins) says: See? It's a superpower.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE:  "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman)", King, Goffin, & Wexler)

It's my true life ... I won't look back!
I want a new generation!
I will get me ... a whole new pack
Through old-fashioned procreation!

Now that I'm a werewolf ... the lifestyle I'll extol,
If I can keep ... my rage in control!

And I want to make
I want to make
I want to make me some cute widdle werewolves!

Benjamin Whetham (crosshair) says:

Julie, think this plan through. With you and Tip there isn't the genetic diversity you need for a sustained population like the inteledogs have.

All you're going to end up with is retarded werewolves. Though part of me is curious to see what it would look like.

NigaiAmai Yume (nigaiamai_yume) says:

*has a minor pet peeve hit*

Inbreeding, in and of itself, does NOT automatically cause problems such as retardation. What inbreeding does is increase the likelihood that recessive traits are going to occur, because of the increased odds both parents possess the gene for that (generally assumed rare) trait.

"Survival of the fittest" suggests that rare traits that haven't spread throughout the population are more likely to be bad, hence the concern with inbreeding.

What could happen with THIS breeding pair is an entire race of "super powered" (you know what I mean!) werewolves.

Which both frightens and delights me. ^-^

chic geek (onechicgeek) says:

"From now on I'll make werewolves the old fashioned way"? Is that implying Julie herself turned the town into werewolves, biting them after she was-willingly or not-turned into one herself?


ysabet hasuko (ysabet) says: o_o....... Okay, I do realized that Tip is a stud, but that look in the last panel seems to indicate that Julie thinks he should take up the job on a professional level.
John Ames (commodorejohn) says: chic geek: That's an interesting point, and it wouldn't surprise me terribly. And unless I'm forgetting something, I think this is the first time in Skin Horse history that Tip has had the moves put on him.
Naomi H (starbright) says:

@chic geek: I thought so too. What I'm wondering is, if Julie was Patient Zero, how did she get infected in the first place? If Captain Bram created the werewolf virus, it must have been after she came to Paradise.

Mary Potts (queenofcapes) says: So Julie is a furry?
Drew (pseudowolf) says: I would say that Julie actually is furry.
Andrew Kunz (miyaa) says: Where is a silver weapon or a gun with silver bullets when you need it?
Michael Heath (analyst) says:

CrossPosted to Narbonic.  Did everyone know that our own Shaenon Garrity is up for one lulu of an award (pun intended).

Click this link and look under Lulu of the year:

Since the shy, retiring creatoress, will not blow her own horn, it falls to me to tout the magnifisense that is Shaenon.  And blow that horn, I will indeed!  Ta-roo, TA-ROO!

Rob (rrreed) says: I can't tell if it's the virus talking when Julie's eyes appear to have no pupil, or if she just has her eyes closed.
Justin Kane (avatarjk137) says:

As a rule: when you can't say "I've got it under control" without spraying it, you don't have it under control.  Unless you have facial paralysis, which I suppose would excuse you.

miyaa: I doubt silver would be effective against mad science-induced lycanthropy, but you're welcome to try.  I'll be waaay over there.

Rob (rrreed) says: @Justin—I think saying "I've got it under control" falls under Evil Overlord Rule #24. If you utter it, you're toast.

Regarding silver, I'd say that depends on how true Bram wanted to be to werewolf lore, and whether he remembered to design a "kill switch" into the virus or not.
Benjamin Whetham (crosshair) says: Remember, it's been established that UNITY's "blood" will kill the virus. So all we need to do is give her a 50 pound bag of Kibbles n' Bits, drain her extra "blood", load it up into tranquilizer darts, then give UNITY a belt fed tranquilizer gun, point her in the dirrection of the werewolves, and tell her to have fun.
Dieter M. (tangerine) says:

UNITY has already aimed herself at the werewolves and is presumably having fun.

She's a pack hunter and she had to deliver the beatdown in 30 minutes or less, or it's free!



Andrew Kunz (miyaa) says: What happened? I couldn't get to the comic all morning? Did someone forget to update while watching the beginning of perhaps an eventual secret moon base being put on the moon?
Johnn Reynolds (sleepyjohn) says:

Our priorities have suddenly become much clearer.


"Sex is like air, it doesn't matter until you're not getting any."

Terry Smith (wcfan) says: All of webcomicsnation was down this morning
John Ames (commodorejohn) says: Huh, a Catholic werewolf?
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Eight Days A Week", The Beatles)

Come on, let's go native!
Heeding nature's call!
Sex, non-procreative,
You don't need at all!

It's still ... pleasin'...
When in ... season ...
You know I'll be in the mood, Tip,
Two weeks a year!

Cat Bascle (mage_cat) says:

I don't think Julie's holding back for religious reasons.  I'm pretty sure that most animals do not have sex if the female is not in heat.  If Tip and Julie went all wolf all the time, like Julie is proposeing, their pattern would be the same.

Of course I only took one biology class in college so I could be speaking utter nonsense.

Edwin Quantrall (reynard) says: Johnn Reynolds says: "Our priorities have suddenly become much clearer.


"Sex is like air, it doesn't matter until you're not getting any."


"There are 7  biological imperatives: Eating, Drinking, Sleeping, Peeing, Pooping, Breathing and Sex -- and it's pretty much a tie between breathing and sex..." - seen on a T-shirt

Camille Dumas (camidumas) says: "Sex with you and sometimes food and a movie or a play / Some sleep, a shower and a shampoo with you is all I really want." -- King Missile
Justin Kane (avatarjk137) says:

"Virus got her" = new code for withholding of sex.

Question: If a werewolf has its upper head removed, as Unity has done here, which piece regenerates?  In essence, each regenerating creature needs a 'central point' if you don't want the possibility of one creature regenerating into two.  Is it the brain?  The heart? Or something else?

John Campbell (jcampbel) says: It's kind of disturbing how cute Unity's new hat is on her.
Jon McCormick (youko) says: I love how frantic Tip looks in the first panel. He looks absolutely horrified by the concept of living with severely limited sex. XD
So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Heh.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy", Don Raye and Hughie Prince)

He was a-searching for the Guardsmen, and he feared them dead;
The sheriff took him home and cuffed him to the bed!
And then she took him for a ride ...
And now she wants to release
The feral beast that's inside!
But she won't give him sex
When she's not in heat;
No, he's never getting nookie, no, it's not very neat!

He came along from Washington, the team Skin Horse!
He has a superpower linked to intercourse!
Well, Julie thought he looked so fine!
But now her feelings have changed,
'Cause she's an undead canine!
If Tip ain't getting some,
Then life is incomplete!
No, he's never getting nookie, no, it's not very neat!

Mel Van Weelden (kessalia) says: I hope he's repacked the warm jacket in there in his hurry but I don't see when. But then we didn't see him pack it the first time either.
Robin (fiddlerbird555) says:

That one has a bridge, too:


He's used to 8 times a day,
But he can't do a thing because the wolf will not fling.
if she's not fertile
So Tip is getting none
Because she's not in heat
No, he's never getting nookie, no, it's not very neat!




John Ames (commodorejohn) says: I'm with Mr. Campbell; that hat is utterly adorable on Unity. I just wonder what that necklace is made out of...
Andrew Kunz (miyaa) says: The werewolf hat isn't as kawaii as a fox hat or a kitty hat. Wait, did I say kawaii? Crap, the virus got me...
Scott Fernandez (sfernandez) says: Hmm... to which question was the more emphatic 'NO!' directed?
Lady Asphodel (ladyasphodel) says:

To all the people who keep suggesting Unity's blood as a cure: An effective cure has to not kill the patient. Somehow I doubt anything Unity-related has that kind of discrimination.

Edwin Quantrall (reynard) says:

John Ames says: "I just wonder what that necklace is made out of..."

"...a beautiful werewolf's eye pendant hung on a gleaming necklace of werewolf intestine..." </HSN salesperson mode>

John Campbell (jcampbel) says: I think it's actually just the collar and zipper-tab of her jacket.
John Ames (commodorejohn) says:

Edwin Quantrall (reynard) says:
"...a beautiful werewolf's eye pendant hung on a gleaming necklace of werewolf intestine..."

"Order now and you'll also receive this lovely pelvic serving tray, all for the low, low price of just $29.95!"

Louis Richards (nebulousrikulau) says:

Justin Kane  says: Question: If a werewolf has its upper head removed, as Unity has done here, which piece regenerates?

Generally decapitation is permanent.

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