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Smithson Thus Far... ·

woozy (woozy) says:

Heh!  Victor Columbia Edison! 

Hopefully in the last 95 years, he finally has a clear record.  (At least just one!)

woozy (woozy) says: Darn!  I spoke to soon.  It's simply a standard non-living phonograph being carried by silverfish...
Nate Cull (natecull) says: So, a whole missing year of mystery adventures. Is this going to be 'Skin Horse: 52'?
Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: Nate: Well, we need time for Tip's puppies to get old enough to hunt on their own....
Rob (rrreed) says:

<Bad Spanish Accent>
"Ooooh! Now, Cardinal (Biggles)—THE RACK!"
</Bad Spanish Accent>
So It Begins (soitbegins) says: How did Tip get....?!
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE:  "Blowin' In The Wind", Bob Dylan)

How do you bring a Victrola to work
Without Ira telling you, "Stop!"
How many roentgens are needed to make
A sen-ti-ent case of red pop?
Does it take surgery, falsies, or socks,
For Tip to fill out his top?
To find out, of course,
You gotta read Skin Horse!
To find out, you gotta read Skin Horse!

Cara d(^o^)b (carakaze) says: @Dave Van Domelen: Tip is going to be so shocked when he finds out that "genetically-engineered battle dogs" don't need to do it to produce puppies. All they need is a little unsuspecting hair sample, some MakPuppy mix, and a test tube. ^^;
Mike Kerpan (mjkerpan) says: @Cara d(^o^)b: Of course, given the behavior of Buddy re: Sweetheart and the females re: Tip, they much prefer doing it...
K C (spotweld) says:

Did anyone else attempt to fit the narration to the tune of that Brady Bunch song?


Elaine Corvidae (elaine_corvidae) says: If Dr. Lee returns, as has been hinted, she's going to be in for a bit of a surprise.
Justin Kane (avatarjk137) says: It took me several readings to figure out exactly what was up...
John Campbell (jcampbel) says: Wendy? Are her DoJS colleagues named John and Michael, by any chance? I wouldn't have guessed that the Hiller flying platform ran on happy thoughts and fairy dust...
John Palmer (el_gato_blanco) says: Hey! What happened to the sammiches ? Weren't there supposed to be sammiches ?!
Jeffrey Channing Wells (channing) says:

...And someone notices something that actually weighed on me in the writing of the previous arc's finale!

Really, I just ran out of scripting space.  Yes, I know it left a semi-dangling thread.  But the implication I was trying to create in a rather quick wrapup was that Gavotte was a bit peeved at the whole business, and I didn't want to muddy that impression by setting that strip during "Sandwich Day".  Which would mean an entire strip dedicated to "Sandwich Day", and I'm not certain it warranted an entire day, since the entire plot point that needed to be covered was "...and eventually they got sandwiches."

Rest assured, they eventually got sandwiches.  But that, dear reader, IS A STORY FOR ANOTHER DAY.  Or no day at all, actually.

John Palmer (el_gato_blanco) says:

I'm GLAD they had their sammiches. A round of sammiches is the BEST team building activity I can imagine.  Thanks for the explanaion!


MMM. Sammiches.

Terry Smith (wcfan) says: Nice to see the Dept. of Jetpack Suppresion is still around...
Shaenon Garrity (shaenongarrity) says:

Oooh...Sandwich Day should be the bonus story for Volume Two!
Rob (rrreed) says: I hope this arc doesn't end like Andersen's story did…
Timothy Whitcomb (timothywhitcomb) says: My glasses are giving out..I had to really squint to make out the silverfish.
Michael Brewer (wusemajor) says: I wonder if you guys would be legally allowed to make and sell fnord t-shirts?
Rob (rrreed) says: I'm sorry; you're not cleared for that.
Justin Kane (avatarjk137) says:

Ah, good to see Tip was just scaring us on the whole bewbs thing.  Also, I'm eager to see what the storyline title "Tin Soldier" will lead us to.

I see the werewolf paw didn't last a whole year, assuming it even lasted until they got back.

Is the lettering different?  Has that copier always been there?  Does the tap water taste funny to you?

Joyce Melton (halfelven) says: Have the flying monkeys been sent out for pizza?
Rachel S. (masamage) says: That shirt is amazing.
Shaenon Garrity (shaenongarrity) says: I don't see anything on the shirt.
Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says: This is going to be the arc where Tip genetically turns into a real girl, isn't it? And who is Wendy?
Pete Bleackley (petethemadscientist) says:

Other strips have filler strips
That give the plot a rest
But the only padding here is Tip's
And sits upon his chest.

So It Begins (soitbegins) says: You know, the concept of crossdresser as 'trap' for the unwary is starting to come up around now...
David Given (dg) says: I can see the fnord!
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

"In My Room", The Beach Boys

Tip comes in and says good morning;
Much to our surprise,
He's got boobs!
He's got boobs!

Unity receives no warning,
Can't believe her eyes!
He's got boobs!
He's got boobs!

Tip's got girlfriend?  Will the world end?
Where is Doctor Lee?
Plot is thick'ning, pulse is quick'ning;
Have to wait and see!

Rack adoring,
We're ignoring
Face, hair, waist, and thighs;
He's got boobs!
He's got boobs!

Drew (pseudowolf) says:

I notice that Tip's also shaved his arms.

And in panel 2 is that mark on his arm a tattoo? Or the scar where he's had a tattoo removed?

John Ames (commodorejohn) says: Unity is a Discordian, nobody is surprised.
Cara d(^o^)b (carakaze) says: ...Dr. Lee? :D (plzplzplz) =D
Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says: I'm pining for the fjords. And my sister just got bitten by a møøse. Again.
Gregory Rihn (ggrihn) says:

Knowing Unity, if Tip had just answered the "You got boobies!" remark with "Yes, I do," the next question would have been "Who'd you get them from?"--.

Full drag? Tip's wearing PANTS! OK, maybe leggings, but still--shouldn't "full drag" include a skirt, not to mention hose and heels? (Might have heels on for all we can tell so far, I guess.)

Adam Underfoot (unnatural20) says: Gregory? That's a dress and leggings/tights, not pants. A scandallously short dress, at that.

Nevertheless, your idea of full drag is a little... limited.
E.A. Poe (theraven) says:

It's a rack
Tip is now
so fully packed
Firm and round
upon his chest
Tip sure fills out
That sweater dress
He's all dolled up
To show his Gal
those sweater pups
Now she's jealous
because she sees
that he's a 'C'
and she's a 'B'

Mason Kramer (masonlk) says: Panel 3: And then Unity became a quest giver?
K C (spotweld) says:

If Tip got any more Drag he'd need an afterburner to maintain forward velocity.  But then he'd be flaming.

 (runs away)

Adam Canning (dahak) says: I swear I've seen Tips costume as a uniform in a sci fi series. But which one escapes me.
Erin McC (polerin) says: Justin Kane (avatarjk137) says:

""Ah, good to see Tip was just scaring us on the whole bewbs thing.  Also, I'm eager to see what the storyline title "Tin Soldier" will lead us to.""

Hey now, I like my boobs and I'm glad I got them.  Nothing wrong with it, even if he decided to stay identified as a guy.  Cis people... sheesh.  ;p

Michael Brewer (wusemajor) says: I think Tip is wearing long sleeves there.
Michael Brewer (wusemajor) says: This arc title makes me wonder if Nick is supposed to be the Tin Man or not.
Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: Yeah, you can tell by the frilly cuff in panel 1, long sleeves.
Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: Also: no Planet Claire/Planet Tip riffs yet?
Drew (pseudowolf) says: Oh. Looked to me like he was wearing gloves. Which I thought was very odd, but you know, it's Tip.
Rob (rrreed) says: @Michael—I'm thinking the arc title is a reference to "The Steadfast Tin Soldier" by Hans Christian Andersen. Which is why I really hope the arc doesn't end like the story.
Edwin Quantrall (reynard) says:

Adam Canning says: "I swear I've seen Tips costume as a uniform in a sci fi series. But which one escapes me."

Not sure about a uniform, but it looks to me like something that Mrs. Peel ("We're needed.") might have worn. 

David Harmon (mental_mouse) says: It's a little hard to tell from the angle, but the position suggests that Unity's fnord! is missing its exclamation point.  :-(  (No wonder you can see it!)  (And no, Unity's startle doesn't count.)  
Justin Kane (avatarjk137) says:

Erin McC said: "Hey now, I like my boobs and I'm glad I got them.  Nothing wrong with it, even if he decided to stay identified as a guy.  Cis people... sheesh.  ;p"

Sorry if I came across as prejudiced.  Part of what makes Tip so loveable in my mind, though, is that he attempts to look female without any consideration toward being female, or even acting the part.  Whlie padding, or getting actual boobs but identifying as a guy could be natural evolutions of this, actual gender reassignment would feel like derailment of Tip's character.

Lady Asphodel (ladyasphodel) says:

There's something different about Tip's face in panel two, I think. He looks much more feminine than usual, and the linework feels different as well -- cleaner? more stylized? less wobbly?

My God, he's gorgeous.

Michael Brewer (wusemajor) says: So, who expects that it's Dr. Lee?
Justin Kane (avatarjk137) says: I suspect it's not Lee, but I've been wrong before.
Alix Tierney (almaseti) says: Couldn't be Julie, right? I kinda liked her though.
Joyce Melton (halfelven) says: Dr. Lee and Julie in a Roller Derby death-match to determine who gets rights to play with Tip's pseudo-boobs! Julie's going to have a lot of trouble with those flying monkeys, Dick!
Wilhelm Ritter (ritter) says: Whoever it is seems to work in the annex.  Money is on Marcie from the department of radiation, or someone we haven't seen before.
Wilhelm Ritter (ritter) says: Department of irradiation, but you get the idea.
Rob (rrreed) says: Assuming that Shaenon and Jeff are channeling "The Steadfast Tin Soldier" here, is Tip the Soldier…

…or the Ballerina? Or the black bogey in the snuffbox? Maybe he's that officious rat in customs. Or the fish! He's the FISH! IT'S SO CLEAR TO ME N::THWAP::
Camille Dumas (camidumas) says:

My roommate* recently pointed out that falsies have gotten really advanced; you can get a decent quality pair on eBay for $50-$100 that are made of silicone and have the same visual finesse as implants.  You can even pierce them or put makeup on them.  Given Tip's willingness to spend on clothes he probably got a nice bespoke pair (as opposed to off-the-rack).

*They're not for me; I'm okay with my own.

Pete Bleackley (petethemadscientist) says: @Camille: Surely they're on-the-rack...
So It Begins (soitbegins) says: I hope it's Dr. Lee... and now I'm curious about the answer to Unity's question too.
Nate Cull (natecull) says:

And then there's questions best not even voiced at all, like: What does UNITY use for boobage?


And are they Sensitive Compartmentalised or just Confidential NOFORN?

David Given (dg) says:

@Nate: Um, boobs?

 Just don't ask whose.

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Time", Hootie & The Blowfish)

Tip ...
Who's your brand new love?
Can't believe there's a woman out there
You'd sleep with more than once!

Tip ...
What's your rack made of?
Man, they look like a natural pair!
They got the heft and bounce!

They're not droopy, they're not saggy!
Are they jello in a baggie?
Are they from eBay?
Did your "girlfriend" help you pick 'em out?
(Man, that sounds so weird to say!)

Elaine Corvidae (elaine_corvidae) says:

Yeah, Gavotte, stop wasting precious meeting time on trivial stuff, when you could get down to what's really important: gossiping about your co-workers!

At least, that's what happened in every meeting I ever went to.

James Kehl (shykta) says:

Honestly, I think Tip/Dr. Lee have more of a Helen(Beta)/Madblood relationship - one builds an abomination of science and the other foils zir evil^H^H^H^H plot. Or picks up the pieces, anyway. I can't see it becoming a domestic arrangement!

...and in scrawled-on-the-ladies'-toilet-related matters, does Skin Horse actually have a *men's* room?

Jeffrey Channing Wells (channing) says:

A more important question when dealing with old post-war buildings like Annex One is, does the department actually have its own restroom *at all*?

I have not consulted with Shaenon on this issue, so don't take this as the Word, but I believe not.  All old government offices have communal floor bathrooms, and it's my sneaking suspicion that, in the classic deco-era style, men's and women's rooms in Annex One are on *separate floors altogether*.  The HHS building here in Madison is like this, or was last I checked.

Mark Orr (agentoracle) says:

I've got bets saying it's neither Julie or Lee, but a new girl, met unexpectedly.

Of course, Doc and The Sherrif can allways drop in for wacky hijinks.

Or a three / foursome.

Of course, if they REALLY wanted to make us go nuts, it could be the girl from the dept. of irradiation.

Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says: I haven't quite decided if we're in TMI or Brain Bleach territory with these breast implant/augmentation questions. All I know is after watching an episode about breast reduction on Discovery:Health, I've never eaten a twinkie ever since.
Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:

Also, Pete: May you get trampled by a horde of women at the Day after Thanksgiving sale at Norstrom's.
Mark: Please, no foursomes. Although if Shannon is an expert of anything, it's probably how to and how not to deal with an unintentional harem situation. All that's missing is a magical/sciene fiction-ish cat/rabbit/sheep and robotic spaceship crossover mascot.

You know what, I think I'm going to go drink some brain bleach now.

Pete Bleackley (petethemadscientist) says: @Andrew: Thankfully, I'm on entirely the wrong continent for that to happen to me.
Mark Orr (agentoracle) says:

Sorry.  I was just considering Julie + Lee + New girl + Tip... And besides... the first time we saw Tip "In action" he ended up with a threesome... and he was vaguely disinterested the whole strip.  (I seem to recal someone saying Tip had "Pretty person" problems.)

Anyway, when it comes to Tip, there is nothing he can't do.

Take that in whatever way you wish.

E.A. Poe (theraven) says:

Jiggly boobs, jiggly boobs
Jiggly all the time
We all think that on his boobs
Tip spent some serious dime

Jiggling under his dress
makes Unity confess
She wants to know
What kind of jello
Tip uses for his breasts

Shaenon Garrity (shaenongarrity) says:

Yeah, I don't think Skin Horse has its own restroom. Sweetheart and Unity can share their speculations about Tip's private life with the rest of the females in Annex One.
John Sears (john_sears) says:

Considering that this annex was built seemingly with Irresponsible Science and Non-human Sapients in mind, perhaps they have a number of restrooms, one to a floor.

Male, Female, Undecided, Mechanical, Biomechanical, Noncorporeal (rarely used), Energy Being and so forth. 

Rob (rrreed) says: I'd guess that Annex One started life as some nameless government building hurriedly erected during- or shortly after WWII. Since the war provided ample excuse (and funding) to pursue "mad" science (by all sides), I'd guess Project Skin Horse, the Department of Jetpack Suppression, the Department of Irradiation, etc. were founded shortly thereafter.

And the building hasn't been renovated since, aside from infrequent infrastructure updates like, say, basic ARPANET access.

Mind the hanging asbestos-based water pipe insulation on your way out!
Rob (rrreed) says: Yep, gotta go with Wilhelm here. Marcie FTW!
Naomi H (starbright) says: Oh, dear. What happens if Moustachio doesn't get wound? Does he just stop, or does he go on a deadly clockwork rampage?
Lady Asphodel (ladyasphodel) says: Is Cyronics different from Cryonics? Does Gerda build evil space robots with bad fake Japanese accents?
lincoln douglas (chumpchange) says:

Marcie was last seen in February, over two weeks after the start of the Dead Dogs storyline.

Dead Dogs and Big Bad Wolves ran 6 days a week from February 9th to October 31st, over a month longer than Professor Madblood and the Doppelganger Gambit.

How long is Skin Horse planned to run?

Dieter M. (tangerine) says:

I can hear Moustachio over-emphasizing the Ir-Radiation in my head...



Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Convoy", C.W. McCall)

Well, it's eight half-past
And we're all aghast!
"Got a girlfriend now!" says Tip!
We'll talk and debate,
And we'll speculate
With whom our Tip would ship ...
It's a crazy thing!
Now I'm wondering
Just where he might be found ...
I don't wanna go
Ask Moustachio
'Cause he's not too tightly wound!

Hey, let's go and talk to Marcie!
She's just like a regular guy!
Let's take a walk to Marcie
Down at the D of I ...
Far out and hip is Marcie!
She'll know what's up, you'll see!
But why is Tip with Marcie?
You think?  Naw, couldn't be!
Mar-cie ...

K C (spotweld) says: Obviously Tip has fallen prey to the siren spell of sweet sweet nerd luvin.
Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says: KC: In other words, he has cooties?
John Campbell (jcampbel) says: Suppose Gerda's hotness makes her job difficult?
So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Marcie.

I guess it really [i]is[/i] each to his own.
Joseph W. (alberich) says:

#1 - Why is Unity wearing a blank T-shirt this week?

#2 - Why do I feel anxious and hostile whenever I'm eyeing her breasts?

John Campbell (jcampbel) says:

1) This isn't Questionable Content. Not every T-shirt must be a merchandising opportunity fnord.

And Choose Your Own Snark: 

2a) That's just the normal reaction to being in close proximity to Unity.


2b) Those are actually her pet names for them, and you're a braver man than I. 

Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says: Considering how Unity is put together, I would have thought IKEA would be a better word on her chest.
Shaenon Garrity (shaenongarrity) says:

With some oak and some pine and a handful of Norsemen?
John Breckenridge (jbrecken) says: Maybe Tip's girlfriend is just a girlfriend and not a girlfriend girlfriend.
Stephen Granade (sgranade) says: I would have guessed with some oak and some pine and a hand from a Norseman.
Dave Corbett (mr_dave) says: A "handful of Norsemen" would be, what, about half a litre?
Justin Kane (avatarjk137) says: "Marcella," eh?  That makes Tip's pencil sag a little bit.
Michael Brewer (wusemajor) says: Ok, is he doing this on purpose to set them up together?  Or is he just dating her because he's dating her?
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Maria" from "West Side Story", Bernstein & Sondheim)

Marcella ...
I'm dating a geek named Marcella ...
She's from the D of I,
A woman after my
Own heart ...

Marcella ...
Her partner comes in here to yell-a!
He's troubled, it would seem!
He claims I'll tear their team

Seems her partner's a jealous fellow!
(Does he know she likes bondage and jello?)
Marcella ...
She's kinky as hell, ah,

KaT Adams (kat_adams) says: @ Michael Brewer: I think it may be a litle of both, plus some "This should be hilarious" for good masure ;)
So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Marcella?!
Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: Of course, the real question is, are they having sex, or are they girlfriends in the "giggling and painting each others' toenails" sense?
James Kehl (shykta) says:

@Dave: Ooh, good question! I was going by every other character's reactions. Tip never gets distracted by any *other* woman, so "Miss Riley" must be something to have him *quite* distracted... but that's still not a definite, one way or the other.


And X-Ray Specs Guy would be equally upset if Marcie turned up with painted toenails :)

Mark Orr (agentoracle) says:

It could be that their personalities just... click, y'know?

 That makes some relationships work...

/Says a man dating a woman way out of his league.

Terry Smith (wcfan) says: @dvandom: They're having sex. This is Tip.
John Ames (commodorejohn) says: It's wrong to use your superpower to play with people for purposes of office politics. But if what you're doing anyway has that effect, it's probably okay to derive a little schadenfreude from it :)
N B (daveclone7) says: Is that Louis the Peace Lily in the background of Panel 2?
John Breckenridge (jbrecken) says:

Tip didn't keep his new figure very long.


Rob (rrreed) says: Stand BACK, man! He's a Psychologist—he could go off at any second!
Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: Well, it may be the next day. Tip's in an entirely different outfit, so at the least he's gone and changed into something more comfortable (if he found "full drag" comfortable, he'd do it all the time, I expect) and less jiggly. The fact that Unity hasn't changed shirts doesn't mean it's not the next day any more than Tip's changed outfit means it IS the next day, though.
K C (spotweld) says:

I will just restate my previous supposition:

Never underestimate the power of nerd luvin.

Shaenon Garrity (shaenongarrity) says:

Actually, I should've changed Unity's shirt. I just like it.
Cat Bascle (mage_cat) says: And may I add that today's bit of the file name text story flows really well into the dialogue of this strip?  "You're tearing the D of I apart... not to mention annoying".  It's a complete coincidence that cracked me up when I saw the file name.
Shaenon Garrity (shaenongarrity) says:

I fixed Unity's shirt.
Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: Marcie the living fashion doll! She can wear all the clothes Tip lacks the curves for!
Dieter M. (tangerine) says:

It must take a special girl to make Tip want to put clothes ON her.


Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Titwillow" from "The Mikado", Gilbert & Sullivan)

When Tip saw Marcie Riley, his very first thought:
Makeover!  Makeover!  Makeover!
With a smidgen of style, he just knew she'd be hot!
Makeover!  Makeover!  Makeover!
Got a new pair of glasses, her hair got a trim;
Got support undergarments, her figure to slim,
Like a girl from a hentai adult dating sim!
Makeover!  Makeover!  Makeover!

Well the D. of I. now is just feeling some stress ...
Makeover!  Makeover!  Makeover!
Because Marcie looks WOW in that summer print dress!
Makeover!  Makeover!  Makeover!
Though poor Marcie is helplessly under Tip's spell,
In return he admits that he thinks that she's swell,
'Cause for Tip, she gets bento ... and kinky as well!
Makeover!  Makeover!  Makeover!

lincoln douglas (chumpchange) says: I tried singing that one but couldn't finish the first verse without laughing.
David Harmon (mental_mouse) says:

You know, some guys just talk about seeing a woman's inner beauty...

 but Dieter M. wins the thread.


Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:

Honestly, I thought the perfect song for this would be I'm Too Sexy for this Shirt. Or perhaps the theme song from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. (Could you imagine Tip with a Megaphone? No ,neither did I.)

Also we really need more Gilbert and Sullivan music. 

llearch n'n'daCorna (llearch) says: David: I can't help but hear it with Rowlf the Dog and Sam, The American Bald Eagle from the Muppets...
llearch n'n'daCorna (llearch) says: ... Rayko, not Harmon. Not that Harmon doesn't have a very good point, too. ;-]
Mel Van Weelden (kessalia) says: It's stunning what a confidence boost and some positive attention will do for a nerd.  The clothes and makeup are only a small part.  ^_^ 
Megan Brunner (avid) says:

To the tune of Pirates of Penance:  Poor Wandering One

Tip, to Marcie:

Poor homely one!
Though thy make-up regime has lapsed,
Please wash you face,
lipstick, just a trace,
Poor homely one!
Poor homely one!
If such mascara as mine
Can help thee find
True peace of mind –
Why, take it, it is thine
Terry Volkirch (terry) says:

Okay. I confess. I was a teenage flying monkey ... but I outgrew it and I'm mostly normal now. That should explain my obsession with Ginny. Right?

By the way, I voted this to be the best webcomic in the Fan Boy awards. I thought you'd like to know even though it's kind of obvious that it's the best. :)

Shaenon Garrity (shaenongarrity) says:

Thanks, Terry. You'd think it was obvious, but it's amazing how many people don't notice.
Adam Underfoot (unnatural20) says:

...gah. And makeover is the Saturday Cliffhanger, too. I applaud your(1) brilliant sense of timing. Or pacing. Or... whatever.
(1)That's a plural 'your.'

So It Begins (soitbegins) says: To put it bluntly... Oh. My. God.

You know, I think I just absorbed the racial memories of a teenage high school girl with that last sentence.
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The education bestowed on Shaenon K. Garrity by her parents had been expensive, athletic and prolonged. ... full profile