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Smithson Thus Far... ·

Ysabet Just Ysabet (theysabet) says:

Downcast!Unity is AMAZINGLY cute.

Joyce Melton (halfelven) says:

"Y'alls"? Doesn't she mean "Y'uns"? Or is she just another Grammar Zombie?

'Keiya' (keiya) says: Wouldn't "y'alls" mean multiple groups of people? Also, downcast Unity is /too cute/. I think I burned out my cute center.
Jeffrey Channing Wells (channing) says: I was under the impression that multiple groups of people was "all y'alls".
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "You Really Got Me", The Kinks)

Vi ... got panties in a bunch!
But then she calmed down and she's not mad!
Vi ... then said, "Hey lets have lunch,
I know this great Vietnamese place!"

No ... don't really want to now ...
I'm not too hungry, I'm a bit sad ...
HA!  I really got you now!
You shoulda seen the look on your face!

I really got you!
I really got you!
I really got you!

So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Sigh
Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: Yinz.
John Ames (commodorejohn) says: Poor, poor Sweetheart.
Nathan Wilson (nathan) says:

The s in y'alls doesn't mean anything. The word y'all and y'alls  mean the same thing in the South, They can each be used on single people, or multiple people. All y'all(s) is only used on more than one person though.

Wayne West (wayne_zombie) says:

I think it would be more correct to say "Y'all all": you all all go on ahead.  I'm not fluent in Southern, perhaps there's someone in Atlanta who could correct us.

Ysabet Just Ysabet (theysabet) says:

As a born-and-raised Deep South native, I agree with nathan; it's just 'All y'all'.  I've heard the 's' added before, though it's not common usage.

...and man, 'y'all' is one of the most useful words in existence. I mean, seriously; it's plural, it's singular, it can be indicative of mood, you can stretch it to cover at LEAST four syllables... you name it.  Good word.  ^__^

Joyce Melton (halfelven) says:

@nathan Um, no. Y'all is only plural in most of the South. In Texas, it is polite singular. Y'unz is Ozark-Applalachia and means "you guys right here" as opposed to "y'all" which can mean "you and all of your guys, present or not". Y'alls shoulld be "y'all's" as in "y'all's fixin' to go?" Meaning "are all of you guys right now getting ready to leave?"

Frank (pokefan_frank) says:

What about "all of you", "you people", "you there", "you and you", or even the infamous "youse"?

Tom Powell (top1950) says:

You can tell Sweetheart was really worried about Unity from the way she snaps at her about it in panel 4.  And her expressions are priceless in all three panels!

By the way, I just love Unity's 'total dejection' posture in panel 3 - she even has one toe rubbing on top of her other foot.  She looks just like a little kid who got caught and is now in trouble. 

Skin Horse has to be my all time favorite cartoon, ever!  Great work, Shaenon & Jeffrey. 

Dave Corbett (mr_dave) says:


"Youse" is of Celtic origin and is the archaically-correct plural of "you." I don't believe it is at all common in the South, but you will encounter it in areas with strong Irish communities, such as New York City, Southern Ontario, or the Canadian Maritime provinces.

Mr. Z (demonbunny3po) says:

What? No bacon? Bacon and butter make everything better. Including eachother, and desserts. Salt as well, but the butter might be the kind with salt anyways.

Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:

You know, those brains are going to need some bacon to go with those brains. (Cause everything is better with bacon. But you already knew that.)

El Em (lim) says: Hope you're hungry, Unity! You're going to need *four bowls* of Cervelle de Veau to get all the Vitamins in *one* bowl of Cervelle de TOTAL
The Auld Grump (theauldgrump) says:

Heh, Unity's drooling....


The Auld Grump

Adam (10-0-0-1) says: one has to wonder where they get enough brains for a dish from, or indeed how often it is ordered here.
Mark SHANKS (drhistory) says:

Boy, is she going to be disppaointed to discover this is *calves brains...*   And I never thought that zombies much went for court bullion and capers either.

Rob Davidoff (eofpi) says:



This is where the law department work, I guess. What part of your question is that in response to? Both.

Dave Estep (cyaegha) says:

 It is terrifying that her saliva glands work. Absolutely terrifying.

Joyce Melton (halfelven) says:

Vi looks a little disturbed by Unity's reaction. Or is it Sweetheart's reaction that gives her the "What have I done?" expression?

So It Begins (soitbegins) says: For serious?
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

Why isn't the waiter Steve Martin?

(TUNE: "Rain", The Beatles)

Try the brains, miss ...
The fav'rite of undead,
They came from some cow's head ...
Try the brains, miss ... try the brains, miss!

Brains in butter,
A dish for Unity!
For her, but not for me!
Hear her mutter,
"Braains with buuutterrr.."

Butter sauce!
They're so boss!

Try the brains, luv ...
In butter they are braised,
The taste is highly praised ...
Try the brains, luv ... try the brains, luv!

Try the brains, dear ...
There's plenty to go 'round
Since Mensa came to town!
None remains here ...
Try the brains, dear!

They're so fine!
With white wine!

(daednu fo itir'vaf eht ssim sniarrb eth yrt ...)

Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: Estep: Well, they're SOMEONE'S salivary glands.
Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:


El Elm: Bad boy! Bad pun! No biscuit!

If calves brains are anything like Rocky Mountain Oysters, I think I'll pass.


Frank (pokefan_frank) says:

@cyaegha: more terrifying than the fact her digestive system has been working all this time?

Speaking of which, how come Unity's works, but Dave's didn't? (see Narbonic)

@El Elm: ...Je ne comprends pas...

N B (davecloneseven) says:

@Fernando: I'm guessing Anasigma had more resources and fewer mad scientists working on Project UNITY.  After all, she isn't dropping parts of herself all over ...

John Campbell (jcampbel) says:

Coincidentally, it was just today that I discovered that Jonathan Coulton has recorded a French translation of Re: Your Brains.

Diane Castle (deecee) says:

@Ed: I'm laughing so hard my side hurts.  How I regret that my own filk songs are not as awesome as yours.

Shaenon Garrity (shaenongarrity) says:

Let us never forget that Anasigma can only have gotten to where it is today by building on the important groundwork laid by courageously innovative mad scientists, most of them since eaten by murder zombies.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

@DeeCee: Well, don't give up trying ... and thanks for the kind words!

Edwin Quantrall (reynard) says:

I'd worry about what all that cholesterol will do to Unity's cardiovascular system if I didn't know that she's (un)dead already so it really doesn't matter...

casimir (casimir) says:

After one inroad was blocked it appears that ms.V has chosen another team member to butter up, which is also how an umpire's bread always lands.

El Em (lim) says: @Fernando: I've been wanting to say something in the vein of Total Cereal advertisements ever since I saw the mediating organization's name.
Paul Gadzikowski (pgadzikowski) says:

Yeah right, Sweetheart, cuz it's so tricky when there are brains to add butter to them.

... Actually, I suppose, without opposable thumbs maybe it is.

M. Alan Thomas II (crazydreamer) says:

. . . and that's how she gets the brains back out again.

Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

tune: I Wanna Be a Lifeguard (Blotto, Hello, My Name is Blotto, What's Yours?, 1980)
I, I, I wanna be a zombie
I, I, I wanna eat some brains
I, I, I wanna be a zombie
Zombie!  Zombie!
Mix-and-match my toes
Beatin' up my foes
Soup spoon up my nose!

On a more somber note (could there be a less somber one?), I want to condole my fellow comics lovers on the loss of Harvey Pekar.  He did as much as anyone to bring respect to comics as a modern art form, and he was a cranky iconoclast American original.  I come from a blue-collar Cleveland family, so I really appreciated the flat-out truth of American Splendor.
Shaenon, I seem to recall the Cartoon Art Museum doing a Pekar exhibit.  Did you know him at all?

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Danke Schoen", Kaempfert, Schwaback & Gabler)

Nom the brains, zombie, nom the brains!
Feasting on ... some poor slob's remains!
Butter sauce ... has me at a loss
To describe the taste!  Sim'lar to
Toxic waste, mixed with glue!

Nom the brains, zombie, nom the brains!
Picking out ... all those stringy veins!
But, still I  ... simply don't know why
You'd be treating me ... oh so nice?
So, Ms Bee, what's your price?

Nom the brains, zombie, nom the brains!
Makes me smart, though it gives me pains!
Thinking fast!  But it doesn't last!
Once it's gone, who knows?  You suppose
This spoon goes ... in my nose?

Nom that brain ...
With champagne ...
Nom that brain ...

Rachel Blackman (rainpacket) says:

So, roughly 15 seconds.

Frank (pokefan_frank) says:

Yeah, she just had to ask :)

@KayGilbert: The more somber notes are probably flats and sharps, since they seem to be preferred by the "somber" minor chords; The less somer notes, then, are the naturals.

Adam (10-0-0-1) says: You know at those few times she shows her intelligence she is remarkably insightful.
Shaenon Garrity (shaenongarrity) says:

Yes, Andrew and I met Harvey and Joyce through the American Splendor show at the Cartoon Art Museum. They were more or less exactly as you'd imagine, which sort of gave me hope for the world.
Jeffrey Channing Wells (channing) says: As I've said elsewhere, Harvey Pekar was sort of an inspiration to me, inasmuch as both he and I were/are working class government file monkeys who hooked up with talented artists and somehow wormed their way into this Comics thing. That he could be a super-cool comic superstar while still holding down his 9 to 5, well... yeah. "Hope for the world" is about it.
John Breckenridge (jbrecken) says:

(TUNE: "Zombie" the Cranberries) [so obvious I'm sure it's been done]

Another lunch choffed quickly.
We are sickly, seeing.
This strange diner's made by science,
Who is she this being?

Buttered brains down the hatch, and now thoughts are dispatched
in her head, in her head they are forming.
She ate brains and ate brains
and ate brains and ate things
in her head, in her head, now they're leaving.

Up your nose, up your nose,
zombie, zombie zombie!
Hey, hey, hey. What is this spoon
up your nose,
zombie, zombie, zombie?

Tom Powell (top1950) says:

Unity is always insightful, it's just that her ADD keeps interrupting all her deep thoughts before they...,  "PUNCH BUGGY!"

David Harmon (mental_mouse) says:

Of course, the obvious question is... whose brains?  And how will they be listed on the expense account?

Mike Kozar (mikekozar) says:

mental_mouse:  Looks like it is a traditional dish of calf's brains.  I support that - most of my diet is calf-enated.

Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

Unity eats brains and gets smart, the same way the pins stuffed into in the Scarecrow's head made his thinking sharp. Big up yaselves J & S, respect!

Diane Castle (deecee) says:

@kay: That was great.  I didn't know anyone even *remembered* Blotto, much less once listened to their music.

So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Heh.
Andy Wetmore (efogoto) says:

So that's goblin smut about tops?

Joyce Melton (halfelven) says:

But tops are made out of rubber, and bottoms are made out of springs, and middles are bouncy, flouncy, pouncy bundles of fun, fun, fun, fun, FUN! So let's have goblin smut for everyone!

Adam (10-0-0-1) says: she is more cunning than she seems, I wonder what her tactic on Nick would have been had he come along.
Rachel Blackman (rainpacket) says:

@Adam: I imagine Nick might be parked at Annex One as we speak, enjoying his new World of Warcraft: Cataclysm beta key.  Or something similar. :P

M. Alan Thomas II (crazydreamer) says:

It says something about this series that my first thought was "Yes! They brought up the goblin smut again!"

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Radar Love", Golden Earring)

It's kinda strange how Violet Bee
Came on to Tip se-duc-tive-ly ...
Gave tasty brains to U-ni-ty ...
What will she use to get to me?

Her psychological strategy
Is power and authority ...
But I prefer a book or three
Of goblin-themed pornography!

   When things get steamy and those goblins start to rut,
   I get a pleasant kind of flutter in my gut!
   Want smut and nothin' else but!
   I got a thing for hot goblin smut!
   I got a thing for hot ...
   Goblin smut!

Love it when goblins get it on!
More that "Twilight", more than "Tron"!
Don't wanna read too fast, we swear,
When they do the goblin nasty there!

   When things get steamy and those goblins start to rut,
   I get a pleasant kind of flutter in my gut!
   Want smut and nothin' else but!
   I got a thing for hot goblin smut!
   Those books I just can't shut!
   Don't want no porn that's not goblin smut!
   I got a thing for hot ...
   Goblin smut!

Josh Shepherd (bergerjacques) says:

I wants me some Goblin Smut. Now.

Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:

So maybe, just maybe, Tip saw through her ploy. His superpowers still works!

Kathy Moon (flipkat) says:

Is her hair seriously waving around in the air like a snake? Mine just hangs straight down.

Mason Kramer (masonk) says:

Maybe she's Medusa and she braided her snakes.

Tom Powell (top1950) says:

Joyce, great Tigger reference!  I've always loved that little song.

Kathy & Mason:  I agree, that ponytail is kind of unnerving.  It's almost like..., "It's Alive!"

casimir (casimir) says:

Perhaps the tail of what appears to be her scrunchie...

Paul Lenoue (palenoue) says:

Now if she offered power and authority over the leading goblin smut publishers, would Sweetheart have the willpower to resist?

Sam Daniel (samhdaniel) says:

Hope that ponytail doesn't have any 'avatar-like' uses....

Wayne Ziegelmeyer (karrion) says:

Gunna put on my Great Karnak hat and say she's a robot. She's supposed to be a rep for the machines right? She's very calculating. Would explain Tip's disinterest if he senses it at a lizard brain level.

Adam (10-0-0-1) says: @Paul: doubt she would try, Sweetheart spotted the plan in action so Violet just admitted to it outright because she might as well get points for honesty. but one has to wonder if she knew about the goblin smut or if she is just good at rolling with changes as they come.
Adam (10-0-0-1) says: well Unity spotted it, but you get my point Darn that lack of an edit button.
Derek Burrow (derekthebard) says:

...dammit, Sweetheart!  Stop it with the librarian hate!  We gotta make a living, too.

M. Alan Thomas II (crazydreamer) says:

Library science is still a science. And all the books are in order, carefully cataloged and filed. . . . I think Sweetheart's just jealous that she can't turn the pages easily.


*has business cards that read "Mad (library and information) Scientist and Digital Human(ist)"*

woozy (woozy) says:

Cool.  If I get this up in time the first three posts will all be from librarians!  (Although, I'm kind of a lapsed one...)

Joyce Melton (halfelven) says:

I, too, was once a librarian. :)

Mark SHANKS (drhistory) says:

Sweetheart - Wannabe Archivist

Archivist's Motto: "We must preserve the information at all costs, even that of allowing any useful access."

Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

Librarian shout-out: When I was at Northwestern Law School in the late '80s, one of the school's librarians was John Logan.  In his free time, he wrote plays based on trial transcripts.  He's since been nominated for Best Screenplay Oscars for Gladiator and The Aviator, and this year won the Best Play Tony for Red.  Librarians RULE!

So It Begins (soitbegins) says: You know, far be it from me to speculate, but I'm starting to feel kinda creeped out by Ms. ViBe.
Adam (10-0-0-1) says: Same here SIB, she seems a little too prepared. It kind of reminds me of Stinky Pete from Toy Story 2, both try to manipulate what you say in a subtle manner to get you seeing things their way.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "The Age Of Aquarius", The Fifth Dimension)

When the books are on their proper spots,
With all the knowledge Man has learned,
People just come in and take them out ...
Someho-ow they get returned!

It's all accomplished with
The aid of librarians,
The aid of librarians!
Librarians!  Li-bra-ri-ans!

Through the rows and stacks we're delving,
Cataloguing and re-shel-ving!
We can help you, don't be nervous!
We are here to be of service!
People wonder how we do this ...
Dewey Decimal?  We do-o, yes!

David Harmon (mental_mouse) says:

So It Begins, and Adam (nice combo there):  Oh, Ms. ViBe is trouble all right... but just the usual sort of crazy-trouble that Skin Horse cuts their teeth on.  Should be interesting to see what Ms. Bee tries on Gavotte... and Gavotte's response.  Also, interesting to see just how she's actualy related to the machine union -- is she a robot herself, or just a "supporter"?

Jon W. (kd7sov) says:

Whoa, there, Sweetheart. Libraries - even lending libraries - have been around longer than copyright laws.

Also, if it weren't for libraries, how could I know what books to buy? (It's true; I almost never buy any book or movie or such that I haven't experienced before, usually from the library.)

Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:

Sure, librarians know Dewey Decimal, but do they know the Library of Congress system?

And Ed, come here. I need to hurt you. Again.

Ray Dillinger (bear) says:

You know, this is a very atypical reaction for government types. In my experience the response by Government employees who realize you're trying to curry favor with them as individuals is welcoming rather than suspicious.  They also tend to give you some truly insightful and accurate advice on exactly how to go about it most effectively.

Dominic Corbin (lnick) says:

I don't take Sweethart's reaction as a copyright control issues. I take it more that in a lending library people will just grab a book without getting permission. It's disorganized, thus reprehensible.
Sam Daniel (samhdaniel) says:

@soitbegins and 10-0-0-1: Negotiators, like lawyers, are not impartial. They want to achieve the best outcome for their employers. Thus, they always want you to come over to their side....

I am not a librarian, but my personal library is indeed arranged according to the Dewey Decimal System, much to the chagrin of my brother, who arranges his books by size or color, I forget which....

casimir (casimir) says:

Nice effect in panel one, with dark scrunchie on dark background. A classic profile.

Lee Bradford (cannibalcoalition) says:

I totally just read the whole archive. It took about a week. It was totally worth it.

Michael Brewer (wusemajor) says:

Honestly, Sweetheart is being rather .....annoying on this point.  After all, she was the one who broke Union rules and started this whole mess.

Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: Pronging in general.
So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Y'know, Ms. ViBe needs to join the team.
Katie Tandler (katesith) says:

Two-pronged? So THAT'S how he does it!

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Hot And Cold", Katy Perry)

If ... Tip they see,
They get sweet-talked and kissed!
With ... Unity,
They end up ... on her fist!

Tip ... strips their clothes ...
Gives a cli-max or ten!
U -- ni-ty shows
Them that bones ... do not bend!

'Cause we bite or we bone!
They scream or they moan!
We mate or we munch!
They faint or they're lunch!
It's violence or sex,
Like Oedipus Rex!
We throttle or thrill,
We kiss or we kill!

Yeah!  This guy will get them in the sack!
Yeah!  This girl will have them as a snack!
'Cause we bite or we bone!
They scream or they moan!
Two-pronged, like a fork!
We punch or we pork!

Erik Waer (raistandantilus) says:

Does Unity use a fork?  Because then it would probably be more like five prongs.

Sam Daniel (samhdaniel) says:

@Ed: Another excellent effort....

Edwin Quantrall (reynard) says:

Totally agree, Sam; totally agree...

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