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Smithson Thus Far... ·

Michael Brewer (wusemajor) says:


Brian McPherson (brian-m) says:

Wait... he has real necromantic powers?

Adam (10-0-0-1) says: either that or he is bluffing to buy time while he plans a way out.
woozy (woozy) says:

Why wouldn't he?

Adam (10-0-0-1) says: we need a "report spam" button here, and this is worse than most. at least most of them do not disrupt the page alignment.
Seven Deer (sevendeer) says:

But it's so Dada-esque!  How can you not love it?  Invention trends crudely exemplified foresighted fabric callable!

So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Well then.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Old Man River", Kern and Hammerstein)

I'm necromancer,
Can death be conquered?
"Well, yes," I'll answer,
But I get titchy,
It makes me titchy
You see!

Cypress daughter
In swampy water
Says, "Fetch my lover
Or else I'll slaughter!"
She's getting bitchy,
A wee bit bitchy
At me!

I can pierce
The final veil!
Though these threats of violence
Are full of fail!
If you err,
It's such a pain!
You get a zombie horde
Who will eat your braaaaaaa-aaaaains!

If she's kept waitin',
I'll be dismembered ...
The incantation
I must remember!
I'll take the chance, see ...
It's nothing fancy,
Just necromancy
You see!

Daibhid Ceannaideach (daibhidc) says:

To answer the question "why wouldn't he?", earlier he was all "voodoo is just a religion like any other" and "in my world, zombies aren't actually dead people". So either he's bluffing now, or he was playing things down then.

Daibhid Ceannaideach (daibhidc) says:

Third and possibly more likely possibility, which occured to me as soon as I hit "Say It Now!" - he can do this sort of thing, but worries it plays into the Hollywood stereotype of voodoo, which would fit both his earlier comments and his "getting all titchy" here.

Daibhid Ceannaideach (daibhidc) says:

Oh, and excellent work as always, Ed.

Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:

Bravo, Ed. Bravo.

John Sears (john_sears) says:

Must we resort yet again to the stereotype of brain-eating zombie hordes? Even when discussing necromantically derived Zombies, who do not, historically speaking, have any particular association with the brain-eating trope?

The Zombie Rights Campaign does not approve.

Grant McCormick (grantcmccormick) says:

Just because someone can do something, does not mean that someone wants to do whatever.

Think Susan Sto Helit.

Diane Castle (deecee) says:

@Ed: That was awesome.  More awesome than your usual awesomeness.

Edwin Quantrall (reynard) says:

Is something wrong with me? Because every time I see "necromantic" or "necromantically" I get this picture in my head of a young zombie couple enjoying a nice candlelight dinner of braaaaaiiiiins.

Andrew Cole (andy4hire) says:

@reynard: Sounds like there's a t-shirt idea in there somewhere.

woozy (woozy) says:

See, the reason I asked "Why wouldn't he" is because no-one in skin horse ever actually comes out and anounces that they actually have anything unusual so that if, say, we were to discover that Phoebe can transform chocolate into electronic equipment we'd just suddenly have her turning chocolate into electronic without any preamble.  So, although I had not reason to think the Remi *could* do necromancy I had no reason to think he *couldn't*.

Also, no-one in skin horse, not even the insane, seem to ever be deluded or incorrect his beliefs.  so if Remi was studying the voodoo arts then the vodoo arts have to work.  I admit I wasn't really thinking of the vodoo arts in terms of actually *doing* anything but then I was just following the story of the ride. 

As for "just a religion", well, okay here I'm retro-rationalizing a bit...  If you think about that, that really isn't a sentence any religious person can actually say because said religious person would *believe* his particular religion thus differentiating it from another religion he *doesn't* believe.  Thus he isn't saying "Voodoo is a religion that has a lot of mistaken beliefs just like any other religion" but instead that "Voodoo isn't weird and mysterious and involves arcane secret rites and dark secrets involving selling your soul to satan;  it's just as benign and normal and not exotic as any other religion and if we happen to able to raise a corpse or two by infecting it with that substance I was going to mention when the dog interupted me, well,  that's not anything different than a catholic priest turning a cracker into human flesh although as a voodooist I don't believe the priest actually does turn a cracker into human flesh but that's cool 'cause he doesn't really believe we can raise a corpse either."  

Frank (pokefan_frank) says:


I   c a n ' t   b r i n g   p e o p l e   b a c k
f r o m   t h e   d e a d . . .
I t ' s   n o t   a   p r e t t y   p i c t u r e . . .

woozy (woozy) says:

Actually, I think what Remi meant by voodoo is "just a religion" was two-fold.  1)  Zombies are just a normal phenomenon and nothing mysterious and just something voodoo knows about, and 2) although voodoo knows about and uses zombies its *real* purpose is simply a religion to tend to and serve the dead-- nothing supernatural about either.

Stephen von Behren (krogoth) says:

Pfft.  She's made of more than that!

Diane Castle (deecee) says:

Funny she should know the exact count on the fragments, isn't it?

Viktor Dosk (hugin) says:

I'm surprised she thinks that will stop Unity. It's more likely that Unity's parts will attach themselves to new bodies, and there will be 14 of her walking around setting swamps on fire. 

Mark SHANKS (drhistory) says:

I can hear Unity now: "It's only a flesh wound"

And I bet Brian would give her a hand getting pulled back together...

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Sixteen Tons", Merle Travis)

Some ... people fall in love 'til "death do us part" ...
While others keep going on with their heart ...
Summoning souls is perilous, see!
But now I must, to protect Unity ...

She's in fourteen bits!  Well, whaddaya know?
They're each of 'em sentient, look at 'em go!
Oh, Venus, don't you threaten me, not this time ...
I sold my soul for a mortgage, sub-prime!

Adam Underfoot (unnatural20) says:

Even when she's fallen to pieces, Unity's head and shoulders above the rest.

John Ames (commodorejohn) says: Does this mean we'll get an answer to the old question of whether the unity is greater than the sum of the parts?
Andrew Farago (andrew) says:

Unrelated to today's strip:

Shaenon's laptop was stolen on her way back from Vassar's NonCon!  We're filing a claim with the airline in hopes of getting compensated, but in the meantime, if you've been on the fence about purchasing original art or books or putting some money in the tip jar, NOW would be a great time to open up your wallet.

Justin Kane (avatarjk137) says:

Look at him there in panel three.  No hesitation at all.  Brass balls.

Ysabet Just Ysabet (theysabet) says:

Oh, for CRYING out loud, more bots, and this time they're not about shoes. Honestly, this strip gets hit so much--!  Can we sic Unity on 'em, please?

David Toboz (professor_zobot) says:

Aw, Sweetheart doesn't get to see colors?

Her creator was a very mean mad for not helping her with that.

And can I say that I'm... actually terrified that Unity's in danger here? I mean, I think this is the single first thing we've met that's legitimately able to terrorize her.

Also, for people who are interested, the Mad Science Wars in the Comics By Shaenon Forum is always recruiting new players.

Joyce Melton (halfelven) says:

Dogs are dichromatic, not totally color-blind. I think among mammals, only apes and old world monkeys have true color vision.

Since Sweetheart is transgenic, I'm sure she could have had full color vision if her creator had wanted her to. So he probably chose to go with the higher acuity available in low light that dogs enjoy. They see much better at dawn and dusk than humans, and very much better in moonlight or starlight.

True color vision isn't much of an advantage unless you're a fashion plate looking for the ripest fruit. Sorry, Tip.

fluffy <3 (fluffy) says: And humans have nothing on goldfish or hummingbirds or bees.
fluffy <3 (fluffy) says: although technically, colorblind humans are (essentially) dichromatic as well. So Sweetheart's statement is accurate.
woozy (woozy) says:

I wonder if Remy's shirt with the 9 is a reference to Futurama.

*Shakes the magic eight ball ... "not likely"...*

Brandon Gorley (bowtothebard) says:

You're not alone, Sweetheart, I think I'm colorblind too. I've been seeing Skin Horse in black and white for years.

Ike Isaacson (seachange) says: If Sweetheart's as smart as we think she is, she probably can see in color, but pretends that she cannot. Whenever Dennis goes off on a tangent like this, she has it as a response for the kind of situation she is in in panel 4.
So It Begins (soitbegins) says: [snicker]
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Wooly Bully", Sam the Sham & The Pharaohs)

Un, deux,
One, two, trois, quatre ...

Dennis asked Sweetheart,
"Should I wear this scarf?"
Sweetheart's replying
With a frustrated arf!
Duller color ... duller color!
Cannot lull her,
Mind is full o'
Duller color!

Venus wants lover
Like he was before ...
Remy gets busy,
While she's going to war!
Duller color ... duller color!
She's a brawler!
Mud is all her
Duller color!

Brian Petery (ugwump) says:

IIR, some birds have four different color sensing cells in their retina.  There have been experiments with pigeons, using them to pick out life jackets at sea.

Johnn Reynolds (sleepyjohn) says:

Just suppose things were reversed, and Sweetheart was looking for advice on what to roll in.

Frank (pokefan_frank) says:

Well, at least he had teh sense to ask a girl. Imagine if he'd called up Nick for that

E.T. the Eccentric Type (et_the_eccentric_type) says:

How can someone so stingy about color-coded forms and "Code Mauve" be colorblind?

Wayne (wayne) says:

Speaking of training pigeons to pick out life jackets at sea, they're also repurposing remote-control drones for that purpose.  Seems to me a good application of drone tech.

Shaenon Garrity (shaenongarrity) says: How can someone so stingy about color-coded forms and "Code Mauve" be colorblind?

Because she works so hard at memorizing all these color names and what they indicate, and NO ONE ELSE EVEN CARES! Holy jeez, nothing would get done around this office if it was up to the rest of the staff. And THEY can all see perfectly well that the marigold form is marigold and the mustard form is mustard.

Hmph. Honestly.
Shaenon Garrity (shaenongarrity) says:

Sometimes Tip will even copy the marigold form onto the mustard paper. CHAOS.
Diane Castle (deecee) says:

@Shaenon:  I'm sure Tip would only copy the marigold form onto the mustard paper if the marigold were clashing with what he was wearing that day.

That's a valid reason, isn't it?

Brian Petery (ugwump) says:

But, as a dog, wouldn't Sweetheart be able to smell the difference in the pigments?

That might explain the colorblind thing, to a dog the olfactory is more important than the optical.

Carl Fishman (carlfishman) says:

@Brian;  Actually the "colorblind thing" is because seeing in low-light conditions is more important to carnivores than color vision is.  We have mostly cones (which detect colors, but require a higher level of light to function) and a few rods (which are monochrome, but are more sensitive) while dogs and cats have mostly rods and only a few cones.  (Our rods are around the edges of the eye, which is why they tell you to try and look out of the corner of your eye in really dim light.  I don't know how dog rods and cones are distributed.)

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Put Your Hand In The Hand", Gene MacLellan)

    Get a hand from the hand who can detect its owner ...
    Get a hand from the hand, a sentient entity!
    We can get an assist
    From the clever fist
    Who can tell where we should be ...
    Get a hand from the hand who can sense Unity!

Now we're feeling blue, as we're wandering through the bayou ...
But for hours on end, we cannot find our friend, though we try to!
And the hand named Brian,
It's seems he's really tryin'
To assist us in our search ...
But I hope the zombie army doesn't harm me as away they lurch!
    (repeat REFRAIN)

Now you gotta admit, this disembodied mitt is not a dumb thing!
From the way he points, it's almost like he wants to tell us something!
See, the hand we met this morning
Is giving us a warning
That we'd better run like hell ...
(Or perhaps it wants to tell us Little Timmy's fallen down a well!)
    (repeat REFRAIN)

Joyce Melton (halfelven) says:

In panel three, Tip looks both amused and a little creeped out. Hilarious.

Owl Who says South (owlsayssouth) says:

tip cheats so hard. that feat is only suposed to be taken by females...

of course he could just put it in his purse. of holding. if he is serious about that 1,000 rounds thing.

Sam Ashley (evilmidnightlurker) says:

Has he been taking lessons from Miaowara Shimura?

Ray Dillinger (bear) says: Depends on the ammo, but a thousand rounds of most militarish ammo is about a hundred pounds of gear to carry around. On the other hand, if he's got something chambered for .22 LR or .25 ACP, it could be just ten to fifteen pounds - but those very light calibers are probably pretty difficult to stop a zombie with.
Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:

Who's Miaowara Shimura?

And I'm thinking Tip is so in tuned to the female sex, he's got hammerspace privileges.

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "3 AM", Matchbox 20)

We see zombies, and they overrun the Ninth Ward ...
Sweetheart says now she fears for Unity ...
Tip is ready, doesn't even have to try hard,
'Cause he's got his pal named Alice,
Fragging zombies with excessive malice!

And he says, "Sweetheart,
I got a thousand rounds of ammo!"
And he says, "Sweetheart,
I know I'd best be prepared now at all times ...
And the zombies are blown away with More Dakka!"

So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Where does he keep it? In his clea— oh, wait.
Daibhid Ceannaideach (daibhidc) says:

Captain Jack Harkness (of Doctor Who and Torchwood) once produced a gun from nowhere while naked.

"Where were you keeping that?"

"You do not want to know."

Brian Petery (ugwump) says:

Left 4 Dead saferoom around here somewhere.  I spotted the little x.

Daniel Dwiggins (dand) says:

Depends if they're the type of Zombies that a head shot (sufficient damage to the brain) will take out,a .22 or .25 is completely sufficient.  (Assuming Tip really is that good a shot)  If they're the ones that need to be physically damaged beyond mobility, then something significantly heavier would be better.

Adam Underfoot (unnatural20) says:

Tip really is that good a shot. That said, he may be underarmed for damaged-beyond-mobility zombies. Maybe he wasn't expecting zombies on this trip, mm?

Tiff Hudson (tiff_hudson) says:

@Ray, Alice is a .38 Spl. We really do NOT want to know where he's keep 1000 rounds of that.

Johnn Reynolds (sleepyjohn) says:

He's got ****s that jingle-jangle-jingle...

Rodford Smith (stickmaker) says:


Of course Tip always expects zombies. If nothing else, he takes one with him on field trips. :-^)

Sean Duggan (duggansc) says: ^_^ Then there's Deadpool on how he hides his guns with his skin-tight bodysuit. "Do you reeeeally want to know? It involves an awful lot of lubricant."
David Harmon (mental_mouse) says: Assuming he's not just "shooting his mouth off". perhaps Tip's transvestitism gives him "guest" access to hammerspace!
N B (daveclone7) says:

Well, he has to put *something* in his bra.

Brian Pickering (dapic) says: @Andrew; you read comics, and don't know of Samurai Cat? For shame!
Dieter M. (tangerine) says:

He probably keeps it along with wherever he keeps all of his spare outfits.

Grant McCormick (grantcmccormick) says:

It's New Orleans.

It's post-fat-Tuesday Lent.

Nobody will notice.

No-one will care.

Adam Underfoot (unnatural20) says:

Here's a goal for people: Try to use "We're stupid anyway, Sweetheart" in conversation today.

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "I'm Walking", Fats Domino)

We're stupid!  In ev'ry way,
We're stupid, most ev'ry day!
We're foolish, we're dead last in our class!

It's stupid, what we have seen!
They're troopin' through New Orleans!
They're ghoulish, they're groaning as they pass!

We gotta rescue Unity!
But on Canal Street, what'd we see?
Zombies as mindless as can be!
Lookin' for brains to have with tea!

We're stupid, through thick and thin!
We're stupid, we're going in!
Let's do this!  Let's kick some zombie ass!

Eric Williamson (nytefyre) says:

@Adam, extra points for using it with a Bogey accent.

Dieter M. (tangerine) says:

It's all right.  We can be stupid all night.

Andrew Cole (andy4hire) says:

@unnatural20: You mean you don't already use "We're stupid anyway, Sweetheart" in daily conversation?

Adam Underfoot (unnatural20) says:

@andy4hire: I don't like the people I live with that much. :P

Rob (rrreed) says: @Dieter —

Come on, join the crowd
Shout it out loud
I can't hear you
OK, I can hear you now
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The education bestowed on Shaenon K. Garrity by her parents had been expensive, athletic and prolonged. ... full profile