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Smithson Thus Far... ·

Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

Gee, I wonder if Sweetheart and Unity have a fishnet-leg lamp made from one of Unity's leftover legs.

Brian Rogers (billionsix) says: Dude, like in 30 Rock! Cleveland is the best!
Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:

Does this imply that Sweetheart has been to Cleveland before?

Thomas Levy (ergonomytch) says:

This is the perfect opportunity for Artie to show up in Skin Horse.

Pete Bleackley (petethemadscientist) says:

While I imagine that Artie might have been instrumental in setting up the Transgenic Anti-Defamation League, but the the Bears of Very Little Brain had him ousted when he took human form.

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

Sorry I went missing yesterday.  My Dad was having some chest pains, so we took him to the hospital (and of course, as soon as they checked him in, it cleared right up).  Anyway, he's fine, I'm back, here we go ...

(TUNE: "I Got The Sun In The Morning And The Moon At Night", Irving Berlin)

Members of the Skin Horse team are leaving ...
Where will they go?
To meet the creatures with designer genes!
If they have some free time in the evening,
Where will they go?
To where they filmed the "Christmas Story" scenes!

Tip and Sweetheart, off they go!
Off to Cleveland, O-hi-o,
To see the Transgenic Anti-Defamation League!

Just responded, si'l vous plait,
Now they're heading off today
To see the Transgenic Anti-Defamation League!

Creatures ... trying to feel at home,
Feature ...mutated chromosomes!

Cypress, she is rather known ...
Please observe concern that's shown
By all the Transgenic Anti-Defamation League!
Yes, all the Transgenic Anti-Defamation League!
Yes, it's the Transgenic Anti-
Defamation Vigilante

David Harmon (mental_mouse) says: Hmm! Is Tip along for the outsider view? He's a rather different sort of "trans"! It should be interesting watching Sweetheart taking the lead, and I assume Tip will be fielding some "interesting" propositions!
Sean Kinlin (seaking) says:

Too bad it isn't named the Transgenic Anti-Defamation Association - TADA!!

James Rice (jhrice) says:

It's a little off topic, but I just noticed a Tom Clancy sized error in the Skin Horse file-name story.  "Their nametags identified them as Mitchell and Six: Mitchell was the woman."  and then a couple of lines further, "'You can use my phone,' said Six quickly. She dug a cell phone out of her pocket."  

Diane Castle (deecee) says:

@James: So you're assuming their genders are constant, huh?

I suspect large quantities of Helen's secret genderbender formula.  It's necessary for national security.  Or so they keep insisting.

James Rice (jhrice) says:


I'll give points since the scene takes place in San Francisco, but I have to subtract points because it was Artie who had the genderswap formula.

Brian McPherson (brian-m) says:

Because being able to operate a can-opener is what makes Unity her best friend in the first place.

@ James

Let's just pretend that Mitchell had Six's phone in her pocket at the time.

Shaenon Garrity (shaenongarrity) says:

Fixed, but I deeply resent being compared to Tom Clancy and will be much less generous if it happens again.
James Mirkle (jmzlost) says:

@James Rice

And Dave.  And Helen.  Although probably not Mell.  I mean, the formula doesn't make anything explode. :P  -JMZ

Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

I don't even want to filk this song, because it's perfect as it is: I just want to dedicate Queen's "You're my best friend" to Sweetheart and Unity (  Because, you know, awwwwwww.

Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:

Dick Tracy is one of the worst newspaper comics ever. Even worse than Garfield.

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "What Do You Get When You Fall In Love", Bacharach & David)

What do you do when you've got no thumbs?
A partner and true best friend you're needing,
Someone to help with fights and feeding!
With ... Unity, I'm not alo-o-o-one,
Don't need a thumb to call my own!

What do we do when we joke around?
Pretending to swipe my TV dinner,
Eats my dessert!  (I'm getting thinner!)
Peach ... cobbler is for U-ni-ty-y-y-y,
Salis-bury steak is just for me!

   Yes, Unity's my best-est friend!
   She'll love and concuss me to the end!
   Also, these cans are open- and close-able
   Only with thumbs that are opposable!

What do we do when we share a flat?
Like Peabody had his pet boy, Sherman,
I've got a pal to brush my fur, man!
We're ... staying close through thin and thi-i-i-ick!
We're making ev'rybody sick!

Josh Shepherd (bergerjacques) says:

Recalling the entire Dick Tracy series with Pruneface, the saga with Lips Manliss, and especially the entirety of Flattop's reign of terror and ultimate death - I would have to heartily disagree with that statement. Viva Chester Gould!

Justin Kane (avatarjk137) says:

Actually, Dick Tracy just got a brand new artist/writer team.  It used to be occasionally So Bad It's Good, and now it's... actually good!

Diane Castle (deecee) says:

Dick Tracy is one of those works that went on so long that it eventually covered all the gradations from great to 'great Caesar's ghost this is so bad it damaged my corneas just from reading it'.  Lots of people remember the Moon Maid era, which was truly awful.  But the really early strips were better than that.  Okay, Garfield is better than that, but you know what I mean.

Brian Petery (ugwump) says:

I remember how they got rid of Moon Maid.  Gangsters blew up her car, killing her and her daughter.  Now, that's how to do a ret-con!

James Rice (jhrice) says:


I would never compare you to T.C.  except possibly for example of how to do things right, (Shaenon), and how to go down in a flaming ball of suck, (Tom). 

Carl Fishman (carlfishman) says:

Me, I grew up reading the Moon Maid era of Dick Tracy.  So I thought (and think) that it was great.  New writers coming in and killing characters off is one thing; but then trying to pretend that they never even existed is (IMHO) inexcusable. 

Tom Powell (top1950) says:


Tom Clancy?  Who's Tom Clancy...???

John Campbell (jcampbel) says:

I think he's one of the Clancy Brothers.

Now I need to go through and figure out exactly where it was fixed...

Doug Wykstra (dougthehead) says:

Watching an episode of Treme right before visiting this page really makes me identify with Tip.  At least your New Orleans experience isn't limited to a self-imposed 1 hour per week of excellent HBO drama, Tip!

JP Chabot (speedball) says:

Tip in a sun hat, blazer and skit? Awesome. We really do never see Tip in the same outfit twice, do we?

Adam Underfoot (unnatural20) says:

Like The Cat, if we see Tip in an outfit twice it will be deliberate. And Tip will be very upset.

Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:

Okay, so I gotta ask: is Sweetheart a closest Browns fan? (You know the whole Dogpound thing?)

Brian McPherson (brian-m) says:

@ Adam

Simulant: Annihilated my ship, slaughtered my fellow simulants, and you practically destroyed me. Yes, I remember you.

Cat: There's one thing you should know. Last time we met I was wearing a cute little black number with peach trim and gold spangles, and although it looks like I'm wearing the same outfit today, it is in fact an entirely different cute little black number with completely different gold spangles.

Kryten: That was an important speech, sir, and it needed to be made. Might I suggest, however, that the rest of this discourse is continued by those with brains larger than a grape?

Nah. I just don't see Tip having a conversation like that.

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Year Of The Cat", Al Stewart)

Now as Nick is saying "Sayonara",
And as Unity assures she will
Do the very best she can to
Keep the damage
Down to under a mil ...

And we hear Tip sob
'Cause there is no mob
Of drunken college girls with which to chat!
In a minute they will leave and
Head to Cleveland!
Tip is stylin' like that,
In his jacket and hat!

Wayne (wayne) says:

Tip surely has some vacation or personal leave accrued, he should wait for the next holiday and take a long weekend to N'Awlins, after all, this is two missions back-to-back with no down-time between 'em.  If he books far enough in advance, he should be able to get pretty cheap air fare if Nick isn't available to pop him down.

Shaenon Garrity (shaenongarrity) says: Yesterday while I was scanning strips I watched the episode of "Red Dwarf" with this exchange:

Good Cat: I find clothes to be a distraction from the pursuit of spiritual and intellectual fulfillment.

Actual Cat: That's funny. I find spiritual and intellectual fulfillment to be a distraction from the pursuit of clothes.

...and I was like, oh, yeah, Tip.

Tip reuses articles of clothing in new combinations. He's on a civil servant's salary, after all. He doesn't get to use his vacation time very often because the office is so absurdly understaffed.
Brian Bogue (badbear) says:

@ Wayne and Shaenon, Didn't Tip and the crew just spend a 2 week more or less drunken orgy in New Orleans after the end of the last mission and their arrival back home?  I know we didn't get to see it but Beauty and Unity were complaining about it.

Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

Shaenon: I assume you must have drawn Tip's wardrobe so you can pick out the pieces and combine them into different outfits.  That means you get to play with Tip Barbie.  Best. Job. Ever!

Frank (pokefan_frank) says:

Canadian dogs: The only girls who do not shriek at cockroaches

Brian Bogue (badbear) says:

perhaps it is only the shadeing affect but it looks like Tip has gone with Unity's hair color effects, one half brunette and the other half blond

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Yankee Doodle Dandy", George M. Cohan)

I'm a big enormous cock-roach,
Biggest cockroach that you know!
Transgenic Anti-Defamation League,
I'm their liaison, hello!

Just like Phoebe in New Or-leans,
Now your room has got a bug!
Let's find a karaoke bar and sing "La Cucaracha"!
Then I will give you both a hug!

Brian Petery (ugwump) says:

I'm wondering if there's a "no parasitism" policy, what with the bedbug population explosion and all.

David Harmon (mental_mouse) says: Brian: unless they're intelligent bedbugs, I suspect they would be eaten by something, or some Thing, or even Some Thing. :-)
Brian Petery (ugwump) says:

David: Intelligent parasites was my idea.  Do they ask before nibbling as a general thing?  (I'm sure there will always ignorant slobs who just go up and start chomping.)  Would swatting them be considered self-defense?  Does Ohio have "no retreat" laws?

joe dreyfuss (jdreyfuss) says:

They don't have a bedbug problem in Cleveland. Clevelanders are more hygienic than New Yorkers, I guess.

James Seckler (biogant) says:

Is that Lakeview Cemetery in the background?

Brian McPherson (brian-m) says:

I love their glasses. Somehow I'm imagining them with pink lenses.

Brian McPherson (brian-m) says:

What's up with the filename story? So far we have...

Sweetheart refused to talk for the reporter, causing hilarious and satisfying humiliation all around. She only spoke when alone with Mitchell and Six the she was pleased to

Either there's something missing between "the" and "she", or the "the" is superfluous.

Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:

Bifuracating Genitalia would make a great name for an Indie band. I think.

Shaenon Garrity (shaenongarrity) says:

Brian: Typo in yesterday's strip. Fixed.
vicka corey (drbrain) says:



(ok, i feel better now :)

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "If You Wanna Be Happy", Jimmy Soul)

    If you wanna feel awesome at our hotel,
    Here's an opossum that'll treat you well!
    He'll never fail ya, he and his mate,
    'Cause their genitalia's bifurcate!

Welcome, agents!  We hope that we
Make your stay pleasant as it can be!
You must be tired, I would assume,
Opossums will take you up to your room!

They're describing to you in full
About secretions medicinal!
Mr. Opossum is a friendly guy,
With a bad case of T.M.I.!

     (repeat CHORUS)

    Hey, Mr. Opossum!
             Yes, sir?
    I saw your wife in the elevator, she looked dead!
             Nah, she's just playin' ...
    Well, she sure did stink!
              Dang, that sexy li'l thing!  Excuse me for a few minutes ...

    (repeat CHORUS, fade out)

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

"What's the tipping protocol for all this?"

Well, with bifurcate genitalia, obviously they get double tips.


Tiff Hudson (tiff_hudson) says:

I'm imagining the glasses are tinted purple, like the ones Verbal Kint wore when they went to Los Angeles.

Ysabet Just Ysabet (theysabet) says:

POSSUMS!!! **dances** So cuuuute! Yes, I'm a possum fan, the babies are amazingly adorable. Now, if there's just a ferret or two included in this arc, my head will probably explode from the cuteness factor.

Eric Stromberg (kiritheunicorn) says:

Oh, I think we're already way past the tipping point...

Shaenon Garrity (shaenongarrity) says:

We had a possum living in our garage recently. It would shuffle out at night to raid our compost pile. Andrew was very disturbed by its undead appearance and is even creeped out by my possum drawings here.
Jared Anderson (the_shrike) says:

The possums here in New Zealand have a *cough* "wonderful" evil-cackle type noise they tend to make outside windows at night. As such I've rather gone off small marsupials since some rather bad experiences at the age of six....however I imagine I'd change my mind if they were this talkative and friendly. And wore tinted glasses.



casimir (casimir) says:

Cutest. Possums. Ever.

casimir (casimir) says:

Except maybe Pogo.

JP Chabot (speedball) says:

But that was something the evil White Witch gave Edmund!

vicka corey (drbrain) says:

that's not more speciest and impolitic, nor even nec. less relevant, than the bit about bifurcate genitalia was.

Brian Petery (ugwump) says:

Yar, don't try to hide your emotions from a dog, Tip.  They can smell it on you.

Norman Thallheimer (normanrt) says:

Just because the evil White Witch used it as bait, doesn't mean it isn't <good> bait. 

It's almost as good a bait as cheese.


Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:

Had a friend who just came back from Turkey. They don't do Turkish Delights so much anymore.

Chris (khade) says:

I thought Turkish Delights are British...

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