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Smithson Thus Far... ·

Nahuel Méndez Diodati (chirigami) says:

So... I guess Sweetheart doesn't have a very good nose for sarcasm...

Michael Brewer (wusemajor) says:

I love how he's just amused by this whole thing.

Ysabet Just Ysabet (theysabet) says:

Oh, Sweetheart.  You SO need to go back to Spy School.  **sad headshake**

woozy (woozy) says:

Stands to reason if you can't recognize what a bad acting job one is doing, one wouldn't recognize when another is doing a bad acting job on purpose, hence one wouldn't recognize sarcasm.

Sam Ashley (evilmidnightlurker) says:

Ysabet: Back?

JP Chabot (speedball) says:

Point of note: Dogs can lie. Even the nonsapient ones we keep as pets.  They're just never good at it.

Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says: It must be Sweetheart who inspired the saying: "If clues were shoes, you'd be barefoot."
vicka corey (drbrain) says:

i dunno.  ht was about ready to brag before, i don't think he's above bragging now either.  of course i don't know if he'll do it in front of the council, but their standards of evidence seem to be pretty low.

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Delilah", Tom Jones)

Bomb caused a scene at the latest transgenic convention!
Members in fright, 'cause they think that they might all get killed!
She'll ... catch ... the culprit!
Lying a lot, though it seems that she's not very skilled ..

    Lie, lie, lie, Miss Sweetheart!
    Try, try, try, Miss Sweetheart!
    To your date, you now must prevaricate!
    Be careful now, pup, or your gonna end up on his plate!

Leo had said that H.T. was the head of the plotters ...
Sweetheart, she found him just lounging around by the pool ...
She ... tries ... to lie now!
H.T. displaying surprise, but he's playing the fool!
    (repeat CHORUS)

Sweetheart relates just how badly she hates all the humans!
So much, in fact, that she'd fake an attack on their own!
H.T.'s ... agreeing!
She doesn't hear the sarcasm and sneer in his tone!
    (repeat CHORUS)

Joyce Melton (halfelven) says:

And you just know Sweetheart's tail is giving her away. :)

James Brown (hughbeehayve) says:

"I learned acting from my boyfriend.......Rin Tin Tin....yeah, that's the ticket..."

Been There Done That (btdt) says:

You know, I was told about a documentary some of my family watched that explored what would happen if humans were extinct.  According to their research, they concluded that cats would most likely become the dominate species.  Maybe H.T. knows about it, and that's why he hates humans so much... They're holding him back!!

So It Begins (soitbegins) says: This is hilarious
Andrew Cole (andy4hire) says:

Let sleeping dogs lie. They're better at it than awake dogs are, apparently.

Myles Adams (huttj) says:

Now, is this a "you won't turn me in, I'm too sexy" monologue, or a "there's a non-decoy too" monologue?

JP Chabot (speedball) says:

He's going to try to eat her. Dogs are no match for giant wild cats.

So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Oh, HT... it's always the wicked ones the audience loves...
vicka corey (drbrain) says:

if only they employed an actual it forensics person, that would be that.  oh well, the "skin horse" budget presumably doesn't stretch that far..

vicka corey (drbrain) says: ETA of course, there's nick, who'd have no problems at all tracking down "anonymous" email. then again, nick's busy :)
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Coming To America", Neil Diamond)

You just made a faux pas
While lounging there,
In the whirlpool spa!

You're outsmarted by me!
It's wasn't Phil,
It was you, H.T.!

You were driving Phil insane
With messages anonymous!
It was you who warped his brain
With messages anonymous!

You ...
Made a phony emergency,
Raising feelings of urgency!
So the transgenic clan
Would learn to hate Man!

You ...
Confessed building the decoy bomb,
While you're sitting there, cool and calm ...
(Could I borrow a pen?
Now, repeat that again ...)

Brian Petery (ugwump) says:

... Misread Ed's Tune ... trying to filk to "Living in America", James Brown.

joe dreyfuss (jdreyfuss) says:

Why does he have a pool bag? He's not wearing a bathing suit and presumably he air dries.

Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:

Did we already do a "I'm too sexy" filk? Because I'm totally hearing this from Hobbes.

David Harmon (mental_mouse) says: Unfortunately, Sweetheart has forgotten that H.T. is in fact a heckuvalot bigger and stronger than her... why should he let her walk away?
Tom Powell (top1950) says:

Oh, Sweetheart.  You are SOOO gullible!

Mason Kramer (masonlk) says:

Joe: To keep his pen in, of course.

Prodigal (snakebitcat) says:

The only question currently on my mind is whether the real bomb will go off tomorrow, or if it'll wait til Friday for maximum cliffhanger value?

Josh Shepherd (bergerjacques) says:

Oh I hope HT has the voice of Shere Khan.

This guy I know (thisguy) says:

Someone needs to close those italics. *crosses fingers and hopes this works*

As for the comic, my money is on the non-decoy bomb being in the bag and HT somehow alerting the authorities at precisely the wrong moment for Sweetheart. That's how I would do it!

Um. That's how I would do it if I was a superintelligent human-hating tiger slash webcomic artist. Yeah, that's the ticket.

And yes, HT definitely needs to be voiced by Shere Khan.

Diane Castle (deecee) says:

@Joe: To keep his real bomb, plus his bib for when he eats smaller animals.

Joyce Melton (halfelven) says:

Shere Khan? Doesn't he do the voice of George Sanders? :)

Joyce Melton (halfelven) says:

Wait a minute, a cat offering to fetch? Something fishy going on here. :)

Neil Smith (usoki) says:

That's some nice eye candy in the third panel, there.  It's like the Honey Rider beach scene from the first James Bond movie.  Only... y'know... just to Sweetheart.

Joyce Melton (halfelven) says:

Tiger, tiger, burning bright.

Grant McCormick (grantcmccormick) says:

Tigers?  Turning into butter?

A cute and funny reference, but probably not PC by today's standards.


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

What would you call a poetry filk?  In this case, maybe "paw-etry".

(Based on "The Tiger", by William Blake)

Tiger!  Tiger!  Looking cool,
Lounging by the hotel pool!
What's the power you have got
That makes you look so freakin' hot?

What can make me weak inside?
Water streaming off your hide,
All a-sparkle, all a-glow ...
(Chlorine's bad for fur, you know.)

Oh, those muscles!  Oh, those stripes!
More than other feline types!
You, perverting Nature's law,
Twist my heartstrings 'round your paw!

How your body, strong and young,
Makes me tangle up my tongue!
Will I fall beneath this beast?
Will I get some sex, at least?

When we met this afternoon,
Did you plan to make me swoon?
All my will pow'r in your grip;
Are you just a feline Tip?

Tiger!  Tiger!  Looking cool,
Lounging by the hotel pool!
If I slip, and go too far,
Will this strip get rated "R"?

David Harmon (mental_mouse) says: Grant McCormick: Actually, the issue with "Little Black Sambo" wasn't the story, but the illustrations of the original edition. It has since been republished with all new art, in which Sambo actually looks pretty classy.
joe dreyfuss (jdreyfuss) says:

I'm still imagining HT with Tony Jay's voice. Although he did do Shere Khan in the '90s Disney cartoons, so I guess that works as well as George Sanders.

Soren Smith (freemage69) says:

There's only one place this can go:

Carl Fishman (carlfishman) says:

@David; I think that part of the problem with "Little Black Sambo" was the hero's name.  Which was so firmly entrenched as a derogatory name for African-Americans that people overlooked the fact that the story was obviously set in India.  (Tigers being uncommon in Africa!)

Me, I'm old enough that the story was a part of my childhood.

Sam Daniel (samhdaniel) says:

@eddurd: Another great effort....

Ysabet Just Ysabet (theysabet) says:

Oh my, that tail wrapping around Sweetheart in panel 4...

fluffy <3 (fluffy) says:

I am posting this comment with the sole intention of attempting to fix the stray open italics.

Did that work?

Andrew Barton (andrewandkatebarton) says:


The usual term for poetry filks is pietry.  Nice piem!

Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

tune: "She'll be comin' round the mountain"

"You're a fluffy little bundle of denial
And you do the humans' bidding with a smile"
But her boss is bee upon bee
And her best friend is a zombie
So I'm thinkin' that H.T.'s just using guile

Sweetheart, don't let him distract you with his charm
Reach down deep and find your inner strict schoolmarm
Yes, I know he's hot and studly
And you want to bump his uglies
But resist his lures, or you will come to harm

Michael Brewer (wusemajor) says:

Like Pratchett said, Neurosies are what sperates Dogs from Wolves.

Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: Good girls don't explode.
Louis Richards (lummer5000) says:

Quick!  Somebody put out a cup of coffee so Sweetheart can rampage and calm back down.

joe dreyfuss (jdreyfuss) says:

Spambot needs to learn how to read contextual clues.


@Michael: I was thinking Pratchett, too. As soon as she said she was a good girl it immediately made me think of Gaspode.

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Bad Boys", Inner Circle)

    Good girl!  Good girl!  'Cause you always do,
    'Cause you always do what they tell you to!
    Good girl!  Good girl!  'Cause you always do,
    'Cause you always do what they tell you to!

When you were just a pup,
A-livin' way up,
Up in Canada,
You obey the law!
Get bigger, get faster,
Just because your Master
Called you "good girl"!
Gonna conquer the world!
    (repeat CHORUS)

Listen as the Cap'n
Says what's gonna happen,
Gonna come a day
You'll invade the U.S.A.!
Cap'n, he protect you,
Teach you and direct you,
Then he vivisect you,
That's when he say ...
    (repeat CHORUS)

Now H.T. yellin' out,
"Don't be sellin' out!
Listen what I say,
You can disobey!
Rise against the Man!
Bite the feeding hand!"
Tiger with a smile,
Says you're in denial!
    (repeat CHORUS, fade out)

Brian Petery (ugwump) says:

I'm gonna go with the voice of Thurl Ravenscroft for HT.

Joyce Melton (halfelven) says:

Thurl Ravenscroft is nearly perfect! His name sounds like the villain in some animated horror masterpiece. :)

I've another suggestion though, George Takei.

Rob (rrreed) says: @Brian, @Joyce—Thurl Ravenscroft is almost too obvious, plus Kellogg may object. But George Takei—especially if he used his unctuous, evil voice (think "Mirror, Mirror")—would be perfect!
Tyler Wright (tylgar) says:

Of course, Thurl passed away a few years back, so I'm imagining you're thinking of more as a fantasy sense.  And yeah, he might have to evil it up a bit or everyone would call H.T. "Tony" instead.

So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Now I'm never gonna NOT think of Sweetheart as fluffy.
Rachel Blackman (rainpacket) says:

No, Sweetheart!  Stay good!  If you allow the enemy to seduce you to his point of view, think of how it will look on the next annual performance review Gavotte writes!

Jon Stout (brasswatchman) says: It's a good point... But what about Phil? Just a necessary sacrifice for the cause?
m.f. m (kajisora) says:

And It Worked.

Do not tempt me with your logic! :P

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "I Will Survive", Gloria Gaynor)

At first I was relaxed, I was unafraid,
Just drawing Leo's comic, well, I thought I had it made!
Making money with my friend,
How I hoped it wouldn't end!
But day by day, I saw it start to slip away ...

I can't be blind!  Not anymore!
Yes, the truth is inescapable, there soon will be a war!
All the humans truly hate us,
Trying to exterminate us!
Cypress proved ... that humans want us all removed!

So then we planned!  This was a drill;
I just want to wake our members up, I didn't want to kill!
Now we face a fearsome foe,
So our people all can know
And be aware ... that all transgenics must prepare!

So listen up!  Just let me speak!
I see that you agree, although my arguments are weak!
If you wait a little longer,
My persuasion will get stronger,
You'll agree ... you will agree ... with me!

nokiajsm nokia (nokia) says:


Brian Petery (ugwump) says:

On behalf of humanity, Cypress started it! So there!

Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:

Hobbes is like a sexier version of Glenn Beck.

John Ames (commodorejohn) says: @Rachel Blackman: And now you've got me thinking - I can't imagine Gavotte using anything other than elegant penmanship on nice paper, performed massively in parallel with independently-operated pen nibs... *swoon*
vicka corey (drbrain) says:

we still don't really know who started cypress, unless it was anasigma, in which case we don't really know who's running anasigma.... could be human, could be not.

Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

@Andrew: True, but really, who isn't?

Tyler Wright (tylgar) says:

A thought... does H.T. stand for "Hobbes Tony"?

Sam Ashley (evilmidnightlurker) says:

How about Hobbes Tawny?

Norman Thallheimer (normanrt) says:

My prime suspect for the Cypress Fire:  H.T.  He's just admitted to a motive, and he wouldn't be the first person to fake an attack on his own people to rally them to his cause.  And it's not as if his record of not doing something like that is perfect.

@evilmidnightlurker:  Isn't Tawny more of a name for a girl-type lynx?  Perhaps living in Alaska and playing paintball?

Brian Petery (ugwump) says:

Perhaps referring to Tawky Tawny?

Cougar Allen (cougarallen) says:

ucomics failed to update again.  :(


-Cougar :{)


Joyce Melton (halfelven) says:

Oh, yes. :)

Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: She's one hot dog!
Louis Richards (lummer5000) says:

Okay, so why are all the 'Tigers' in this strip the Evil Nemeses?

Tigerlily Jones vs. Tip, H.T vs. Sweetheart.

What next?  A swarm  of Tiger Beetles turning Gavotte to the Dark Side?

It's Racial Prifiling, I tell you!

Marni Rachmiel (marniferous) says:

O.M.G! The crazy thing about this is that it's not actually a gender thing, it's a cat/dog thing.

Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

A couple folk filks jumped to mind: take your pick.

tune: "Mr. Tambourine Man," Bob Dylan (Bringing It All Back Home, 1965)

I knew that Cleveland was the bomb but I didn't know half
My spying made you laugh
But I'll spy for real, if that's what you are needin'
Transgenics have to hang together, or we'll hang apart
Now my radicalized heart
Wants to hang with you, and maybe do some breedin'

Hey, Mr. Stripey Tiger, I'll do what you ask
'Cause you know my weakness: treat me like a woman now
Hey, Mr. Stripey Tiger, I'll do what you ask
You've awakened my desire to mate, so please, show me how


tune: "Coming into Los Angeles," Arlo Guthrie (Running Down the Road, 1969)

Fur all wet and glistening
You rise from the pool
Muscles ripple, leave me yearning
I'm a good girl but I will be bad for you
Let's go for a swim, I'm burning

I don't have a will of my own
You're the master, throw me a bone
I can't resist your pheromone
Mister Stripey Man

Marni Rachmiel (marniferous) says:

To the tune of "A Boy Like That" from West Side Story

A cat like that
Would bomb the humans
And not just agents
But civilians

One of our own kind, do it for our kind

A cat like that
He is a tiger
And a manipul-
ative liar

One of our own kind, do it for our kind

A cat who bombs cannot love
A cat who bombs has no heart
And yet he un-
derstands you well,
He plays his part -
Very smart, that H.T., very smart

A cat like that
Wants one thing only
He'll build his bombs
And leave you lonely

He'd murder Tip, and
Kill Unity -
Just wait and see, be careful Sweetheart, just wait and see

You are a dog
You want approval
But this cat gives you
Brain removal

Remember your best
Friend who's a zombie!

A cat who bombs cannot love,
A cat who bombs has no heart,
And Phil the Mynah, of the plan, was just a part -
Oh Sweetheart, be careful, oh Sweetheart -

And where is Tip? He's stalking Artie
When he should be
at Sweetheart's side... he got distracted....

So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Noooooo! Sweetheart!
Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:

This brings a whole new meaning to the phrase, "Cat got your tongue."

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Mrs. Robinson", Simon & Garfunkel)

I'll follow you, Mr. Stripey Man!
I'll obey, just tell me what to do!
Woo woo woo!
This feeling's new, Mr. Stripey Man!
My libido's going through the roof!
Woof woof woof!
Woof woof woof!

I want to be your eyes and ears in Washington, D.C.,
Spying on the humans for transgenics ...
Tell me how, persuade me now to do it for our kind ...
Your seductive voice is messing with my mind!

I'll follow you, Mr. Stripey Man!
Though the side you turn me to is dark ...
Bark bark bark!
Now love me, do, Mr. Stripey Man!
Make feel just like a woman now!
Bow wow wow!
(Boy, and how!)

You're praising me and petting me and telling me I'm good ...
Positive attention's what I live for!
Now you get me oh so hot, but you are oh so cool!
Overheate, I must jump into the pool!

Where have they gone, Tip and Unity?
When I had them with me, I was fine!
Whine, whine, whine!
Now you're my friend, Mr. Stripey Man!
From my former team, I'll turn away!
Hey, hey, hey ...
Start today!

Diane Castle (deecee) says:

Shaenon, I've said it before, but I feel the need to say it again, especially with the great filks today.  Skin Horse is great, but your collected Skin Horse oeuvre really should have filk included.

Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

@Diane: I like the idea, too, but I don't think it would work.  First, I don't think Jeff and Shaenon would want to shift the focus from their work.  Second, many filks respond to comments from other readers, and wouldn't make sense unless you published those comments, too.  Finally, there's the minefield of intellectual property rights (copyright, releases, future use, royalties, etc.).  Who owns the filks?

Personally, I collect my favorite comments and filks in a 3-ring binder, kinda like commentaries on the Torah.

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says: @Diane & Kay: The obvious answer is "Skin Horse: The Musical"! With original songs & lyrics ... we can all collaborate!
Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

Ed, I love that idea.  We're lousy with lyricists, but are there any composers out there?

Philip Cohen (treesong2) says:

H.T.'s mojo seems to be juvenilizing Sweetheart, probably for reimprinting, but I don't how that arises from his words.

Anyway, Sweetheart had just been getting some questionable orders when she was teleported aboard a plane over the Pacific (I just know this, though all I saw was an uncaptioned exterior view of the plane), where she began to realize she'd been fooled by a fake teleportation. 'My quarters were unheated,' she said, 'They knew me, didn't they?' Then the alarm went off and I lost all the interesting pre-flight goings-on. Phooey.

Shaenon Garrity (shaenongarrity) says:

I think one of the Kickstarter incentives for the next Skin Horse book will have to be a filk songbook, assuming I can get the writers' permission.
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The education bestowed on Shaenon K. Garrity by her parents had been expensive, athletic and prolonged. ... full profile