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Smithson Thus Far... ·

Blaise Marcoux (blaise) says:

This can only end badly.

Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

Quentin Long, Marni Raichel, Ed Gedeon and whomever else: I'm intrigued by the idea of Skin Horse: The Musical, so I've started a topic in the Skin Horse Forum where people can brainstorm.  Ed, this was your idea.  You in?

Jeff and Shaenon: Do we have your (provisional) blessing?

When I see H.T. and Sweetheart, I can't help thinking of Dr. Frank N. Furter and Janet Weiss.  It only ended badly, but, in that case, for Frank.
tune: "Touch-a, touch-a, touch-a, touch me" Richard O'Brien (The Rocky Horror Show, 1973)

I'm a very good girl
In a whirl
Of bureaucratic busy-ness
Tip's sex life, wild and frantic
Seemed a worthless antic
But then, this cat, this tiger
Made me feel . . . romantic

So now I'm gonna spy
For this guy
He'll praise and pet me if I do
(Do! Do! Do!)
I'll say his cause astounds me
Until his paws surround me
Who is this woman he sees?
That howlin' hound's me!

Bone-a, bone-a, bone-a, bone me
Libido has thrown me
You've released an unknown me
Mister Stripey Man

What do you think of that?
Dog and cat
In a transgenic rendezvous
(Ooh! Ooh! Ooh!)
You'll purr with satisfaction
At my hot doggy action
I want some interspecies

Bone-a, bone-a, bone-a, bone me
Libido has thrown me
You've released an unknown me
Mister Stripey Man

[H.T.:] Mister Stripey Man
[Tip:] Mister Stripey Man
[Phil:] Mister Stripey Man
[Leo:] Mister Stripey Man
[Maya:] Mister Stripey Man
[Niue:] Mister Stripey Man
[Artie:] Mister Stripey Man
[Sweetheart:] Mister Stripey Man! Ah!

Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:

"Stockhome Syndrome."

"Right...but they blew his leg."

"Well, it's a very rare form!"

Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: Figuring on a deus ex Artie any time now.
Jared Anderson (the_shrike) says:

"This can only end badly"

I'd say more *cat*astrophically.

Jeffrey Channing Wells (channing) says: @Kay: What, are you kidding? I love me some fan-art, and a fan-musical would be great. Just so long as you don't try to, like, sell it or anything without further communication.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "I'd Do Anything" from the musical "Oliver!", Lionel Bart)

Don't do anything,
No, not a single thing,
Just don't do anything,
Right now!

I tell you, it will all be fine!
So you just never mind!
Yes, it will all be fine

Will you do things mean?
Not a thing!
Will you make a scene?
Not a thing!
Will you kick caffeine?
Not a thing!
What does "loose end" mean?
Never mind, it's not important ...

Just one little thing
To do, then have our fling!
So don't do anything,
Anything, right now!

Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:

@Jared: Four hours in the penalty box for illegal use of a pun. That includes yesterday's seal pun.

joe dreyfuss (jdreyfuss) says:

I don't believe that it doesn't sound sinister. It's impossible to tlk about loose ends without sounding  like you're about to set off a car bomb.

Rodford Smith (stickmaker) says:

I bet HT is making a feline for Tip...

Camille Dumas (camidumas) says:

Another bureaucratic dog who is described as a "good girl":

Norman Thallheimer (normanrt) says:

For Unity, any excuse to plant a bomb is a good excuse.

Now that I think about it, I don't think Unity needs an excuse...

Rob (rrreed) says: Unity has never needed an excuse.

Unity has only needed an opportunity.
Jared Anderson (the_shrike) says:

Yeah. Looks like things down in the swamps are turning interesting.....but who's she holding by the throat?

Ben N (mittfh) says:

Unity isn't exactly the best person to inform of complex plots... but then again, Tip would probably be easily distracted by anyone else in the vicinity (particularly if human, female and attractive... or transgenic gerbil, male and attractive - Tip's pheromones know no bounds!)

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "The Bells Of Notre Dame" from Disney's "The Hunchback Of Notre Dame", Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz)

Say there's a bomb that's designed just to scare,
It's a decoy, not a bomb ...
Friends it will scare; they'll beware and prepare
For the foes who've got a bomb!
Sweetheart's mind is a mass of confusion,
She needs someone with reason and calm ...
So she gets on the phone
'Cause to her, it's unknown
If it's right to plant that bomb!

   Unity is punching through the creatures of the swamp ...
   All the killing she can do, it's just a merry romp!

Unity's answer, you likely can guess
When we talk about that bomb ...
No hesitation, she's shouting, "Hell yes!"
When we talk about that bomb ...
'Cause the zombie girl wasn't quite listening,
For it seems her attention was gone
Just as soon as she heard
One delectable word ...
Her attention's scant;
Turn down, she can't,
The chance to plant
A bomb!

joe dreyfuss (jdreyfuss) says:

I think that's still a conspiracy to commit terrorism. Isn't even the threat of committing a crime for the purpose of causing fear in furtherance of a political goal considered terrorism?

Tom Powell (top1950) says:

God, I love Unity!

Vlad Taltos (flyingfish) says:

I think so, Joe. "Terrorism" is about the terror. If there really IS a bomb, and it goes off, you're guilty of both terrorism AND mass murder.

Eric Stromberg (kiritheunicorn) says:

Hm. UNITY seems to be up to her a** in alligators.


I'm sure she'll be fine.

Eric Stromberg (kiritheunicorn) says:

@ed gedeon


I am in awe of your talent, sir.

Dave Corbett (mr_dave) says:

Eric Stromberg (kiritheunicorn) says: 

Hm. UNITY seems to be up to her a** in alligators.

I'm sure she'll be fine.

Yes, but was she really just trying to drain the swamp?

Sam Ashley (evilmidnightlurker) says:

I... can't for the life of me tell what Unity is fighting.  The visuals just won't gel in my head.

Grant McCormick (grantcmccormick) says:

I hope that Sweetheart is just admiring the chocolates, and not doing something inappropriate like trying to eat them.

Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:

Sounds like Unity and Remy had a falling out. Or maybe he's dead?

Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: Andrew: Need to follow the livejournal side story. And Unity is fighting guys in black leathers and helmets.
Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

We learn from Nick's journal that two men in black kidnapped Remy, although Unity was too dense to realize it at first.  I think Dave's right: it's one of those men, in a helmet.  The alligator she was punching is an ally from the Transgenic Anti-Defamation League, although Unity was too dense to realize that at first, too.

For my money, the coolest thing we learn from Nick's journal is that he's an observant Jew.  I guess he'd say this mission is all vercopter (unless his swear-blocker works in Yiddish, too.)

So It Begins (soitbegins) says: @Grant: Yeah, seeing as how chocolate is toxic to dogs...!
vicka corey (drbrain) says:

i presume that by "settle the stomach" sweetheart means "to purge the contents before theophylline poisoning sets in" :)

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "April Showers", B.G. DeSylva and Louis Silvers)

If you get flowers
From someone cute,
He'll likely shower
Your butt with loot!

He'll give you choc'lates,
Although it's true
That theobromine in the choc-o-late
Is very bad for you!

But if for lunch, he
Has brought you flow'rs,
You'll get the munchies
Within an hour!

So keep enjoying all the flowers,
And savor the romance
From guys who want to get into your pants!

Frank (pokefan_frank) says: @kaygilbert: I didn't know that. Now I can't get the "Men In Black" theme song out of my head
Brian Petery (ugwump) says:


Given that Sweetheart has been known to consume chocolate martinis with no more lasting harm than a hangover I believe the Captain gave her enough human-style metabolism to handle it.


Jeffrey Channing Wells (channing) says:

Also, as one of the authors on this strip, I should add that Sweetheart shrugs off toxins (and injuries, for that matter) easier than other dogs because of a certain amount of native lycanthropic regeneration:

In summary, if you as the audience are worried about it, I'm probably worried about it too.  Because overworrying is the way I roll.

Norman Thallheimer (normanrt) says:

I'm thinking that the alligator Unity was punching was actually a crocodile.  Because Reginald, as a name for a corcodile, rocks.  It's almost as good as "Elton".

Nick Lardas (voyager) says:

Well, it depends on the dog too. We had an Afhgan Hound who was an absolute chocovor. I remember one time we left a pan of brownies out unattended, and she just ate the entire thing. That much brownie would have done me a hurt, but it didn't bother her.

Dogs are weird.

Tom Powell (top1950) says:

[Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: Andrew: Need to follow the livejournal side story. And Unity is fighting guys in black leathers and helmets. ]

Dave, what is this 'livejournal side story' of which you speak, and how do I get there?

Soren Smith (freemage69) says:

Andrew:  You can find it here:  It's not long, even now--the posts seem to come whenever we need an update to bring Unity "even" with the Cleveland crew.  Note that most of the journal is in Unity's "voice", meaning you get insights like:

And then, after a long time of fighting each other, they would realize that they're more the same than they are different and then they would totally have hot sex. It would be boss, because what's better than ninjas? The answer: hot gay ninjas totally doing each other.

Seriously, go read it.

Wayne (wayne) says:

A dog's reaction to chocolate depends a lot on the dog's mass and the type of chocolate.  Our standard poodle Celestial Princess Dark Starr (50 lbs) ate a container of Mexican hot chocolate solid chocolates (you melt 'em in hot milk) and was sick as a proverbial dog.  2 days in the vet ER.  I've heard of people who feed their dogs chocolate on purpose, they're insane.

Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

@Jeff: In the week that you linked above, I just noticed the last panel in the fourth strip.  Not only does Sweetheart sound like Dave there, she even looks like him!

Tom Powell (top1950) says:

Thanks, freemage69.  I hadn't known about Nick's Journal, but now I'll be checking it daily, with Skin Horse.  That thing is hilarious!

Tim Jewett (ryushikaze) says:

@Wayne- some dogs have no reaction at all to Chocolate. I had a dog who loved and occasionally stole entire chocolate pies from shelves three times higher than he was tall. Never had a single bout of illness or even vomiting as a result. For some dogs, chocolate is no more damaging than milk is to most humans.

Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

All together now: Awwwwwwwww

John Campbell (jcampbel) says:

Reginald: .oO{ I could be in Cleveland right now. Someone remind me why I volunteered for the mission with the psychotic zombie instead? }

So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Awwwwwwwww
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Sittin' On The Dock Of The Bay", Otis Redding)

Fightin' some shadowy men,
While I'm lookin' for my houngan friend ...
I thought I heard one moan,
But instead it was my phone's ring tone!
So I'm ...

    Sittin' on a croc who's in pain,
    Hoping I'll soon fight again!
    Sittin' on a croc who's in pain,
    Wasting foes ...

I just got a call today
From my friend, up Cleveland way ...
So lucky, that doggone pup
Has a chance to blow stuff up!
But here, I'm ...
    (repeat CHORUS)

        Sweetheart's having the weirdest day,
        What with bombs, and Tip half-gay!
        All she needs is just
        Her squeaky octopus ...
        When we get back home, we're gonna play!

On a phone call, I can't see
Her confusion and misery ...
Sayin' "yo", I end the call,
Hey, I'm sure she doesn't miss me at all!
But now, I'm ...
    (repeat CHORUS)

Michael Brewer (wusemajor) says:

There is a part of me which hopes that H.T. has a squirrel form or something and the "unchecked violence" consists of the two of them in their tiny forms having a slap fight.

On the other hand, I'd bet that there are a large number of people reading this strip who want to see Artie wrestle a sentient, talking, Bengal Tiger.

I assume bonus points are given if said event can involve nudity, mud, and or accidental kissing.

John Campbell (jcampbel) says:

I'm thinking that Artie wouldn't be standing there if he hadn't come up with a solution to this problem.

And implemented it.

About three weeks ago.

(Someone has to be the superintelligent one.)

Natasha Yar-Routh (xiomberg) says:

And let us not forget who Arte's mother, step father and lawyer are and the resources they have at their disposle.

Besdes who doesn't wnat to see a Mell Kelly/Unity meet up?

Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

@Michael: I'm guessing you liked the tiger sex scene in Wicked.

woozy (woozy) says:

>>I'm guessing you liked the tiger sex scene in Wicked.

Oh, dear god!  Poor Tibbet was never the same after that!

Shane Wegner (shanewegner) says:

I hope HT is smarter than the collective violence, mayhem, and weaponry of Narbonics Labs. Oh wait, no I don't. I'm starting to hate that smug bastage and hope he receives a rightly-deserved cumuppance. Artie seems a lot more effective and self-actualized than before, so I'm pretty confident in his ability to carry this one out.

And, I'm just saying, the record of cartoon felines against cartoon rodents is NOT working out HT's favor here....

So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Hobbesy-wobbesy?
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Eye Of The Tiger", Survivor)

Making plots, hatching his schemes,
Made a bomb that's a decoy ...
Had a scapegoat, set him up so it seems
That the mynah is taking the fall!

Rigged the scene, so it appears
Humans want to destroy them!
Fakes a bomb attack and preys on their fears,
So that fear now unites one and all!

Now that sly, awful tiger
Went and turned in his friend,
And the fed, well, he managed to out-psych her!
Now the transgenic gerbil is the final loose end,
So it looks as if Artie must fight ...
With the tiger!

Eric Stromberg (kiritheunicorn) says:

I wonder if Artie's the type to have previously suspended a 16-ton weight from the ceiling, against such an occasion as this.


On with the denouement!

joe dreyfuss (jdreyfuss) says:

He's a resourceful one, that H.T.


Shouldn't Artie be wearing a shirt that says "Save Coventry" or maybe "Save Cleveland Heights"? What's with the San Francisco love while he's in Cleveland? It's like wearing a "Keep Austin Weird" shirt in Minnesota.

P. Ipsum (vitupera) says:

Well, he's a Berkeley alum, isn't he?  I went to Boston University, and even though I live in Pennsylvania now I still have a "Save Fenway Park" bumper sticker floating around...

...though someone may have sharpied in at the bottom, "from its ungodly ways."

Wayne (wayne) says:

Artie probably has a pointed stick in his pocket!

Adam Underfoot (unnatural20) says:

A Pointed Stick? That wouldn't be fair, how is H.T. supposed to defend against that?

I bet he's wielding a banana.
Ysabet Just Ysabet (theysabet) says:

Artie's TOTALLY got this covered. With witnesses, too, I'd bet. And possibly film footage.  Also, isn't it lovely that we have the classic cat-and-rodent standoff going on here? :D  Personally I'm rooting for the rodent.

Prodigal (snakebitcat) says:

Given the reference HT made awhile back, I'm half-expecting him to wind up being turned into butter by whatever countermeasure Artie has prepared.

Diane Castle (deecee) says:

Me?  I'm hoping for a Big Damn Heroes moment from Tip.  Which, of course, was set up by Artie's prior actions.

Ben N (mittfh) says:

So what's the last word on Artie's T-shirt? "Save Berkeley" is obviously the first two, but the third looks a bit like "Iceland". Makes no sense to me...

vicka corey (drbrain) says:

@ben it is iceland:

Brian Petery (ugwump) says:

I dunno if HT is up to dealing with the best Time-Looped Super-Science has to offer.

Should have stuck to being a lover, not a fighter.

John Campbell (jcampbel) says:

I just recalled a certain raffle in which Artie might possibly have won a celluar destabilizer that has demonstrated effectiveness against tigers.

woozy (woozy) says:

>>>"Save Berkeley" is obviously the first two, but the third looks a bit like "Iceland". Makes no sense to me...

Ah, in Berkeley we have an ice skating rink called Iceland that's hitting hard times.  When I was a small boy, I heard on the Radio that President Nixon was going to be visiting Iceland that day and I had a hard time imagining why and I couldn't really imagine Nixon ice skating.


Grant McCormick (grantcmccormick) says:

No, that's just Artie.

Good to see some things haven't changed.

Camille Dumas (camidumas) says:

So HT is a serious racist - not just anti-human, but thinks it is okay for him to assault Artie because cats chase mice.  Next he can work with the KKK to reduce sales of the strong black Pokemon.

Shaenon Garrity (shaenongarrity) says:

To be fair to H.T., mice are delicious.
Jared Anderson (the_shrike) says:

Webcomic authors genuinely worry me some times....

Rex Vivat (sirgarberto) says:

Damn you, spambots, I just got here!

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Judy Blue Eyes", Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young)

We've gotten to the point,
Where we're done with fooling around, pussyfooting!
Sometimes you're so pedantic,
That, up with your act, I'm not putting!
You're a mouse, I'm a cat, we are what we are!
It's going down!

When all is said and done,
We know, that we dislike each other (I'll show no mercy!)
You'd best run fast!
You don't have the strength to take me on (it could get messy!)
You're a mouse, I'm a cat, we are what we are!
It's going down!

Open conflict ... civil disobedience ... one of us has to lose!
Disagreeing ... we can't reach a compromise ... one of us has to lose!
This is what it's gonna be, listen to me Artie,
Time to start all your suffering, and your dying ...
That's 'cause you're gonna lose!

Mouse, or maybe gerbil (damn, you're so pedantic)
Brown and furry, better scurry, things are getting frantic!

Tim Kirk (timk) says:

I'm not sure about how delicious mice are, but someone did do some research on the digestability of shrews by a human:

What is worrying is I remember this from reading it in AIR (which is fairly close to a Mad Science journal in some respects) several years ago...

To be pedantic HT is a speciesist not a racist - he has already shown he can work with a lion (which tigers can interbreed with). Of course to assume that transgenic beings cannot transcend their species is remarkably closeminded.

vicka corey (drbrain) says:

it would be interesting to know how the body-swap tech would sell in the transgenic economy.  phil would probably be offended by the very idea, as would ht for different reasons :) -- but one does wonder if there wouldn't be those who'd want the chance for artie's lifestyle...

@tim gerbils and mice are of course much further apart genetically than lions and tigers are, and cannot even remotely interbreed.  (they're about as close as say tigers and foxes.)  ht's error is biologically pretty egregious.  but i guess that puts me in artie's class as a pedant ;)

Jeffrey Channing Wells (channing) says: Well, maybe not plain mice. But if you dip them in honey and roll them in seeds or something...
Andrew Barton (andrewandkatebarton) says:

Shaenon Garrity (shaenongarrity) says:

Jeff and I once had a long conversation on the popularity of dormice as a delicacy in ancient Rome. The ancient Romans had some weird food ideas.
Shaenon Garrity (shaenongarrity) says:

Omigosh, the scientific name of the edible dormouse is "Glis glis." CUTEST SCIENCE NAME.
Tyler Wright (tylgar) says:

Those are awfully cute mice, too.  Wonder if you can get them as pets and not just food.

Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:

Now I know where the Japanese got the idea for Pikachu, and his scientific name, 'Pika pika." Or was that Little Caesar?

Brian Petery (ugwump) says:

So HT's not a real killer.  A real killer would have just killed Artie without talking, and don't give me that tired old "cats like to play".  They play with dead things just as readily as live 'uns.

Now a real killer, when he picked up the ZF-1, would have immediately asked about the little red button on the bottom of the gun.

Wayne (wayne) says:

True fact: a certain web comic artist's wife is a mouse concierge (sort of) for mice at the National Institute of Health.  She takes care of them before, during, and after they're part of research programs.

To me, that rates as an awesome job.  But then again, so does my wife: she shoots lasers at the moon and counts the photons (in single digits) when they come back.

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