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Smithson Thus Far... ·

John Goard (darthmiho) says:

I'm impressed, terrified, and a little turned on that she's apparently this valuable to the organization.

JP Chabot (speedball) says:

I am perplexed as to what Anasigma's end game is. They don't seem to be working towards any particular goal, except evil.

Tiff Hudson (tiff_hudson) says:

I would definitely do popcorn and wine pajama movie dates with Virginia. I have a thing for really brainy petite brunettes.

And on an unrelated note, I just realized that cellphones have gotten so small you don't need to draw them anymore.

Tiff Hudson (tiff_hudson) says:

Math Olympics 1988 - that was the year I graduated from college the last time.

Tiff Hudson (tiff_hudson) says:

@JP - Evil can be its own endgame. Like attacking an anthill with lighter fluid and a magnifying glass: Because I can and because I enjoy watching the chaos.

John Goard (darthmiho) says:

*has random thought where Anasigma is just being run by Mel as a pet project*

Shaenon Garrity (shaenongarrity) says:

And on an unrelated note, I just realized that cellphones have gotten so small you don't need to draw them anymore.

In Finder, people hold their fingers up to their ears in the universal gesture for "phone," and the implants in their heads do the rest.
D. Connolly (theogrin) says:

Shaenon: And then you have Bluetooth headsets, which are close to invisible, and becoming far more ubiquitous in modern times.  In 1983, portable phones (particularly the Motorola 'brick') were the size of your head and cost $4,000.  Oh, how far we've come...

...and how old I feel.

A. R. (arrghus) says:

Ok, so Mr. Green calls Doctor Lee by her first name in spite of being her superior, savagely attacks the people who inconveniences her, and tries to give her things.


Green and miss Lee, sitting in a tree...

Brian Petery (ugwump) says:

I'm bothered that my off-hand comment on Saturday was accurate.  if people wonder why I'm so random, it's because I only hit when I'm not aiming.

joe dreyfuss (jdreyfuss) says:

...No but one did have a particularly impressive mustache.

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "96 Tears", ? and The Mysterians)

Now Doctor Lee ... can't believe ... what she's seen now!
She gets a call ... from that strange ... Mr. Green now!
He says don't worry ... about Security!
They've been consigned ... to obscurity!
And Mr. Green's ... not calming her fears,
He asks if she wants ... noses or ears!

Virginia knows ... noses and ears,
Virginia knows ... noses and ears,
She says no, no no no!
She says no, no no no!
She wants no ... noses or ears!

Prodigal (snakebitcat) says:

A Math Olympics shirt? Dr Lee just gets more adorkable every time she shows up...

Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:

She seems more like a Academic Decathlon girl. 1990 USAD Finals in LA for me.

Tyler Wright (tylgar) says:

I think Dr. Lee almost has to be a pre-mad scientist they're trying to keep happy, under the theory that she'd do far more damage when cracking and be less useful otherwise.  Not sure if they're not using Helen's formula, or if Helen is charging too much to administer it- hey, she's mad, not stupid.


Otherwise, yeah, A-Sig isn't the best at resource management.  "Employees are are greatest asset and, like most assets, they decline in value over time."

Prodigal (snakebitcat) says:

@Andrew: Her shirt says "Math Olympics 1988". Just sayin'.

Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

@Prodigal & Andrew: Oooohhh!  Nerd fight!

Owl Who says South (owlsayssouth) says:

"evil" is such a loaded word. They are just doing what they must because they can! for the good of all of us...

Lady Asphodel (ladyasphodel) says:


I had the same thought independently while reading this strip. I think there's something about her hair in panels 2 and 4 that looks Mell-ish.

Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:

@Prodigal: I know it says "Math Olympics 1980", but if you're like most nerds I know, they try to get into all of the nerd sports: brain bowl (or quiz bowl), USAD, math olympics, chemistry olympics, debate, etc. I figure she was well-rounded enough to be in more than one. Good thing video games killed all of those nerd rages for the kids of today.

@Kay: More like school reunion nerd fight.

Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

@Andrew: I am not without nerd cred.  In high school, I was: 1) in the AV Club; 2) on my school's team for the h.s. version of College Bowl (our topic was JRR Tolkien, no less); and 3) dateless except for three turn-about dances (yeah, I'm old).

Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:

My school didn't have an AV Club. Actually, I'm not sure what an AV club is. My school also had a politically incorrect mascot (Indian "Savage"), no valedictorian or salutatorian, and only won a state golf title.

I really don't want to go high school reunions and "relive" how bad my high school was.

Norman Thallheimer (normanrt) says:

@arrghus:  Superiors addressing inferiors by their given names while the inferiors address their superiors with honorific and family name is fairly common in such diverse cultures as contemporary United States of America and the Peoples' Navy of twentieth-century (ante diaspora) Peoples' Republic of Haven.  It may mean that the superior wants to be seen as friendly, it may be that the superior wants to remind the inferior that they can treat the inferior with what would be undue familiarity the other way 'round, or it may be meant to engender comaradery against their mutual superiors farther up the chain...

Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

@Norman: Stop the nerd fight—we have a winner!

Joyce Melton (halfelven) says:

But she still has her thumbs!

Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

@Joyce: And she doesn't yet have 20/20/20/20 vision.

Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:

Yes, Virginia, there are pistachios.

*Runs away*

Mary Potts (queenofcapes) says:

Well, nuts.

A. R. (arrghus) says:

...And Green continues to be creepily forward.

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE:  "I Want You To Want Me", Cheap Trick)

I want you, Virginia!
Your smarts for the win, yeah!
I'm testing what's in ya!
Oh, I want you, Virginia!

     I'm testing your loyalty,
     Make sure you serve just me,
     Tellin' you, Doctor Lee,
     That I really want you!

          Isn't that, isn't that, isn't that using walnuts?
          Security, you'll see, he'll be takin' the fall, putz!
          None o' those pistachios 'cause no one knows that we're all nuts!
          Isn't that, isn't that, isn't that using walnuts?

I want you, Virginia ...
I want you, Virginia ...
I want you, Virginia ...

So It Begins (soitbegins) says: DUN DUN DUNNNNNN....
David Harmon (mental_mouse) says: Continuing the cell-phone point: The advent of Bluetooth headsets made it much harder to tell the street crazies apart from everyone else.
Brian Petery (ugwump) says:

I can see her thinking: "But I don't want to be loyal.  I wanna be a mad scientist."

Prodigal (snakebitcat) says:

@Andrew: All I had to go on when I wrote my comment was what was in the comic.

llearch n'n'daCorna (llearch) says:

I do have to wonder what she was doing at the 1988 olympic games, and if she was involved in any of the disruptions...

Andrew Cole (andy4hire) says:

@Joyce and Kay: My thoughts exactly. Well, that and "What is a Danny Thomas?"

Rob (rrreed) says: Hmmm… There's an International Mathematical Olympiad, but they didn't appear to have a logo in 1988. But assuming that the Math Olympics is similar in the contestants being pre-collegiates (high school age), that puts Dr. Lee's current age around 39 years, give or take a couple of years.

That, or she picked up the shirt second-hand somewhere.
Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:

Oh, Nick. You always know what to say.

Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

Drats!  I've lost the link for the filename story.  Would one of you be so kind as to post it again?  Many thanks.

James Rice (jhrice) says:

There are at least two pages for the file name story.  This one seems to update just about every day.  A quick search for "Tip wore white..." one Google turns them up easily. 


Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

James, you are ever my hero!

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

(TUNE: "Father Figure", George Michael)

Got off the phone with
Anasigma, that enigma ...
Back to Nick!
I'm here alone with
Wine and snacks to watch an action
Cable flick!
It's "Punisher Warzone",
On my TV ...
Got av-er-age scores on

O-oh, yea-ah ...
Watch him now, you fruiting father,
Spinning on the ceiling fan!
Getting you all hot 'n' bothered,
Can't get better?  Yes it can!
With your frothy wine and popcorn,
Watch the muffler punching fight!
Still, there's nothing that can top porn
On a Tuesday night ...

Michael Kimmitt (punditusmaximus) says: Ok, that was seriously adorable.
vicka corey (drbrain) says:

i know she's supposed to be sane, but really, what scientist doesn't love their creations?

Glen Ten-Eyck (justglen) says:

drbrain:  SANE?  Sure she loves her creations but just look at what who they are!  Nick and Unity.  Never forget that she is the one who said 'it's so much fun schlepping out their brains!'  Remember, Nick didn't even know that she did it to him.  YOU could be next!  Assuming that it hasn't already happened . . .

vicka corey (drbrain) says:

@glen relax.  i consider her a colleague ;)

Rob (rrreed) says: Do mad scientists really have colleagues? Or do they just have rivals that they are not currently engaged in combat with?
Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

My comment gets delayed until it can be approved, but cheapugg bootsbuy gets through?  WTF?

Ysabet Just Ysabet (theysabet) says:


Rachel Blackman (rainpacket) says:


Sam Ashley (evilmidnightlurker) says:


So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Looks like someone's trying to get ahead.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "A Horse With No Name", America)

In the of-fi-ces of Skin Horse,
We say welcome, how d'you do?
See, the filker who's brass, well, he's run outta gas,
So you're left with just us two!
A bioweapon zombie who is perky and cute,
And a 'copter who can't quite swear ...
So don't give us trap, put your head in your lap,
And just park your boat in that chair!

Y'see, we're
Here in the office with a pair with no head,
And I think that they're somewhat undead!
So relax now, kindly don't make a fuss,
And don't lose your (no, no, it's too ob-vi-ous!)
Lol lol loooool lolololol, lolol lol, loooool lol ...

joe dreyfuss (jdreyfuss) says:

Am I the only one who thought of Richard Nixon's head in a jar and the headless body of Spiro Agnew from Futurama?

Grant McCormick (grantcmccormick) says:

Actually, I was thinking more of Durarara‼.

Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:

@So: Bad Pun! No biscuit!

JP Chabot (speedball) says:

Reject Unities, maybe?

Tom Powell (top1950) says:

Is that Remy??  And is he missing some of his body???

vicka corey (drbrain) says:

unity has a head!

Tyler Wright (tylgar) says:

No, Joe, I thought of headless Agnew as well right away, heh. 


That does look rather like Remy, though, with a haircut... and a torso cut.

Rob (rrreed) says:

"Around the first turn
Stooge Hand is still in front
Cabbage is second by a head
Cabbage by a head
Beautiful Linda is third
and... Beetlebomb"
Rob (rrreed) says: Do you realize that of all the characters in today's strip, only the offline wind-up automaton of mass destruction has his head screwed on tight?
Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

"Just so's you know, y'all are the second least hot lesbians ever."  Screaming with laughter!  Screaming!

Also, why is Unity just standing there mutely?  These are her peeps after all (if not her lunch and/or spare parts).

Jared Anderson (the_shrike) says:

I think Gavotte has (wisely) got Unity to do the smiling face, and Nick to do the talking (and not killing the visitors).

Jared Anderson (the_shrike) says:

Um. Sorry. That should have been 'Re-killing'.

Shaenon Garrity (shaenongarrity) says:

When your staff is down to Nick and Unity, there's no good choice for the talking job.
Charles Lavergne (yun) says:

I didn't realize the head and the body were different people. >.<

Jake Alley (googleshng) says:

Safe to assume this storyline is going to end with Nick seducing them both at the same time to reaffirm his masculinity?

Jared Anderson (the_shrike) says:

I seem to recall he lost that when they put his brain in a jar....

James Kehl (shykta) says:

Wait, *second* least? Who does Nick rate as *least* attractive lesbian couple?

@the_shrike: He's still Nick. I wouldn't put it past him to offer them a 'honeymoon' in his cockpit...

(Oh, and I don't think either of them is Tip's type...)

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "I Wanna Dance With Somebody", Whitney Houston)

That truck ... blew up, sky high,
And I thought that I was dead!
Her figure caught my eye,
And her hands, they caught my head!
She's more than just my carrier,
She's my love, I want to marry her!
So let us unite
In conjugal rites ...

     I wanna marry this body!
     To make my life complete with this body!
     I wanna be with this body!
     With this body that loves me ....
     I wanna marry this body!
     To rent a bridal suite with this hottie!
     I wanna be with this body!
     With this body that loves me!

I know that we're a sight to stare at,
Walking through the town ...
People may wonder, "What's up with that,
And just what is going down?"
Let's make it clear that our position,
Is supported by oral tradition!
Through thin and through thick,
Our problems we'll lick!
     (repeat CHORUS)

David Harmon (mental_mouse) says: I take it these two now qualify as "sentient non-humans"... Skin Horse seems to deal with a lot of zombie variations!
Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: James, Don Adams pretty conclusively demonstrated that the second most extreme example of anything is always funnier.
Tiff Hudson (tiff_hudson) says:

Yeah, saying "second worst" fires the listener's imagination. I have no idea about their actual orientations, but the first thing I thought of was Bella Abzug and Madeleine Albright.


Adam Underfoot (unnatural20) says: Rosi O'Donnel and Janet Reno.
joe dreyfuss (jdreyfuss) says:

Eleanor Roosevelt and Ayn Rand?

Grant McCormick (grantcmccormick) says:

"I see dead people."

Some days, around Skin Horse, it's nothing but!

Joyce Melton (halfelven) says:

"Killed this way", how Gagaesque. :)

Brian Petery (ugwump) says:

Huh.  My imagination has failed me; I seem safe from the Least Hottest contest.

Anyone need my emergency stash of brain bleach?

(idv) says:

So does Unity have earbuds in, and the latest track from "BLUEBERRY WAFFLES" on auto-repeat, or has she just been promised a candy factory and sammichs if she behaves?

Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:

At least they aren't getting a driver's license at the DMV, I mean at Skin Horse.

Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:

I'm not I'm ready for our Robotic Notary Overlords to verify everything. It actually sounds creepier than if they ruled over the whole darn world.

Jared Anderson (the_shrike) says:

In terms of creepiness, global robotic verification of everything comes significantly below Unity smiling for 2 minutes straight without a single face movement...

Rob (rrreed) says: I have to wonder if that really is Unity. What's to keep her from building a decoy out of her spare parts?
Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:


Joyce called it yesterday:
tune: "Born this way," Paul Blair, Fernando Garibay, Stefani Germanotta & Jeppe Breum Laursen (Lady Gaga, Born This Way, 2011)

I've met the woman I'll always love
She holds the key to my heart
We're queer, cross-ethnic and, thanks to that truck,
Even death did not us part
New York says we can marry: get us hitched
'Cause we need your help to make a stand
(Just hold my head up, dear, and scratch my itch
I'm like putty in your hands)

Her head is gone, that's okay
I'll do the talking today
It's not our fault now, buddy,
We were killed this way
Sure, I'm no more than a head
But I've the right to be wed
It's not our fault now, buddy,
We were killed this way

We're the penultimate dykes
On the list of dykes you like
Dude, who asked you, anyway?
So you don't think that we're hot
We don't care, you little snot
'Cause we belong together
We were killed this way

Don't need a head to get ahead
Don't need a head to get ahead
Don't need a head to get ahead

We were killed this way hey!
We were killed this way hey!
It's not our fault now, buddy,
We were killed this way hey!
We were killed this way hey!
We were killed this way hey!
It's not our fault now, buddy,
We were killed this way hey!

Mark SHANKS (drhistory) says:

Coming soon to theaters near you:

"A Clockwork Notary"

"Stamp it my little droogies"

Brian Petery (ugwump) says:

Did they tell Unity to play dead? ;)

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Bridal Chorus" from Lohengrin, Richard Wagner)
(aka "Here Comes The Bride")

We want to wed
Though I'm a head!
New York allows it, so help us, you Fed!
Our love, combined,
Can't be declined!
We'll be united, in body and mind!

Unity's silent, there's not a squeak!
Creeping me out, man, I'm gonna freak!

Lady, don't frown!
Notary's down!
Just go to some local bank branch in town!
They'll need to see
Photo ID ...
Head shot for partner could be
Problematic, see?

Adam Underfoot (unnatural20) says:

rrreed: in the short term? Nothing. In the long term, well, decomposition gets in the way. If it's inanimate, anyway, and what's the point of an animate duplicate of Unity.
Mason Kramer (masonlk) says:

Did you seriously just ask that, Adam? In a forum frequented by mad scientists?

Kirk Journy (uncle_squirrely) says:

Since he is a windup, does that make Moustachio a rotary notary, Doc?

Andrew Kunz (ampersand888) says:

Wow. Just wow. I think Kirk just won today's comedy challenge, beating Ed by, well, just a head.

Joyce Melton (halfelven) says:

Maybe it's too obvious, but why doesn't Unity just sew head to body? It really does seem too simple of a solution, doesn't it?

But look at Unity's expression in panel four, she's either trying hard not to laugh out loud from the joy of having thought of the above solution or she's just getting tired of smiling. :)

vicka corey (drbrain) says: um, the feds don't recognize that kind of union anyway, at least not over in this here universe....
M. Alan Thomas II (crazydreamer) says:

@Joyce: I've been assuming that's where this is going. :)

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