Skip to content

The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Bonus Comic One—Page 20

185 Comments on The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Bonus Comic One—Page 20


I want to thank you all for the kind and enthusiastic reception you gave the creator of Buying Time in the comments section of his comic. The enthusiasm of your response of course says a lot about the quality of that comic (and I’m glad to see you liked it too!), but I think the insightful and warm content you wrote really says something about the community we built here. I hope you don’t get sick of me saying how proud I am to have such a wonderful, thoughtful readership on this site. But I am. Because y’all are awesome.

Oh, and speaking of awesome…


Our forty-fourth bonus page in a row! And you yet again tipped us past the target on the donation bar below. That means that, thanks to your generous donations, in addition to our regular Saturday updates, and bonus pages on Wednesday, May 21st (page 22), Wednesday, May 28th (page 25!), Wednesday, June 4th (page 27!), Wednesday, June 11th, Wednesday, June 18th, and Wednesday, June 25th, there will now also be an additional bonus page on Wednesday, July 2nd! You all RULE THE WORLD!

Special thanks go out to long-time supporter Saxon B. (who makes their seventy-eighth generous donation to The Young Protectors!) for their generous donations over the last few days!

Big hugs go out to new friend of The Young Protectors Roger M. for their super-generous $25 donation!

And finally, ZOMG!, very, very warm hugs and very deep, grateful bows go out to long-time mega-friend Christopher D. for their stunningly generous $100 donation, their sixty-ninth stunningly generous donation to this comic! Thank you so much, Christopher! You really are the wind underneath our wings!

Thank you all so much for your generous support!

So! Spooky thinks he’s a monster. We got to see a few more of the folks he met in Hell. And it seems like Amanda was telling the truth that she doesn’t get scared easily. Is Spooky’s current state the irreversible result of a boy losing his flip-flops? Or will Amanda be able to get through to him?

Tune in this Saturday to find out! Hope to see you there! 🙂

If you particularly enjoy any of these pages and use Facebook, please click the Like button on that page. It’s useful to know what’s working and it helps me get the word out!
  • stickfigurefairytales

    But what happened to the flip flops?!

    • Dang typos. 😀 Congrats

      • stickfigurefairytales

        Thank you!

    • Jakk Anthony Guzman

      Congrats! 🙂

      • stickfigurefairytales

        Thank you!

  • ACK! Scary Spooky IS Scary

  • See? See the demons in me?

  • Sapfo


  • stickfigurefairytales

    Slippers clearly aren’t any more suitable to dangling above the ground in than flip flops.

    • stickfigurefairytales

      *And* he spilled the rest of the cola.

      • That’s just wrong. Soda down Soda down!

      • purplefoxglove

        I’m beginning to think no food is safe when Alex is writing the story. Remember the poor spring rolls?

        • stickfigurefairytales

          Those poor spring rolls!!

        • RIP.

  • Chibi

    aww poor spooky

  • jreed3842

    Ahh! This is a NICE page!

  • I think I see Laampros… son? cousin? uncle? Bearded lady relative?

    • stickfigurefairytales

      His grandma, maybe?

      • Klaus

        In Danish folklore Fandens oldemor (the Devil’s great-grandmother) is a recurring character. I have never heard that he has any other relatives.

  • Sapfo

    Oh Alex, your page note make it feel like you are “big brother”. You raised us well. You are what’s makes us great 🙂

    • That’s very sweet. Thank you, Sapfo! (Although I suspect y’all were awesome long before I came along.)

  • SofiaT

    Sooo… Do Spooky’s powers have a demonic origin? Did he get them while on Hell?
    Because if that’s the case, I could see how the poor boy thinks he’s a monster now too.

    And why he can understand so well how Kyle feels after finding out who his father is.

  • Toli Bera

    Sometimes you just gotta let it all out y’know?

    • …..Was “Let it Go” supposed to pop into my head when you said that?

      Because it sooo did….

  • I need to hug that boy.

    That said, how AWESOME is Amanda. Girl got some skillz.

    • b3nc0

      Yes, she’s skilled, but do you think dangerous Spooky was actually bending his power burst to protect the NUTBUFF™ provideress?

      • I don’t know how in control he was. I hope he was trying to control the burst, just offer a taste, but who’s to say.

  • In which Spooky lives up to his name…

  • Chibi

    hey guys heres a great comic that is having a kickstarter

    just mentioning it again …. since i did on the other page .. and there is only 10 day left ^-^

    ah WOOHOO NEW PAGE … wants to hug spooky

  • Wait, is Spooky like a sin eater, but instead of sin he absorbs demons, or at least their essence?

    • stickfigurefairytales

      That’s an intriguing notion.

    • b3nc0

      Like literally (what’s left) inside him D°=

  • petros0359

    That boy really needs footwear that doesn’t fall off.

  • Mary Klemzak

    I blame the junk food.

    Ok maybe not.

    Hope she’s still not scared. She must’ve known though, if she can really read minds.

    • Sugar can make demons of us.

      • purplefoxglove

        I thought it was the lack thereof.

  • Saxon_Brenton

    Yup. That looks like self-recrimination to me. Also looks like the sort of thing that adult!Spooky was referring to when he told Kyle about not buying into bullshit assumptions about your fate.
    Amanda, the boy needs hugs, now! Physical or metaphorical as you think best, on your own mark.

    • Emiko

      Agreed! I think Kyle could benefit from reading this Spooky/Commander comic :3

  • Saxon_Brenton

    It just occurred to me that since it seems highly likely that others are monitoring the situation for security reasons (as we discussed a age or so ago) then this is the point where we see of Col.Charleyboy has the supreme confidence in Amanda to handle the situation, meaning she holds the others back from rushing into the interview room with guns drawn.

    • Klaus

      They don’t need to monitor. The sond of that table hitting the floor would get their attention anyway.

    • Cydney Sabin

      I was just wondering that myself. At the very least, I expect them to come barging in on the next page or two. But that’s just me.

      • b3nc0

        It would be kinda late now that the menace is sitting on the floor and the green lighted whirlwind has stopped.

  • Madock345

    Woah is right. Spooky is terrifying. And then terrifyingly huggable.

    Also, Amanda gets points for bravery, but I think she might lose some Wisdom points for thinking that karate is an appropriate counter to hellborn sorcery.

    • b3nc0

      Karate might still prove usefull to fend off flying chairs!

  • Jeffrey McLaurin

    I can’t wait to get by book! I want to start reading from the beginning and smell the pages!

    I love the art on this page. The demons look fantastic!

    • Thank you, Jeffrey! I’m really glad that this story will be included in the printed book too. I can’t wait to get my own copy. 😉

      • Librarican

        Will there be print copies of the book with this story available to non-kickstarter backers? I have never participated in a Kickstarter campaign and don’t buy stuff online, but I might have to find a way to purchase this one.

        • Absolutely. Once the Kickstarter backers get their copies, I’ll make the The Young Protectors Volume One book available for sale to the general public in my store. Just like I did with Artifice. 🙂

  • Holy crap!! I’m watching this page on a 47 inch TV screen. The details are pretty damn awesome – and everyone here is watching me write this xD

    I want to say a lot about this page, but I don’t have time to do so. Love the page though, and I can’t wit to see what response Amanda will give Spooky ti his little ‘show’.
    Spooky is pretty amazing, even when he’s freaking out. Amanda doesn’t get spooked, she react!

    Amazing job Adam and Veronica. I can tell you it’s even more impressive when the page is 40 inches wide 🙂

    • Sapfo

      That sounds great. (Make note. Must do the same)
      Btw I missed you during virginhunting -_-

    • On a 47-inch TV? That’s awesome. I can’t wait to hear what your friends think of all this. 😀

      Really glad you liked the new page! 🙂

      • Yes, the computer was hooked up to the hotel TV screen so we could watch movies, and I was like ‘I really have to go look at the new page on this’. It is truly awesome, I might have to see if I can get something like that to work at home xD

        My friends like comics. Most of them I met through Teahouse, and it grew to friends of theirs too 🙂
        They liked the details on the page.

  • Klaus

    He already knows that Amanda can see what is inside him. I hope that helps in convincing him that he is not a monster. Maybe she will have to settle for “not all monster” for a start.

  • Oh, Spooky.

    Amanda’s got some work to do convincing Spooky that thinking he’s a monster because of all that is precisely what makes him *not* a monster. :-/

  • Oh oh oh. He’s using the small fonted voice again at the end. You’re killing me here, Alex. Someone needs to tell him he’s not a monster.

    You’re not a monster, Spooky!

    • Danny

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who was impacted by the small font…

  • Jason Arilani

    The “Buying Time” comic was amazing. Now I have another comic that I enjoy following! I also stayed up way later than I should have reading through all that was posted >>

    Meanwhile… Can someone teach Spooky how to keep track of his shoes? They fell off again.

  • Whoa! Danish is right! I almost jumped out of my chair when I clicked on the link. My computer monitor/TV is only 42 inches but I’m still getting a big impact.

    I like the red around the “You Don’t Know!”

    And Sapfon is right, Amanda stays completely in control, ready to deal with the situation. I wonder how long it took Spooky to learn how to manage and embrace his powers? I’m thinking Amanda helped him along with that…and grew as a person and superhero too. Well, both of them did but how many other people were helped and made stronger by the two of them working together? People they rescued. The people who look up to them. And the team itself.

  • Nate

    Yeah, Spooklet needs cuddles. Get in line behind me. 🙂

  • TwilightDreamer

    whoa! :O that was scary….I commend Amanda, she held herself well whilst still being prepared to defend herself. Oh man, Spooky…You’re not bad, or evil, or a monster….:(

  • fujoshifanatic

    Well. If anything qualifies as a valid source of teenaged angst, I guess that would be it. :- That poor child. He certainly knows where Kyle is coming from. He’s literally been there himself, in every sense of the phrase. That makes the hug he gave him in the last chapter all the more poignant. Amanda is a very brave person indeed. It’s one thing to be able to see the good in a person. It’s another thing entirely to have faith that that good will rise up in the person, even through the depths of their despair, before they drown in the darkness. Now that he’s been able to vent some of his pent-up pain and fear over his ordeal, hopefully Amanda can begin the work of mending the cracked pieces of his heart and soul. Ideally that process can start with a nice hug, because I think he really, really needs one right now–especially since the candy and the soda didn’t seem to work, and you must really be in a bad place when candy and soda don’t work. :-

    • b3nc0

      Maybe not a full hug yet (as he will say to Kyle he wish someone have done the same to him) or something like that pray excuse any misrecall but she will sit next to him, take his hand or shoulder (ں’з’)っ(╯¬╰”)

  • Librarican

    Anyone else notice Spooky stubbed his toe with the landing? What’s that saying, the devil’s in the details?

    Also, next bonus page earned means a year of non-stop bonus pages!

    • HermeticallySealed

      I don’t think that was a “stubbed toe,” so much as a visual “touching down.”

    • Wow, is that really true? That’s awesome! 🙂

      • Librarican

        Last time I checked, 52 weeks in a year. 🙂 unless you are going by the Mayan calendar.

        • Laampros has me working off of a different calendar, actually, but I have a spreadsheet that can convert to Gregorian. And you’re right!

          Very cool! Thanks for doing the math on that! 😀

  • bronakopdin

    yeah Alex, you may be right… loosing the flip flops was just too traumatic to poor Spooky, no chance those slippers could make up for it, he even exploded emotionally like this just to get rid of THEM


    ok, enough trolling… I guess we all cannot even imagine the sheer number of mosters Spooky had to deal with over that year in hell… no wonder he’s lost in such delusion, thinking he’s one of them by now…

    THANK GOD we already know he’d overcome this or else I’d be SO MUCH MORE worried than I already am… seeing him like this makes me feel so bad and master my hugging ability!

    And Amanda is simply amazing! Not only is she not scared in the slightest, she totally keeps her cool and prepared for possible defense (or at least she seems to ^^) still just observing the situation and not immediately attack Spooky or sth! If not before now is the time that everyone can see her quality and absolute potential to be Commander 😀

    great page! All around!
    And again some Kudos to all three of you Alex, Adam and Vero for your creativeness when it comes to Monsters 🙂
    all those sharp teeth… but then I guess a vegetarian would be a laughing stock xD

    • Thank you, bronakopdin! Adam and Vero put some extra love into the monsters of this bonus comic and I’ve been enjoying them myself! I’m really glad you liked the update! 🙂

  • purplefoxglove

    Oh, no, Spooky, if you were a monster, you’d have simply killed Amanda to prove your point. And you would not have put up with the the detectives, either. Monsters don’t have a conscience.

    On a side note, what’s up with Alex and footwear? Kyle and his socks, Spooky and his shoes…although the socks tend to cling to Kyle when they shouldn’t, and the shoes fall off of Spooky when they should stay on.

  • Pikinanou

    Woah! Now thats a reaction! I like how Amanda takes a defensive pose, ready to take on whatever may come at her.
    And I have such a good idea for a fan-comic :3 I hope I’ll have time to draw it

  • What a fantastic special and unique page.

    To combine the emotional intensity that Spooky displays with the very sophisticated reaction of Amanda, all with the awesome physicality of flipping tables and hurling chairs and then the absolute emotional pain of Spooky, contrasting with Amanda’s cool professionalism and clearly deep sympathy… well to have all that work so well together is, for me, a real triumph.

    With the physical world whirling around them, it’s so easy to have the emotional focus get lost in ‘business’ and that never happens here. We know where to look and we know, without thinking about it, what the physical room is doing. That’s so much harder to achieve than one might think.

    Spooky’s anguish, when floating and surrounded by what he thinks is within him (and that’s pretty horrible for a 13-14 year old, let alone an adult), is palpable and the main focus of a VERY busy shot. So well composed.

    Between that and the two end panels of Spooky collapsing and declaring that monsters are all that’s left of him, well the oddest thing happened…

    Some spec of dust or bug blew into both my eyes and they watered up…

    If I wasn’t such a robust stalwart example of masculinity, you’d think I was ‘tearing’ up. Well, anyway, needless to say it was unusual. Also the geek-boy in me loved Spooky’s explosion. This page really speaks to the 14 year-old me. Angst and magic powers. Geektastic! Beautifully done.

    I have to agree with @bronakopdin:disqus… it helped so much that, while reading this, it was after getting to know grown-up Spooky and knowing him ‘healed (healing?)’. If we hadn’t, I’m sure more dust might have accidentally flown in my eyes.

    Amanda continues to be our poster child for the coolest person you’d really like to know in real-life.

    How you three managed to keep her looking prepared and ready to deal with this completely impossible situation and yet, at the same time, really showing her deep sympathy for Spooky… well, that’s just very impressive. Those are opposing and subtle emotions to have over-laying each other on a face in still images. In film, a great actor’s face can flicker through multiple emotions in nano-seconds. I “felt” that multiplicity with Amanda here. Shock, prep, preparing for the worst, sympathy, concern and readiness to help… all together.

    So well done. What a wonderful character.

    The real point is whatever you plan to have Amanda do next… i.e… whip out more chocolate… go for that hug we’ve all been pestering for… or handing Spooks some flip-flops to calm him down. I think you’ve really set her up as an excellent human who’s prepared to work to help make things right for him.

    Adam and Veronica have made her so appealing that even if I were an upset Spooky (who is confused about his sexuality and thinks he’s straight), I’d take that Amanda hug. She is both very attractive… in khaki’s… k-h-a-k-i-s (I’ll leave that there)… and she generates that feeling of honest heart-felt concern that we can all hope for in that kind of extremis.

    @alexwoolfson:disqus is @purplefoxglove:disqus correct? Do you have a footwear “thing” we should know about? Don’t worry, we love you and we don’t judge, its okay. Just be yourself. (flip-flops… who knew?) 🙂

    This is a very special page and I agree with @fujoshifanatic:disqus It made me go back and re-read the whole adult-Spooky exchange with Kyle and made that moment even deeper and more meaningful. Honestly, in that sense that just as the terrible things that happen to us can be passed on to cause further sorrow… sometimes those events CAN make us stronger and better, if we get help (so that the monsters don’t win), then we may get to can pass that strength on to others when they need it most.

    I know we have miles to go. Duncan’s a beastie. We haven’t even seen Sircea in full swing and Laampros is out there with GFE just waiting to wreak havoc. But I’m seeing the forging of a pretty formidable sword already in Kyle, Spooky and Amanda. As the others come on line more clearly for us… I’m sure it will become even more dangerous. Very exciting. Well it’s almost enough to make you feel sorry for Duncan.


    Thanks you all for this wonderful page. It’s definitely one that wants to be thrown up on a BIG screen, hi-def of course, and savored. Hard work and it shows… very grateful here… Now, please excuse me while I go find some eyedrops and a tissue. LOL.

    • Sapfo

      You! The man with the words.
      Good word Chris!

    • Thank you again for another wonderful reaction and analysis, Chris! This was a page I was really looking forward to showing you all and reading a response like this just puts a big smile on my face. 🙂

      Making sure that we communicate clearly what our characters are feeling is very important to us, especially in action scenes where that can get lost in the spectacle. And you’ve done a great job of summing up what’s going on with both Spooky and Amanda here.

      Yep, there’s a lot more ahead with Duncan, Sircea and Laampros, but there is indeed a very formidable sword being formed from the bonds between these heroes. And sometimes adversity not only makes us stronger but also can help us understand and help those we love. 🙂

      P.S. Oh, and, uh, no, no special “footwear” thing. In my defense, the fact Spooky is wearing slippers now is a direct result of him wearing flip-flops back in the day… 😉

      • I haven’t laughed so hard at a YouTube in ages. Perfect! Thanks!

    • That dust is lethal Mr. Dangerfield.

      • It was the oddest thing I tell you. I know we men aren’t supposed to admit weakness, but I seem to have sensitive eyes… go figure… who knew? (*snort*)

        • Can’t fight dust.

          • The Admiral is wise… and actually Frank Herbert said the same thing about the spice…

          • petros0359

            As long as it is not bull dust…
            … Now fairy dust on the other hand has *special* powers.

          • Ha, that’s true. Don’t forget star dust, lots of power there too. 🙂

    • Danny

      Thank you for summarizing my reaction to this page so eloquently when I have neither the time nor the energy (at the moment) to do so adequately.

  • Cydney Sabin

    We all have demons inside us. I guess Spooky just fits the bill more literally than most…

  • fallenangel1891

    My poor, poor spooky! We all have demons inside us, what matters is that we fight them and don’t let them consume us…

  • Emiko

    I love that we’ve seen how far Spooky’s come since this page. He knows how to control his powers and lets them be an asset to him, rather than simply a burden. Great fuckin’ life lesson there.

  • Finzz

    Those demons deffffinitely look inspired from the ones in the game Doom. Cool effects too!

    • Jac

      Oh man, that’s what I thought, too. Love it.

  • b3nc0

    Now that‘s what I call table-flipping ˉں’ (hand-free too‼)

  • Sanbai

    Hey, Amanda knows karate-do!

  • Ikaru Sentinal-K’Valshar

    I love how mostly-calm Amanda is. I think poor Spooky needs a hug, but will that help matters or worsen them? He at least needs to be told he isn’t a monster. 🙁

  • Ilona Fenton

    Just had a small windfall and decided to make good use of it and donate ti here 😀 Keep up the marvelous work with your comic and I’ll keep coming back for more 😀

    • Aw, thank you so much, Ilona! I really appreciate the support and the kind words! So awesome to have you as a reader here! 🙂

      (And congrats on the windfall!)

  • Howdy Justin! Welcome!

    I’m very flattered you think that all the characters could have their own standalone stories. While you’re right we won’t be able to work on much of that simultaneously, I do have plans for side stories and additional comics that focus on the other characters. And while the Engaging the Enemy arc is Kyle’s story, if there is interest in future arc of The Young Protectors when this arc is finished, I will focus on one or more of the other characters for the new arc.

    (Oh, and sorry for the confusion about the Bonus Comic. While it does all tie together, it wasn’t my original intention to show this comic at this point. If you’re wondering why I had to shift focus temporarily, take a look at the “big announcement” under this page: )

    Thank you for taking the time to comment, Justin! 🙂

    • Randy Patton

      The characters and story are well-constructed. You have an audience for them, why not pursue the characters, or do a handoff to another team to keep it going while you edit? To me, it’s as good as anything mainstream that I’ve seen lately.

    • b3nc0

      There you go again: “if there is interest”…

  • Heather Kallinger


  • Derkins

    I love spooky, but all I can think right now is “what a cool super power”

    • Derkins

      Ok, second thoughts: This self rejection, and pushing away the people who are trying to help him, ties in very closely with kyle’s experience. it’s no wonder spooky was able to give him such perfect and relatable advice after his own awful visit to Hell. They both sort of came back as demons, in one form or another.

      • Wayne Lunkwitz

        Not exactly, Kyle’s powers were already established before his meeting with Demon Daddy. This is the first scene where Spook shows anything of his powers.

        • Derkins

          Of course it’s not the exact same circumstances, but there are a lot of ties between the two.

  • Ellen Harman

    The comic Buying Time is good. But the attached ad for Demon of the Underground is also good. And the book at the top looks good as well. If anyone is interested.

    • Ellen Harman

      I was playing with links and I found another good story. It’s called Spindrift. Give it a try as well.

    • S+

      DotU is Wonderful! The only comic I know where the audience sat around for two years without an update, and waited patiently. Well, not patiently; with a lot of concern for the disappeared creator. But she is now BACK YEE HAH and everybody is happy. It, along with Young Protectors, is one of very few yaoi or gay themed comics I can abide. Enjoy.

  • Wayne Lunkwitz

    So now we know how he managed to get that ugly head……scary!

  • Heh

    Im already seeing the team idea being formed in amada’s head on the next panels. Can’t wait to see it happening.

  • Superjenny

    It’s okay, Spooky! We still love you!

  • NB!
    Oki, I need to get a hold of Elrohir from here, so I hope you see this and reply since I can only check comment like once a day.

    (If he doesn’t reply to this and anyone sees him comment, please tell him I’m looking for him)

    To Elrohir:
    I’m sadly in the situation that I can’t access my normal email while I’m in US >.<
    I forgot to turn off the security for my mail, so it's not letting me access from an American server.
    Because of that I can't see your mail reply to me about the hotel room, but I have another email address that isn't closed that you can write me on. When you reply to this, I'll post it in a reply.

    • Elrohir

      @DanishWolf:disqus Sorry for the delay in responding. Strangely, I’m just back from a business trip to NYC. I was wondering why you hadn’t replied to my e-mail. Glad to know you are ok. Everything is set the way you asked. There was no problem making the change. I am assuming that you don’t have my e-mail with you on your trip. So, just drop a note at and as soon as I see a response I’ll forward you details and take my e-mail down from here. 🙂
      I sincerely hope the trip and wedding are going great! All the best!

      • Yay! I checked in just the right time after we got home from a trip. You can remove the email. I’m writing you a mail right now 🙂

        • Elrohir

          Glad it’s all set. I sent everything to you. Enjoy the wedding!!

  • MadameMarch

    You’re not a monster you adorable creature!

    • Beatrix Muircastle

      *gets out the the YP been to hell and back care package* candy bars, ben and jerry’s and funny ass movies… if he needs something stronger I can throw in some hugs.

  • Are you up to reviewing any other webcomics?

    • Heh. It’s amazing that I had time to look at BT. It was kind of a sneak attack. I’m so swamped, I often don’t even have time to keep up with the webcomics of my friends (which I very much want to do). I only meant to look at the first few pages of BT (which is something I often will do when a new gay webcomic crosses my radar), but then I got hooked and next thing I knew, I had stayed up until 4:00 A.M. reading it. O_O It says a lot about the exceptional excellence of Casey’s work.

      That was lightning in a bottle and not likely to re-occur anytime soon. But if it does, you can be sure I’ll mention it here. 😉

  • Marko

    Some people get std’s he got demonic powers, hard bargain to beat .-.

    …too soon?

    • I don’t know. Lose your flip-flops and go barefoot in hell and sh*t is bound to happen. Alex knows this.

      • Marko

        On the bright side, he got badass demonic powers AND he didn’t have to call the next day .-.

      • Marko

        On the bright side, he got badass demonic powers AND he didn’t have to call the next day .-.

  • Shinashi

    Oh, my. you’re not a monster. And even if you are, you’re a good one! :c

    • …..why is it that this comment immediately made me hear that segment from “He’s a Tramp” …..If he’s a tramp, he’s a good one,

      And I wish that I could travel his way

  • inubasket

    (Finally made an account woo!) To be honest I was pretty upset at first that the normal comic was taking a break to post this bonus one, but now that I’m reading it, I like it just as much. In fact, it’s given me a greater appreciation for the characters!

    Was Amanda really about to face Spooky and those huge monsters… with her fists? Haha

    • Howdy inubasket!

      Welcome to the Comments Section!

      And I think you’re not alone about having concerns about switching to the Bonus Comic. This is one of the most frequent comments I’m seeing, that people avoiding reading the Bonus Comic but once they decided to give it a chance, decided that they liked it after all.

      I can understand the hesitation—as I stated in my notes, it wasn’t my intention to post this up at this point in the story. And it’ll be removed once all the Kickstarter backers get their books. But I’m glad you were willing to give it a chance and I really appreciate you letting me know that you’re enjoying it! 🙂

  • Pamela Cunningham

    I’ve been wondering if spooky was Ducan and the Platinum priestess’s first experiment into the Nether realms . But things went wrong and they couldn’t use him and left him there .

    • SofiaT

      I’ve been wondering if The Priestess is a demon (or half-demon).
      Ever since we found out that demons tried to mess with Spooky’s head with love and sex, it’s been twirling in my mind. After all, not all demons will look like something from Alien, there have to be some good looking ones too.

    • Pamela Cunningham

      Sofia T we might both be right I certainly wouldn’t be surprised . Considering that’s the same method they used on Kyle

  • Rashel Izro

    Shit man…

  • SugarPlumFairy

    Whenever I see “THIS IS A BONUS PAGE!” I always hear the Zelda fanfare for finding a really good item 😀 I know this has nothing to do with anything, but I thought you’d like to know anyway 😛

    • Librarican

      I tried to come up with that tune, and all my memory bank is finding is the end of the level song for Mario, when he brings down the flag and fireworks go off outside the castle.

  • Lindsey Amethyst Hampton

    I love Amanda’s poses in the second and third panels, you can tell she’s been trained to fight, and is reflexively falling back on what she knows.

    • SofiaT

      When I saw her stance in those panels, I thought of Hillary Swank on that sequel of Karate Kid -the scene where a car almost hits her and she instinctively goes into a crouching tiger position. Muscle memory.

  • Adam Irving

    What a great spread! As odd as it sounds, I’m a fan of the color green, and I love what was done in that top pane of Spooky accessing his powers a bit. What a great story, and what great art. You found some great artists to realize your story, Alex. Way to go!

    • I know, right? I feel tremendously lucky to be able to work with Adam and Vero. 🙂

  • Caffienated

    I think I’m the only one who is upset about the soda’s death. =(

    • You are not alone. 🙂 The poor poor soda.

      • Saxon_Brenton

        First it was all the worry for the spring rolls, now all the worry for the soda.

        • Well I would be worried for the candy bars, but it’s easy to see those were eaten up.

          I suppose I should be worried for the slippers. Those poor abused slippers.

    • stickfigurefairytales

      I already expressed my dismay for its loss.

      • Caffienated

        Aw you did? I didn’t see it 🙁

        • stickfigurefairytales

          No, that’s cool. You were caught up in your own grief. 🙂

  • davefragments

    And in the little room behind the one-way mirror several detectives are having a collective brown-out and will require the services of a dry cleaner.
    Suddenly a 14 year old kid with no clothing and a severed demon’s head in his hand isn’t so innocent or so helpless as he seems. . .

    But this, if you look back, is Spooky’s third “I’m rotten and ruined” fit. Amanda parried the first with candy, paired the second with telepathy, and now, Spooky has revealed his powers and tried to chase her away by moving furniture and images of hellishly sweet companions.
    How will Amanda Commander gain Spooky’s trust after this outburst? And what did a pudgy, cake-eating 13 y/o do that was so bad to send him to a Hell dimension? Will we ever find out?
    Spooky has survived by lies and deceit in the hell dimension will he ever trust again?
    And what did spooky say to Kyle in the last frame of Chapter 3?
    Wasn’t it: “Heroes don’t let monsters win!”

    • Saxon_Brenton

      Spooky has survived by lies and deceit in the hell dimension. Will he ever trust again? That’s a good question, actually. In the context of adult!Spooky’s comments about demons messing with his head, having Amanda carefully lure him partway out of his shell and then violate his privacy was inevitably going to get a negative reaction. The fact that Amanda is doing so for Spooky’s benefit, while the demons were motivated by malice, probably wouldn’t make much of a difference to someone who’s hurting as badly as he is right now. That will make for a complicated healing process of having to incrementally gain trust in order to heal to gain more trust.
      I also briefly pondered on the idea of whether Spooky has ever been tricked by demons who made him think he was back on Earth (in order to lull him into a false sense of security), and whether or not Spooky had ever figured out a way of telling the difference, and hence whether he was in this scene making rapid attempts to figure out whether the current events were ‘real’. But that doesn’t fit with the way he slumps in despair in the last panel: if he even suspected that this was another demon trick he’d still be on the defensive, and possibly on the offensive by trying to take Amanda’s head off as well. (Whether he’d succeed is an entirely separate question, of course.)

      • davefragments

        This chapter is Spooky’s origin story. At least as much as Alex is wiling to reveal of it.
        I suspect Spooky has another blow up in him. There’s more to Amanda and her Mother than meets the eye right now. (and I by eye I don’t mean George) . . .
        Like Carnak the Magnificent I foresee another two page spread and I suspect it’s when Amanda and Spooky share a “situation” . . .

        Now all I need is an Ed with a fast quip and a rimshot.

    • Saxon_Brenton

      And in the little room behind the one-way mirror several detectives are having a collective brown-out and will require the services of a dry cleaner. Also kind of depends on how much the knowledge of superhuman powers (including literal demonic manifestations) is something that’s sunk into law enforcements collective consciousness as a real threat that needs to be prepared against. As in: it’s the difference between the cops realising on a conscious and visceral level that Spooky’s return means there really is a hell dimension with dangerous things *OUT THERE*, and the cops realising that Spooky’s return means that there’s a dangerous thing *IN HERE*.
      The comments by Annihilaor at the start of chapter 2 about reading comic as a child “long before you and I made them real” (if taken literally) suggests that superhumans have only been publicly active for two or three decades. (Or maybe publicly active in their current form, but that seems unlikley if this setting has had superhero comics since the early 20th century, like in real life.) As an exercise in fictional world-building, that raises interesting questions about how much impact superhuman shenanigans have had on their society

      • davefragments

        I was having fun with the attitude of the detectives and the “collective brown out” but I went back and read all of the bonus chapter and not one time do those detectives mention paranormal or superpowers.

    • b3nc0

      The detec-team must have already been aware of something as they knew he was spooky! well _ they didn’t know he was Spooky but

  • Mihael Keehl

    dramatic table flip

  • So, just a heads up: I’m thinking about posting wicked early tonight…

    • SofiaT

      *Sofia leaves the vacuum cleaner resting in the middle of the living room and sits comfortably on the couch with the netbook on her lap*

      …What? It’s a legit excuse to stop cleaning!

      • LOL. Well, I want to give folks a few minutes to camp, so I’m going to try to wait an hour or so. 😉

        But it will be early.

        • SofiaT

          I’ll pretend I didn’t just read that. 😉

        • b3nc0

          NOOOOOOO, I’m still reading the comments ;°)

          • OK. I’ll hold off until late then. 🙂

          • b3nc0

            Erm, thanks but I’m actually a whole page comments late, so the hour thingie & the wicked early are fine by me…

  • jreed3842

    Good thing I stopped by earlier than usual! I better start camping right now! *pulls out the s’mores supplies*

  • b3nc0

    See, I am camping warm chocolate, homemade biscuits, cushion & quilt! I’m even sorting two weeks of sunset pics…

  • SofiaT

    Question to the bakers amongst you: anyone has used rice or barley malt syrup instead of sugar when baking a cake?

    • I haven’t used it baking cakes, but I have used brown rice syrup. It might be like using honey?

      • SofiaT

        Ah, thanks for this!
        I’m baking a cake this afternoon for a friend’s birthday, but she’s following the “I quit sugar” diet. Found an appropriate recipe but it called for xylitol -and I don’t like the effects xylitol has on the body so I got rice syrup instead.
        But I have no idea how much to use and if I should add more dry ingerdients to make up for it being a liquid. I’ll check out the links you sent!

        • Hopefully it helps. And fingers crossed. The rice syrup, at least the brown rice syrup, has a more nutty flavor, but it was very subtle.

          • SofiaT

            It’s an orange cake with almond meal so nutty should be fine 🙂

          • Sounds yum!

    • b3nc0

      thanks, was lost in my pics stash…

  • Well, like I said—it’s the central conceit of the story, so you just have to buy it. The creator actually does have an answer for that question which he has discussed in his comments a few times (essentially, that the charges happened so gradually that they just got accepted.) But am I at all convinced that it would happen in real life? No. My own belief is that no matter how complacent the public becomes, basic economics is that you will only pay someone if you believe that you are compensating them for something of value that only they can provide at that price (or, alternatively, they threaten to hurt you and have the power to hurt you if you don’t pay [think mafia protection rackets and government fines]—more on that theory in a moment.)

    We pay the phone company for connection time because they are providing us with a service which they won’t be motivated to provide unless they get money. We pay for in-game digital goods because we want them and their creators won’t be motivated to create them unless they are paid. How a business was able to claim that they were somehow providing you with a service when you just want to hug someone is indeed something that’s hard to swallow. What possible argument could a corporation make that it was any of their business who you touched in the first place?

    So, the basic economic rationale of paying a corporation for basic offline human interactions like we pay for Internet connection time doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. I don’t think people would stand for it, not for one minute, no matter how complacent.

    Of course, there’s more to the setup: this is a post-apocalyptic world and people can actually be arrested for not keeping up with their DLC payments. Maybe the “corporation providing a service” metaphor is really just a smoke-screen for a totalitarian government that wants to keep people working excessively long hours by making all leisure activities “expensive behavior.” DLC is just a useful accounting method to maintain that control. Perhaps the populace was willing to accept this draconian system because deep down they are aware that humanity couldn’t survive without the vast majority of people working crushingly long hours performing tedious tasks. In this scenario, “Swain Corp” isn’t just one of many corporations in a free-market economy, rather it is in fact the government itself and, as such, sets all the laws and provides all government services. It wouldn’t be a stretch to believe this, this is a “cyberpunk” story, after all. And, in my mind, that’s how I justify what’s going on.

    What we’re talking about her is a suspension of disbelief thing. And, by my lights, while I would enjoy nerdgassing with the creator over whether his stated origin of this economy makes sense—or whether it makes sense that it’s government workers that get the best housing instead of the rich—I’m not going to ding him for something that’s a central conceit of his story and that he does such a fantastic job of exploiting in a realistic way. Yes, the initial rules as stated seem implausible—but the world he creates based on those rules is very well done, makes sense and manages to actually be an interesting metaphor for our own world where personal wealth has a huge impact on what kind of social interactions we get to have and how often we get to have them.

    And, I believe, that’s the point: when he discusses the origin of DLC, he often references the frustration he felt with the rise of in-game micro-payments and how folks now just accept them. On many levels, I think Buying Time is intended as a satire and, as such, I believe actually deserves extra “suspension of disbelief” credits.

    As someone creating a comic where it is strongly implied that fire blasts out of a character’s wee-wee when he has an orgasm, I’m more than willing to suspend my disbelief for another creator so long as that creator is clear about what the rules are from the beginning and plays by those rules throughout their story. With BT, I think Casey holds up his end of that bargain very, very well.

    Yes, it’s hard to believe the central conceit of BT would ever happen in “real life.” But I think in the case of BT, it’s especially worth suspending my disbelief about this one point because it’s such a well-told story that’s a ton of fun—and that the conceit itself, if you’re able to just roll with it, gives us lots of interesting food for thought about how we live our own lives in, yes, the real world.

    Buying this one conceit is the price of admission to enjoying this story and, in this particular case, I’m happy to pay those credits for such a worthwhile exchange of value. 🙂

    • someonelse

      This seems like an odd place to finally unlurk and post a comment here, but I just have to congratulate you on a) an incredibly insightful, balanced, and well-thought-through post – which is something I have come to know and love you, and indeed many of your fans here, for – and b) for the phrase “a comic where it is strongly implied that fire blasts out of a character’s wee-wee when he has an orgasm” which made me explode with laughter in a silent room.

      I have to suspend my disbelief that someone could really have your wit, your creativity, and your generosity with both. 🙂

      • You’re a sweetheart for saying all that, someonelse. I had actually been thinking about this very issue since I’d read BT and, like any fanboy, was happy to have an opportunity to share my thoughts about it. I’m glad you found what I said well-thought-out. 🙂

        (And I’m also happy to hear I got a laugh in the real work for the little bit of AlexHumor I slipped in there. Seeing as we’re talking about suspension of disbelief, I couldn’t resist.)

        Very glad you decided to unlurk!

    • Librarican

      I haven’t read Buying Time yet (due to incompatibility with my iPad), so I will admit ignorance about the specifics of the strip, but based on Alex’s description I don’t think that sort of reality is so far fetched. Think about what we pay for currently. We spend money on services and goods, yes, but those services don’t aren’t always a skilled trade like plumbing or car repair. For instance, we pay for online dating, where it is access to subscribers like ourselves. There is speed dating where we pay someone to essentially set us up on multiple blind date opportunities. We pay for escorts. And while I realize those examples are all sexual in nature, there was a news report recently on a service called Rent a Gent, where women can pay for a platonic companion. And when we were looking at nursing home options for a relative, several of them had companion services to keep your loved one company, the less expensive ones with no medical training besides calling for help for the person

  • vessto

    I’m sad for Spooky!!! He’s so damaged because he feels guilty for something he is not.

  • gngcm

    spooky’s origin story is so lame…

  • Wow, she was ready to take him on if necessary