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The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Chapter Two—Page 41

962 Comments on The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Chapter Two—Page 41

Wait — I thought Kyle wasn’t supposed to be able to speak. Doesn’t the writer read his own comic? I think this “Word of God” guy needs to read his own freaking Universe Bible, am I right?! (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

Ahem…

In other news, I’ve added a bunch of refrigerator magnets to my Store. Please check them out and let me know what you think. 🙂

And I’ve been working with designer Paul Sizer on the The Young Protectors Volume One book and and trading cards and, as it turns out, his wife is independent comics creator, Jane Irwin of Vögelein fame. Well, she’s just launched a Kickstarter project for her latest graphic novel, Clockwork Game. You should definitely check out that Kickstarter and you can read the whole thing for free here.

Oh and

***THIS IS A BONUS PAGE!***

The fifteenth bonus page in a row! And look below! We’re already at $65 towards the next bonus page!

Special thanks go out to long-time supporter Federica G. (who makes their eighth generous donation to The Young Protectors!) and a warm welcome and grateful bow go out to new supporter Debie B. for their generous donations over the last few days!

Big hugs go out to long-time friends of The Young Protectors Perrine S., and Marc B. for their super-generous $25 donations! And this makes Perrine’s thirteenth and Marc’s sixteenth super-generous donations to this comic! Thank you so much, Perrine and Marc! You rock!

Thank you all so much for your generous support!

So! Seems like Laampros likes the colorful metaphors just as much as the colorful similes. And while he and The Annihilator test the outer limits of their egos, it seems like our hero Kyle has a little something he wants to say himself. Will Kyle share some colorful metaphors of his own? And will The Annihilator ever be able to put down that heavy looking crystal ball?

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!
  • Anni is walking a dangerous path here.. That right Kyle. Tell him!

    • Holly

      DAMN IT DW! JUST … *wanders off to wander the tundra alone*

      • Sapfo

        I can hug you Holly!

        • Holly

          We have already covered that i don’t trust you right now after your demands of my surrender.

          • Sapfo

            Not even for cookies…WHAT! I have to bribe you to comfort you?

          • Holly

            No I don’t need to be bribed. I just know if you hug me you will capture me. O_O

          • Sapfo

            Well more cookies for me. Nomnomnom!

          • Holly

            Whatever, AJ will gave me muffins. And not try to capture me!

          • Sapfo

            I did not get the virgin, then I do not get the Holly. Your Danish for some days now ^_^

          • Holly

            ,,,, *sighs* fine now i feel bad. *sits next to Sapfo*

          • Sapfo

            HUGS FOR ALL! ^o^

      • Aww.. *hugs* Getting a double was just too good 🙂

        • Holly

          That’s right! You already got a Virgin Tonight! You are GREEDY. XP

        • Sapfo

          You want a hug to?

    • Sapfo

      How will I handle this? Lover did tell me about a trip to Japan, maybe that will cheer me up…..

  • Holly

    DID I GET IT!

    • Holly

      nope

      • Holly

        But I am one step closer than I was on Saturday. So maybe by this Saturday. *evil grin*

  • Sapfo

    NO! GO KYLE GO!!!

  • Jakk Anthony Guzman

    He can finally speak!!!

  • Holly

    OH KYLE CAN SPEAK?! Well Saturday shall be fun.

    Okay let’s see. Is he demanding an arm in exchange as well, or just tell Duncan to shake?!

    Also, I LOVE Laampros. He hates Duncan so much. He hates this worthless insect of a creature thinking he can make deals. This stupid creature that understands nothing of how the universe works. But yeah, Ducan’s got a good deal, so fine…whatever.

  • I can only imagine the strength Kyle is showing here – to fight the chains and to speak. Damn he’s raging.

    The hero is starting to show he’s full capacity.

    • Jakk Anthony Guzman

      Let’s see if soon he can do more than just speak, though it may be enough to derail Duncan’s attempt at a bargain.

    • Sapfo

      Totally worth reusing!

    • That is a lovely emoticon sequence. Very cool. 🙂

  • Holly

    ┬─┬ノ( º _ ºノ) Oh Alex, you should make messes. I cleaned up for you. ^_^

  • Sapfo

    Strong beautiful Kyle! Show them what you got. You are no toy!

  • Adam Black

    Really great art.

    and 2 surprises!
    I was neither expecting Laampros to accept so easily, or sleepy to get up from his nap.

    I wonder if Kyle might be the most powerful person here?

    • Holly

      Kyle was not napping. He was muted. Muted and VERY much awake Adam!

      • Adam Black

        Big Os make a guy very sleepy anyways.

        This one could have been near coma inducing.

        ( Maybe the chains are just a glamor. )

        He probably doesnt remember that, as he burned down the house last time.

        Maybe he just needs an espresso, and Duncans spell is Kablamo.

        But he is pretty chatty for the mute,

        Something In him is waking up.

        • And then there is the wine at the betrayal diner. So it could be both an orgasm AND food coma!

          • Adam Black

            And….. the Roofie in the wine wore off.

            Duncan should factored in the higher metabolism with all that fire.

          • Holly

            A roofie really?!

          • Did Kyle keep track of his glass the entire time? Has anyone warned him about this. What part of naive victim have I not melted down about. Holly, he’s a babe in the woods. One good roofie and he’d be on your couch in a NY minute calling you Susan and or crying/snoring. 🙂

          • Holly

            See this is why I don’t let people bring me drinks or anything. I keep all my drinks in sight and i get them form the bartender directly.

          • Okay in spite of your graceful name, I think we can cross out you as a naive stunningly beautiful gay boy on his first nervous visit to a gay bar.

            (looks about slyly)

            And now we know a little more about the REALLLLL Holly. Bwaaaaahahahahahaha…

          • Holly

            You seem so amused by the fact that I keep track of my whiskey and pornstars. O_o

          • Sorry, I missed the pornstar bit… do tell. 😀

          • Adam Black

            which pornstars?

          • Steven K.

            I’d rather it were on MY couch – my couch, my shoulder, my arms, my ….well, just about anything.

          • This is between you and Holly now. LOL.

          • Adam Black

            he did express surprise for how strong it was.

          • Adam Black

            If he’d give an underage kid wine, and dope him with magic, why wouldnt he roofie the wine to keep Kyle from speaking ?

            The magical spell is a drug metaphor anyways.
            It is all equally immoral.

  • *doing the cabbage patch* Go Kyle, it’s your birthday…. er oops. Right. Um…

    Go Kyle! You tell him what for!

    • Holly

      It IS his birthday!

    • I forget all about his birthday …

      • Holly

        Well you better get him a present before he gets out of hell. XP

      • And some birthday too.

    • SofiaT

      I wonder how time moves in that realm… Imagine going back to earth only to learn that 10 years have passed… or 10 seconds.

      • As long as Kyle forgets nothing, I’m fine. if he forgets? And the liar and falsifier gets out another bottle of Montrachet 1978… then I’m having a hissy fit!

        • SofiaT

          No, I don’t want him forgetting anything either.

          I don’t think it would happen, it would be counter-productive for the story.

          • Oh I agree… but that’s being smart and practical and that’s such a rare state for me… so I’m going with, “What you said.” LOL

      • Holly

        I was just thinking that. Like a year has passed or something. OOO maybe 3 or 5 years.

        And Fly boy is legal. *rawr*

        • You are so practical. I like the way you think…

          *Note to Alex, if we go the a future where Flyboy is legal than you gotta make that ‘special’ card too. 🙂 Just sayin’

          • Steven K.

            Totally yes to that.

      • I’m betting seconds. But 10 years… That would be screwed up. Everyone would have thought him dead and there he is still 18. Fascinating.

  • SofiaT

    YES! The spell is weakening! …Or is that “NO! Play dead Kyle”?

    I can’t decide.

    • Jakk Anthony Guzman

      I don’t think that Laampros is going to cross over to “use and devour” billions of souls. Kyle will most likely be the monkey wrench in Duncan’s plans.

  • KrisYWC

    I WANT ALL OF THE MAGNETS!!!

  • Holly

    I love Laampy’s expression in the last panel. He’s just “What the… ?! *brow arch*” Adam is an amazing artist to get such a precise expression like that.

  • SofiaT

    I’m wondering if the spell is indeed weakening because of the time that’s passed -like Cindrella’s coatch turning back into a pumpkin- or if Kyle got so pissed off at the idea of Laampros getting earth that he managed to break through it.

    I like the latter more. Time for Kickass-Kyle, yay!

    • It could be a bit of both, but yeah I’m thinking the latter myself.

    • Jakk Anthony Guzman

      It could be a combination of both.

    • Please!

    • Adam Black

      NO, If Kyle is anything like the fandom, finding out from a Demon that that Duncan spurned him for Sircea , has induced a Bottom’s “Hell hath no fury…..”

      We are in hell…..

      ‘You are trading Earth for *her* !’

      • True. “Pushy Bottom” is such a pallid phrase for a bottom spurned. Poor poor Duncan. It shant be pleasant for either him nor for Sircea either. Turning people into pigs won’t help her when Kyle’s makin’ bacon!

  • Kyle’s gonna tear apart them chains, I think, and DO SOME SERIOUS ASS KICKING! He’s gonna show those two insects (one small and blue-eyed, one large and red) who’s the boss and his roaring is gonna be so loud that George will be quaking in his eye socket!!!

    You go, Kyle!!!!!

    I hope.

    • Holly

      ….I don’t want Kyle to scare George. George might blink. That is not how I want to win my staring contest.

      • It’s not always about you Holly… sometimes it’s about saving the world. Understood? 🙂

        • Holly

          I never said I didn’t want Kyle to save the world. I just don’t want him to frighten George. It’s not even about my Chris it’s about George and….
          Did you change your icon?!

          • LOL… now you notice?

            Well it seemed appropriate and I have neither Sapfo’s fresh berries nor her lovely bosom so it’s the best I can do. 😀

          • Steven K.

            You would have had to “gone to hell” quite a ways to make your old icon inappropriate any more. And you’d HAVE to, cuz even a certain distance from that would still be quite appealing.

          • Kind words, friend. Thank you.

      • Ah right. No blinking for George. In fact, George will be so unfazed by it all because of everything he’s “seen” in his eyeball life, that he’ll just keeping staring…always staring.

        • Holly

          HOORAY! *George Stares at us. I stare at him. We all stare together. Always*

          • Adam Black

            youll get your plushie

      • Adam Black

        Maybe George will help Kyle, and then we can ship them

        • Holly

          GREAT BALLS OF FIRE!

          NO WAIT!
          REDEYE!!!!! I have named the ship!

  • Well I think this is a huge wrench in the Duncanator’s plan if the look on his face is anything to go by.

    • Jakk Anthony Guzman

      I thought the same thing. Things just got more complicated.

      • A lot more complicated. I wonder if we’re going to see them have go on the run in a demon realm. Or if suddenly they will poof back into their own realm.

        • Jakk Anthony Guzman

          That’s very interesting. IF Kyle is growing stronger and/or the spell is weakening, he could break free of it. Duncan still has the key, but Kyle could destroy that too if he breaks free…well have to wait and see. 🙂

          • Well if they suddenly poof back to their own realm, Duncan isn’t going to be very happy. That could get a little even more complicated.

          • What if Laampros quickly snatches that key from a distracted Duncan, just as the spell snaps off and the two end up back in the bedroom… I personally would really enjoy watching Duncan throw THAT tantrum. |:?

          • Holly

            Well Duncan doesn’t HAVE To activate the key on our side though. OOO unless PP gets a message from Laampros telling her she can have it all alone if she just opens the gate!

          • No but he would have lost his bargaining chip.

          • Holly

            Who?!

          • Duncan. Wouldn’t he have, if he lost one of the keys?

          • Holly

            No I’m saying. If LAAMPROS stole the key, LAAMPROS would still need the person with the other key to unlock the gate. So what is LAAMPROS contacted Platinum Priestess somehow how and offered HER AND ONLY HER, what duncan was bargaining for.

            So PP gets what she wants, Laampy gets what he wants, and Ducan gets nothing!

            Get it?!

          • Laampros: BRING ME THE PHONE OF BLOOD AND PAIN… get me Plats on the phone… oh and make that a collect call.

          • Holly

            How much would a collect call on the phone of blood and pain be?!

          • Oh at least five bags of plasma, A-positive, and a good couple of jabs with a cattle prod. Maybe more considering it’s Lammpy initiating the call.

          • Adam Black

            Use the CPI, man. its a thing ( see above )

          • Oh definitely. Much better. The next time a nurse says to me (sorry Sapfo), “On a scale of 1-10…” I’m just going to yell… CPI!!!” LOL.

          • Adam Black

            doesnt matter.
            Sooner or later, youll break an arm, get a tooth pulled or get wacked inthe junk,
            and measuring it in terms of Felt TIME/event will make total sense.

            Youll be yelling : ‘its 15 mins, i need morphine, ‘
            &I should get a nobel

          • I have yelled some pretty spectacular things in times of duress. I think the IV injection is more to shut me the F up than anything else… but I DO NOT complain.

          • Adam Black

            NO, “15 mins” **IS** the CPI,
            means you feel your pain is equal to a punch in the junk 15 mins ago

            and when you need it, it will be there for you

            standard pain scale is nearly useless

          • Got it. Can I still have the Nobel?

          • Adam Black

            You better hold on to that bell,
            the nurses can’t hold your hand all night, and you were right, that whimper doesnt even register as a complaint.

          • Adam Black

            a couple gallons, and 1 second C.P.I.* for a few hours

            CPI is an alternate logarithmic pain scale developed a rather handsome yet obscure native of the Mass commonwealth to better articulate the the psychological nature of comparing pain, while taking into account, that pain has, many , many flavors, none that can be said to greater or lesser than each other.
            ( the main fault of the classic 1 thru 10 scale )

            The CPI instead describes sense of pain instead, by comparing it to TIME descended from a theoretical Ground Zero Total Pain/multiple flavored event that has since degraded. so One hour is still Very, Very, Bad.

            Anything under 8 hours is a good reason to not get on someone nerves—or else.

            24 hours is bad, but liveable.

            CPI stands for Crotch ( or Cock ) Punch Index.

            This is a real thing and extremely useful for comparing pain, which medical professionals often ask people to do.

          • Right, sorry. Just saw the first part.

          • Holly

            That’s okay ^^

          • She’d get those tentacles out in a heartbeat for that big red hunk of lust! (See how I assume the worst? Not really fair, but sooooo fun.)

          • That would be an epic tantrum. But then again, Kyle could be seriously go super saiyan on him and well that would be interesting.

          • Fact!

    • Saxon_Brenton

      Mmm-hmm, I think so too. I zoomed in on the picture to the extent that pixelation started to get the better of the details, and I agree that while Laampros has a ‘What is this nonsense?’ face, Anni has an ‘Oh crap!’ expression. (I had briefly considered the possibility that Anni may have had a plan to destroy Laampros by pretending to make a deal with Laampros so as to goad Kyle into just tearing the demon apart and killing him perma-dead, but Anni’s lack of villain-face argues against it.)

      Poor Anni. He seems to lack the genre savy to realise that superheroes are perennially making awesome efforts of willpower to overcome the limitations placed on them. Now for Saturday, to see if Kyle has the wherewithal to put that outrage to practical effect.

      • I’m sure hoping so. Of course I’m also a bit fearful to hope. This is only ch 2.

        • You are wise Admiral… Alex could have a lot of heart stomping left in him… best to keep a wary eye out and man the lookout! This overly emotional gay-readers battlements are not YET down!! 🙂

          • Who’s manning the crow’s-nest!? Someone keep eye out for yonder twist(s)ers

          • Aye aye… I see a dark and stormy sky ahead and I fear WEAR SAILING STRAIGHT INTO IT!!!!!!

          • My worry is that this surge will dissipate on the next page. Bad me. Bad me.

            Seriously Kyle, it’s time to go Super Saiyan 3

          • You had to say it. I worry also. You know this is why people watch Teletubbies… perpetual happy endings and NO stress.

          • I feel I should whack you with a newspaper for bringing up the teletubbies. This is why people watch the Muppets. There I fixed it. 🙂

          • Steven K.

            Not THAT kind of happy endings, though who knows to what secret effects or purposes they use those implements on their heads amongst themselves in private.

          • Need a muffin?

          • As a floatation device in case of high seas?

          • Nope, comfort food. *was he insulting my muffins?*

          • NEVER!!!

          • YAY! 😀

            But here is a flotation device *tosses ring about Chris, hoping he doesn’t notice the SS Minnow painted on it*

          • Crafty (in both senses).

  • jreed3842

    I’ve discovered something tonight… Update days are not good for my sleep schedule. I attempted to go to bed tonight… but I just stayed awake. So I turned my computer back on and just waited until the the new page was added…. Now I can finally go back to bed. Night, everyone!

    • SofiaT

      G’nite!

    • Sleep well. 🙂

    • ‘nite!

    • Night!

    • Thank goodness (shifty lying eyes) I would never ever do such a foolish thing. 🙂 Sleep well.

      • Sapfo

        I believe in you Chris.

        • Thank yew Sapfo. It’s most important to TRUST and let yourself go completely…

          (Chris fumbles about looking for the card where PP wrote down all the really hard to pronounce words to the spell.)

          • Sapfo

            Do this mean that you will trust me with the Key ^-^
            Oh thankyouthankyouthankyou!

            Just got back my masters from my teacher, just some corrections and then I can will turn it in for real. I am really scared and stressed about it. The time is so short.

          • Feverfew_M

            Ha! Have done that in April. I’ve only now halfway recovered from that time. 😛

            And as far as I have witnessed with fellow students, almost everyone is stressed out to the verge of nervous breakdown during master’s.
            Wish you all the best! I’m sure it’s gonna go fab in the end! 🙂

          • Sapfo

            I think the worst was when our examiner emailed us Monday and said she needed it a day earlier. THAT IS ONE DAY JUST GONE! And we could really have used one more day.

          • Feverfew_M

            Now that’s just criminal! D:

          • Sapfo

            IKR! When I read it… My brain just froze up, and that’s when the real panic began!
            But after running around in circles like a headless chicken, I realized that it was not making the situation better.

          • True. But it’s never stopped me. LOL.

          • Feverfew_M

            Ditto! 😀

          • Sapfo

            Now is the question: Why am I here commenting instead of doing the last on the master? Damn it I am a masochist or an adrenalin junkie. o.O

          • Feverfew_M

            Tell me about it! The day before my thesis was due, I had to work the night through. Worst caffeine-hangover ever!

          • Sapfo

            I am going to have a handyman in my apartment in 1½.
            Because of me moving to a new place, my old on is a mess. And I do not like when people come home to me and not all is in order.
            It´s not going to be perfect, but it won´t feel like a warzone.

          • Best of luck!! And only a couple of corrections. Seriously that’s good.

          • Sapfo

            We (my writing-partner and I) have a really good mentor, and all the work she puts in to it, drives us to make it better.
            Thank you!

  • Hours

    He speaks!

  • Holly

    It just hit me that this is ONLY chapter two. By GOD, what is Alex planning?!

    • Our nails are going to be WRECKED!

      • SofiaT

        …what nails?? I don’t have any left.

        • Holly

          I float in mid air because I don’t have any edge of the seat left to sit on.

        • Um… we won’t have any hair left?

    • ERP!

      That’s right! We are still at the very beginning of the comic and we’ve already gone to hell!

    • Feverfew_M

      Dunno, maybe let a demon loose on earth? 😀

      • Holly

        See FM that does not sound like it will end well….

        • Feverfew_M

          Hey, our Young Protectors need a challenge…
          And wouldn’t it be fun if Tsunami and Lampy were facing each other? I bet Lampy would be really miffed if Tsunami doused his fiery hairstyle.

    • strangeangel24601

      Artifice crossover?

  • Feverfew_M

    It’s really good to see Kyle going from terrified victim to really pissed off. I don’t think Anni likes this development much, though, as he has tried to divert Lampy’s attention away from Kyle, before. I guess/hope he’s about as afraid for Kyle right now as he is for his bargain. Now, let’s see if Anni underestimated Red Hot’s powers. Would be great if he could break free!
    Oh, and did you know – due to escalating costs in maintenance and numerous complaints by readers of a certain webcomic, Thursdays and Fridays have been taken out of the week. Therefore tomorrow is Saturday! *nods*

    • SofiaT

      Finally! I’ve been lobbying for that to happen for some time now. 😀

      • I would have signed that petition. You need to announce these things! (THUNK) Oh dear, I think Alex, Adam and Veronica just fainted and fell off their chairs.

        • SofiaT

          I did!! TWICE! 😀

          ..How is that clone-research going? If A/A&V collapse from exhaustion, we must have their replacements ready.

  • Sapfo

    I feel very good about this page. I hope Saturday will be even better.
    You all have a good time commenting now. But no funny without me!

    • I’m turning in myself. It’s a minute to midnight here in California. Good night, all.

      • Holly

        Its a minute to four here and you don’t see me *yawn* going to bed.

        • XD
          As you can see I have yet to hit the pillow but I will be taking my exit, shortly.

        • Feverfew_M

          Sometimes I almost feel a bit guilty for sitting here at around 9:00 in the morning, already showered and dressed with a nice cup of coffee…

          Almost. 😉

          • Holly

            Yeah I’m right in the worst spot. People in GMT or +GMT are facing the morning by now.

            And people in -08:00GMT are only at like midnight. But camping isn’t so bad.

          • Woooooow…. Laampy has a special place for the SMUG. Bwwwaaaaahahahahahahahcoughcough

          • Sapfo

            I know what you mean, but just a tiny bit.

      • SofiaT

        o.O

        And it’s 5.59pm of Wed/day where I am.
        Internet has made the world so small, timezones catch me by surprise at times.

    • Holly

      QUICK EVERYONE BUST OUT THE JOKES!!!!

      • Two demon penises walked into a bar…

        • Hung (over) like a horse…

        • Feverfew_M

          I really want to hear the punchline for that one! 😀

        • Angie Penrose

          The longer one says, “Ouch! Dammit!” and rubs its head.

          • LOL.. I’m so happy I just finished drinking my cocoa or that would have been a mess… dripping all over.

          • LOL.

      • Sapfo

        Holly, what have you done? NOOOOOOO!!!

  • silibub

    Duncan’s…arm? Oh hell no, not until it’s clear if Laampros just wants to grasp it in acceptance like some kind of secret demon handshake or pull it out of its socket. Specificity is your friend!

    I love how no one can hate Duncan as much as Laampros hates Duncan. And I wonder if, by working up the strength to interfere, Kyle will be putting his life at risk in the upcoming pages — Duncan said his silence would keep him alive.

    Laampros’s expressions are great on this page — so pissed off, and then kind of disgusted but resigned. And then in the last panel: “The fuck? I have to deal with two of them talking now? Ugh.”

    • Love him.

      • silibub

        He’s growing on me, despite insulting my witch wife!

        • He wasn’t really. That was a jab at Duncan. Let’s see what he says when he and PP are together… unless it’s just going to be a big interspecies grope and love-fest.

          • silibub

            Good point! But he better keep his paws off if he and Sircea end up on the page together. *cracks knuckles*

          • You kick his red ass…!!!! 😀

    • Adam Black

      When did Duncan ever tell the truth?

      • silibub

        *expansive shrug* Not in a while, but given how Duncan’s barely managing to maintain his balance in this conversation, I’m anxious that by speaking too freely Kyle might inadvertently make the situation gnarlier.

        • I’m kinda okay with that at moment… selfishly speaking.

          That Kyle is speaking at all makes my heart glad. Not logical, just fair. (IMHO). 🙂

          But we’ve established that I’m not much of a survivalist. I might go super nova, if I could take all three of us down in one go. No doubt Kyle will be wiser and certainly play a longer game. He has chapters and chapters left to go. 😛

          • silibub

            I’m glad to see him form a coherent word, too! One of the more distressing things about the past few updates has been the knowledge that Kyle is trapped there, forced to listen to all this go down without being able to intervene. But now…! I wonder if he can at least stall them until he and Duncan are forced to return to Earth — apparently they can only stay here for a short time — and put the kibosh on the deal that way.

          • Agree. HOPE. I no longer care if Duncan’s plan is worthy. I’m not an, “End justifies mean.” type of guys.

      • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

        I imagine he’s Obi-Waning it. Everything he said is true from a certain point of view. Thing is, which way is he looking when he speaks?

        • SofiaT

          I always thought he was more ambiguous in his statements than outright lying. Yes, he’s told some lies with a straight face a few times but most of the time he prefers to make comments that can be interpreted in very different ways, depending how you look at them.

          Part of the pleasure of the game maybe?

          • Adam Black

            We don’t even really know if Kyle can be harmed here.

            If if he is killed it might actually be positive, as its just a better change of scenery .

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            Alex already said that Kyle lives to the end and gets his happy ending.

          • Adam Black

            true, but we know afterlives are real.

            dying in hell may not count

          • Steven K.

            I’d love to know what evidence YOU might have that afterlives are real. You mean “real” in the reality frame of the comic, our in our own? I’m still waiting for some personal verification in this world. At least being able to finally astral project would be nice.

          • Hell I’m with you, but I’ll take a little verification of almost anything… Is it chapter 3 yet? LOL.

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            well, hell may not be “hell”. We never did establish what Laampros was– let alone where.

          • Steven K.

            That IS technically true y’all.

          • I’m so torn. That WoG is what allows me to go on reading, given how gays can be treated, but it also gets trotted out as you just did as an argument that the present events are excusable because we know he survives them.

            I’m taking this too personally again aren’t I? 🙂

          • Jamie Dutton

            I don’t think you are, Chris. But then I’m probably having the same feelings you are about this.
            I think Kyle should just leave Anni’s sorry ass in that Hellscape he so desperately wanted to reach! Give Laampuru-kun a cute toy to play with.
            Geez, I didn’t realize I was so vindictive! o.0 I’m scaring myself here.

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            I wasn’t making any kind of argument except that he wasn’t going to die. If you saw an excuse in there, that’s on you.

          • No no… no excuse on your comment at all. It’s all me. You just responded to Adam as you did… accurately. So it just spurred me to express my emotion about the subject. I have to stop wording things certain ways. I just can’t help but think that others including possibly, you, myself and unknown others would react to these hypotheticals differently if we didn’t have the WoG.

            However, you just stated a fact given what is known. I never thought otherwise. Just bad communication on my part. With me, emotion and language are not always logical bed-partners. Apologies. My bad.

            Take care,
            ChrisD

          • SofiaT

            Chris, nobody said “Kyle gets to live, so Duncan is excused”. If you saw a comment like that, please, kindly point it out to me.

          • Not everything must be said in ‘exact words’ for meaning to be implied. The idea that Kyle lives and gets a HEA automatically makes Duncan a lesser villain…

            Fact.

            Also you see how long my posts get. If I have to write everything out long-hand with footnotes so as not to be accosted, we’ll be here forever.

            I’m not trying to trick anyone. Please. Honestly, I’m not treating this as a contest. Nor am I implying someone else’s opinion is wrong. I just stated my own. You may disagree with it, personally, and I’m totally okay with that, but… really truly, smooth thine feathers. Please.

            Respectfully,
            ChrisD

          • SofiaT

            I wrote a pretty long reply to this, but it was an angry one so I deleted it without posting. Lets just say that a comment hasn’t made me that angry in a long time.

            So I’ll take my feathers and leave the scene for the sake of peace.

          • Fair enough. Since we’re being honest, I often feel attacked by you (as by no one else) just for having a different POV. I consistently back off and walk away from a stated POV and apologize for the sake of peace.

            I think you’re smart and interesting and I enjoy your contributions. I only ask for the same freedom for myself. If this is your list and I’ve misunderstood, then I can step back and do something else with my time.

            I agreed not to tease you again, because I see that’s not good, and so I wont. Now I’ll try not to reply either, because this isn’t an HSS Whatever contest to me. I’m not out to ‘win’. I don’t care about that. You can be as ‘right’ as you wish. May the ending to this story be one that vindicates you. Be well SofiaT and we’ll call truce and, hopefully, both be happy.

            Best,
            Chris

          • SofiaT

            I’m sorry you feel this way Chris -I guess there’s been a lot of misunderstanding between us because what you just wrote I feel I could have written myself.

            I don’t care about teams and vindications, only about making my thoughts known without being attacked for them (“how can you possibly like Duncan?” “You don’t care at all about poor Kyle”) and without people assuming that they know better than me what I’m saying because of what they think I’m “implying”.

            Peace out.

          • A kind and fair reply and one I will consider deeply as I word my pain and fears about Kyle. You are certainly not the creator of his woes (neither is Alex… I’m speaking hyperbolically). I never intended you to take my comments as directed to you personally, even when I had a day when I was writing with great emotion and I’m aware that some days it’s more anguished than others. That character empathy we all wrote about.

            So, honest apologies, and I’ll try to do better. Seriously.

            All my best,
            ChrisD

          • SofiaT

            Thanks for your reply, Chris. In turn, I apologise for any comment I may have made that you have perceived as an attack on your beliefs -I can assure you, I never intended it that way. On the opposite, I can understand why people are so angry at Duncan and that makes it harder and harder for me to defend why I like him as a character -I don’t excuse his actions mind you, but I do like him.

            But that’s the problem. I’m tired of having to defend my opinions over and over again, so I think my presence in this comments’ section is about to come to an end. I’ve already participated less in the last couple of weeks than I used to, not because I like this comic any less or because my opinions have changed, but because the fun of analysing things here seems to have been sucked out of it.

            I may pop in now and then to say hi, but my time of analysing is over.

            Nice chatting with you, Chris. Thanks for all the interesting discussions. 🙂

            Regards,
            Sofia

          • You are thoughtful and kind, so at least one more round. Thank you for that reply. I thought the same… have I simply said enough? Should I step back? I only support Alex and I’ll still enjoy the art, so…? What to do?

            The only remaining issue is new pages. Each new page gives us something new to debate and consider. That would be the reason to participate. I still don’t care if any of you agree with me (and trust me that’s not an insult) I haven’t conversed dramaturgically with such a smart group of people in ages. So this HAS been really good fun. So that’s one thought.

            Another thought… I understand feeling tired of defending a position, but why should either of us have to defend anything, unless we wish to. Especially, if it brings no pleasure? Who cares if others don’t get it? Unless it’s fun to debate? This is the classic “failure to communicate.

            What I wrote and meant (in my brain) is not what you read (and perceived in yours). It’s been happening to us constantly. I write something and am shocked at the reply because I never cared in the way you *think* I did. I NEVER thought poorly of you for defending your POV or opinion. I just threw mine on the waters with what wit I could manage. (I’m afraid I’m neither as learned as Sonny or as witty as Adam… it makes it harder).

            When writing prose, I have eight poor suffering friends who pre-read and write me copious notes such as, “why do you hate character X…?) And I’m like WHAT? I don’t hate him. So I go back and re-write over and over again. I think that is similar to much of what happens here. Except it’s a very quick post, read quickly, quite probably misunderstood by either, and in such a way that it slaps a nerve and off to the races we go.

            So stay or go as is happiest for you. If I stay, I’ll strive to make my opinions more clearly about me and…

            Either way, I wish you everything good.

            Sincerely,
            ChrisD

          • If fun has been sucked out of this comment section, that’s on me. And I’ve heard that from a couple folks now.

            I’ve been very busy working on Chapter 3 stuff so I haven’t been much of a presence here for the past four or five pages. But I’ve been paying close attention to what has been going on in the comments section since we all went to Hell and I’m trying to figure out a way to set some useful guidelines that

            1) allow people to express their sincere views, including those that are critical of the comic’s story, critical of the comic’s characters and critical of the comic’s themes as well as allowing people to express and process their own personal feelings about those things that they find troubling in a supportive community

            and

            2) create an environment that is still fun, safe and engaging for those who are looking to share their joy in reading this comic and/or their analysis about what’s really going on without having to feel they must constantly defend those views to others and/or have character judgments made about them.

            Part of the solution seems to be something that both you and Chris have done a good job stating here: that assumptions shouldn’t be made about what other people are thinking or feeling or what their values are. And that even when these judgments or concerns are expressed about commenters in general, it’s hard not to take it personally when those judgments/concerns are placed in a direct reply to another commenter. This seems to be a corollary to my general “Keep it about the “I-statements”, avoid “You” statements guideline.

            But I think there’s likely more to it than that. I want to let you know that I’ve been paying close attention to this. That I want this comment section to feel safe, fun and engaging for you, for Chris and for everyone else. And that keeping this space a fun one is something that is a high priority for me.

          • Thanks for this kind and thoughtful comment. Unfortunately, it is exactly what I hoped to avoid. I’d much rather the author be creating, rather than helping me to express myself safely and appropriately. I’m not unaware of the enjoyment I take by letting good artwork sweep me away emotionally. So I let myself off the leash here a bit and let it flow.

            That said, it is all just communication and this discussion group is truly grand, but still not as much fun as reading the work you create. I, for one, will step back and hush up a bit. I can sense that I sit on one side of a fence and, when too vocal, trouble ensues.

            I also NEVER thought nor wanted Sofia or anyone to feel that they had to defend a POV to me. It was quite a surprise that she felt so and I truly apologize. Her thoughts, Sonny’s, Adam’s, The Admirals, Sapfo’s, Steven’s, Jakk’s and so many more have been a pleasure to read here.

            I’ll ease up and hopefully others can find comfort and enjoy expressing themselves and you, oh author, can hopefully do what you do best and enjoy creating this amazing book. Thank you for the hard work.

            You and your team be most well.

            All my best,
            ChrisD

          • Thank you, Chris. And that’s part of the reason why I’d like to come up with some good guidelines here: because not only do I totally believe you when you say it wasn’t your intention to put folks on the defensive, I also totally hear you that is was a surprise that another commenter felt that way. And that it was the last way you’d want a commenter to feel here.

            From the outside, I can see some of these conflict dynamics as they are happening, but from the “inside”, I think it’s harder to see, particularly when a poster has strong feelings that are being generated by the content and themes of the comic (and when they connect to them on a personal level). And for the record, while I believe the best discussions come when we take time to think carefully about the impact of our words on other folks before we post—so I appreciate your offer to “step back” in so far as it gives you the time to do so—I see this confusion happening with several commenters. So, not only am I not looking to single anyone out, it would be unfair and inaccurate for me to do so.

            You’re right that I am feeling a little underwater right now with all on my plate. And putting time into this does take time away from some writing that I need to tackle and some notes I need to send off to different artists today. But as I said, having a fun and engaging comment section is a priority for me. So, coming up with good guidelines for that would be useful and worth my time.

          • SofiaT

            Thank you for taking the time to comment on this thread, Alex. We’re all (or at least I hope we are, this isn’t exactly a kid-friendly comic) adults here though, and expecting from you to keep us in order is too much.

            I was surprised by myself when I first started commenting on this comic because -while not exactly a wallflower, and generally pretty vocal about my opinions and beliefs in real life- I had never commented in a webcomic before or even felt the need to. I still haven’t, and I follow quite a few. This is the only story that excited me so much, I felt I had to be part of it somehow. The fact that there are no trolls here and all discussions are genuine and interesting (even when we’re just talking about muffins) was a big part of that. I don’t think you should take any of the blame for things getting out of hand sometimes but the generally troll-free environment has everything to do with you and the quality of your work I think, so you should take the praise.

            Like Chris commented earlier, I was also surprised to find out he considered some of my comments to be attacking his opinions because they were never meant that way. I like to challenge opinions, not to dismiss them. And in any case, it’s hard to argue that Duncan has been a real douche in the last few pages and those who hate him have a good reason to. At the same time, I can’t help but get the feeling that daring to say you like Duncan, especially at this dark place the comic is at the moment, makes people think you’re cruel and uncaring at worse or superficial at best -and I like to believe I’m none of these things.

            I guess when your comments start to count in the thousands, it’s inevitable that a few of them will rile people up or will be taken in a different meaning than intended, regardless of how well-meaning they are or how careful you try to be with them. That goes for me, Chris and pretty much every other frequent commenter here.

            But I do feel like at this point I’ve said all I had to say. My general philosophy about this story is that there isn’t just one character that needs to grow and become a better person but two. And I want to see them both achieve that. There are only so many ways you can say that before turning boring. So while I thank you for taking the time to respond, I think for now I’ll just lay back and just read what others have to say -I find sonoftheatomicbiscuithead’s
            (or Sonny, as Chris has nicknamed him) comments particularly insightful and most of them express my own opinions so well that saying anything other that “well said” will be just repeating them. So for now, I’ll just be the lurker that upvotes like crazy me thinks.

            My interest in your story remains as great as ever and I do hope you’ll continue to lose sleep over creating more pages rather than moderating comments and refereeing discussions, especially considering that the crowd here is a very friendly one anyway. 🙂

            I do love your work so please keep doing what you do best. I promise I’ll be here and reading.

            Kind regards,
            Sofia

          • SofiaT, I echo ALL that you eloquently said and plan to do the same regarding withdrawal. Time for me to make some room for others. You are right about comments in the thousands having their own effect.

            I just wanted to close out by saying that my apologies to you were/are most sincere and I truly regret inadvertently being part of causing this uniquely special experience to be less enjoyable for you.

            As you move forward, please know that irrespective of some excitable energy coupled with ham-fisted execution in commenting (something I haven’t done much of) on my part. Well, this reader never intended you (or anyone) less than the best, and very much enjoyed your observations and smart contributions.

            I hope, with some time, this bump will be forgotten in your pleasure in Alex’s work. Just go forward knowing that this American Homo wishes you only the best.

            Sincerely,
            ChrisD

          • Hey Sofia,

            I’m very glad to hear you’re still enjoying the story. 🙂

            And I hear you that the debate over whether Duncan could ever be worthy of redemption/growth/Kyle or merely worthy of pain/derision/pitchforks has been very well-litigated already and that, until there is more information, that there won’t be much new to say. And so maybe moving on from that particular discussion might be a good thing.

            But there will be many other things to speculate on in the future and I very much value your presence here in the comments. While I will completely respect any decision you make about how much you wish to participate, I really do hope to see your presence here continue. It is a pleasure for me. A quite significant one.

            And yep, I’d rather lose sleep over the story and art instead of in moderating comments. But as you said, the crowd here is quite a friendly and positive one. And so when you say that you’ve sometimes been made to feel that “you’re cruel and uncaring at worse or superficial at best” for liking a good villain, that’s something I want to address. I don’t think you’re crazy for feeling that way. Even though I believe it was unintentional on the other commenters’ part, if I were in your shoes, I would probably feel the same way.

            (And for the record, as a gay guy, I also really get why empathy for Kyle’s situation is such an important, heart-rending thing and one that I’d want to make sure other folks felt as well. I’d feel the same way there too. So, at least from my perspective, foiks on both sides of this discussion are having completely understandable and relatable reactions here. )

            So, for me, it feels like the solution it’s about improving the process of the discussion vs. any particular commenter stopping their participation. And that’s not meant to be a platitude—I do think there are some concrete ways we can improve our discussion here about issues we are strongly personally invested in. And that might even involve some kind of “safe word” that lets folks know that they have had enough of debating a particular issue.

            General comments are like replies to me directly—and I do want everyone to know that it’s OK to offer criticisms about the story, etc. and to share how it makes them feel—but direct replies to other commenters are different. Not everyone finds it pleasurable to have to continually justify their points of view and, as I said before, even general comments about state-of-mind/values of other commenters can feel very personal when they are included in a direct reply.

            I see that, as I was typing, Chris just wrote you a direct apology along with well-wishing and this again makes me feel that this is about coming up with good process and that, if we put our heads together, we can come up with a better way of continuing the fun of this comment section, even when discussing very personally difficult themes. (And that part of the solution will be giving folks a clear way to bow out of participating in those discussions.)

            It’s not on you or anyone else to have to come up with the solutions here. But it’s something that’s important to me and I’m working on. And I do hope that I can come up with some solutions that will work for folks here. 🙂

          • Adam Black

            I have really appreciated your presence here and truly enjoyed your company.

            I have also enjoyed the kind words spoken about me by you and Chris.

            Be well. You will be Missed. a lot!

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            I’m not jumping in your shit, Chris. I was just telling Adam that I don’t think Kyle is going to die because Alex said he wasn’t– not only was he not going to die, but he has a happy ending coming his way. I don’t see where that implies anything about Duncan at all.

            Duncan is going to get burned one way or another. I’m all for it. That I want him to have a catharsis and be a better man is because I would like to think I’ve become a better man myself with time and reflection. That’s my emotional investment with Duncan. I’ve admitted that over and over. If you read what I say as an excuse of his behavior then I have seriously misstated my position somewhere.

          • Fair and honestly and kindly stated. Very much a case of what-you-wrote and what-I-read crossing on opposing tracks. I apologize for not getting your meaning.

            All best,
            ChrisD

          • I suppose it depends if that “HEA” for Kyle implies an HEA between him and Duncan. If it does, then yes, that would make Duncan a “lesser” villain.

            I hope there won’t be an HEA but most fans seem to be for it…this is more of romance with some action in it than an action story with a bit of romance thrown in. I loathe the idea of Redilator actually becoming the end relationship, but I’m happy to keep reading at the moment on the basis of Alex’s summary, that this is the story of Kyle and his development into a great superhero.

          • Steven K.

            Not IMHO – since I, of course and again, feel exactly the same way.

          • silibub

            Agreed, I get the sense that Duncan enjoys being ambiguous as part of his “villainous intellectual” schtick. I imagine it would also help him maintain the illusion that those he’s duped and hurt were complicit in their own misfortune — that is, they should have paid more attention to what he was really saying instead of what they wanted to hear.

            *cough* douche

          • See, I’m no good at forgiving the parsing thing. Technically you are right, but when I re-read the lead up to the date… it was clear that even if Duncan wasn’t ‘technically’ lying to Kyle he KNEW Kyle was absorbing meanings from his words so false that they were just like lies. So one could blame Kyle for being so foolish… and not be wrong, but I can’t excuse Duncan’s word play as anything but intentional hatefulness to Kyle.

            And yes I know he’s a supper villain… apparently the ultimate get out jail free car. I hope Kyle singes him good. LOL.

            Take care,
            ChrisD

          • Sapfo

            Or Duncan gets turned into a 5 year old how don´t remember being bad ^_^

          • I want to tease about the get out of jail free car. But I’ll be good and not ask how many horse power.

          • I know I almost instantly edited that away, but you know, never quick enough! LOL. I laughed too.

          • But a get out of jail free car is AWESOME. *vroom vroom*

          • SofiaT

            Chris, I hope you’re not putting words into my mouth again (shakes finger at you) because I didn’t accuse Kyle of being a fool nor do I excuse Duncan: “oh he technically didn’t lie”.

            The decisions Kyle took weren’t exactly logical considering what he knew about Duncan, but it wasn’t stupidity or foolishness that got him, it was his inexperience and eagerness to believe in the good in Duncan… and the other things he promised him. In his shoes, most of us would have done the same.

            Duncan is a master manipulator, Kyle didn’t stand a chance ever since that first kiss in that back alley.

            That doesn’t change the fact that Duncan’s ambiguity is one of the many fascinating things about him as a villain.

          • “stupidity or foolishness that got him, it was his inexperience and eagerness to believe in the good in Duncan…”

            I’d add his vulnerability due to his childhood and extreme loneliness and guilt after what happened to his foster sister. That’s what Duncan played on even more than Kyle’s basic naivity.

          • Adam Black

            These are all really good points.

            “Duncan is a master manipulator” agreed.

            But that makes me wonder how much of his ambiguity is just a cloak.

            To me, Duncan ambiguity is his schtick.

            “There are no good guys or bad guys, just a bunch of guys”

            Shtick. He wants to be seen that way.

            It’s practically Duncan’s real power. Moral ambiguity in a hero looks corrupting ( I am exaggerating to make a point ) , Moral ambiguity in a Villain, makes him looks Misunderstood, or maybe an antivillain.

            ( Please don’t me go to TV tropes. Please don’t make me go to Tv tropes, Please don’t me go to TV tropes. Please don’t make me go to Tv tropes,….. )

            It’s what he uses to make the manipulation stick.

            But , when I say:,

            “When has Duncan ever told the truth?”

            The power in the statement is derived from using Duncan’s ambiguity against him.

            So yeah, I’ll throw you that bone, that he can not be pinned down on lying most of the time. We can agree. But…. that wasnt exactly what I said.

            I am simply asking for the truth. Unambiguously.

            I didn’t realize that question would stir so much controversy.

            But I didn’t see an actual literal answer to it

            “When did Duncan ever tell the truth?”

            Its cuts right through all Duncans bullshit, because ambiguous statements from a Villain ( or anyone ) need truth to stick to.

            In otherwords, If you can’t find a single true statement in a person, there is no basis for trusting anything they ever said.

            I’m so sorry…..

            http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AntiVillain

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            Who excused Duncan or gave him a get out of jail free card in any of those statements? I was just postulating how he went about it. Obi-Wan is more effective than outright lies, nothing more. It’s not a moral judgment.

          • Okay I’m in the land of lawyers tonight. Fair enough. I’m not faulting your words or logic. But there is implied meaning in your statement that Duncan’s crafty ambiguity is less onerous than outright evil ‘lies’. If you don’t feel that is true… okay. That’s cool, but that’s what *I* took away. I read it that way.

            It’s not a crime against nature. IMHO it’s just another slightly ambiguous comment that serves to try to lessen the negative impact of Duncan’s actions and I like to reply with a reminder that those actions are causing a boy tremendous suffering. It’s just my emotional response to the work itself and the comment. I certainly don’t blame you for making the statement.

            If it can’t be taken as comfortably valid and just as my POV, then I can try to stop making such replies and let the Duncanites speak, alone, and to each other. I’m NOT trying to change anyone’s mind, just provide balance a la Chris.

            Respectfully,
            ChrisD

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            Oh no. Wasn’t intended as a statement of moral impact. It was more a style observation. I can’t see Duncan telling full-scale childish whoppers (which is what I think of when someone says “lie”). He’s as polished as any Jedi. He tells half-truths. Those are worse than lies.

          • I’ve been comparing Duncan to Capt’n Jack Sparrow in my mind.

          • !!!! Please don’t sully the good Captain’s name!

          • But you have to admit the word games and the lies and all the schemes to gain what he wants holds a bit of the good Capt’n.

          • SofiaT

            I don’t know how many times I can politely ask for words not to be put into my mouth (and “implied meaning” means exactly that, that you know better than the commentator what they’re thinking).

            You are entitled to your opinion, what you’re not entitled to is telling me what you think my opinion is, based on things I never said and expect me to be ok about it.

          • Steven K.

            Yep – my sentiments as well. “Yes, he’s told some lies with a straight face a few times” – yeah – just about all the important or potentially meaningful things that he told or promised Kyle as to his intentions where he is concerned – were outright lies. Very painful for me to go back and review them now – they originally seemed so sincere and caring and lovely. Those are some of the worst kinds of lies.

          • Adam Black

            “I always thought he was more ambiguous in his statements than outright lying”

            yes, on its face this is how I saw Duncan too.

            But then for me, this evolved into

            ‘Duncan is using a truth, or a half-truth to lie and spin bullshit’

            Its the difference between active and passive dissembling.

            But when white becomes black ( in my mind ) its fair to accuse. The white here “you will always be safe” then takes him to hell.

            Now I just think he is a liar, a very good liar, and everything he said is suspect.

            I’m not buying anything that Duncan is selling. If Duncan makes a deal with Laampros, that is going to be one sorry Demon.

            I d argue the meaning of the ambiguous statements hinges on the bold faced lies he has told.

            I see him as a shyster, a used car salesman—the mask has come off, its a lot less classy than I thought.

            Personally I have found people have a tendency not to believe me ( Can you imagine? ) There are two kinds of good liars. The convincing believable pathological kind, and truthful people, who cultivate a reputation of being able to back up what they say, stick to the truth, and not being caught in lies. I would put Duncan in camp one, and myself in camp two.

      • Point.

    • I see your challenge of “no one can hate Duncan as much as Laampy hates Duncan” and raise you my pitchfork!

  • Laampy is amusing me on this page.

    Panel 3 is all rant, rant, rant.. buut since the little maggot did offer him a billion souls, meh who cares right now it just needed to be said.
    That asking for an arm could go really wrong for Anni, depending on how Laampy was gonna ‘take it’.

    For some reason I got an inner image of a Tom & Jerry cartoon where you see the they’re about to shake hands with each other and Tom is taken by the hand and just slam dunked into the ground several times.

  • The tempter tempted…

  • Angie Penrose

    Wait, is it just me or did the demon just say he was going to take Duncan’s arm…? o_O

    I mean, he is a demon, so that’s not necessarily out of the question, but still, that’d be awkward. [cough]

    Angie

    • Holly

      Two Theories:
      1) YES HE IS TAKING HIS ARM
      2) He is just asking for Duncan to seal the deal on a shake.

      • Angie Penrose

        I’ll grant you it could go either way. I guess it just depends how evil Alex umm, Laampros is feeling right now. 🙂

        • Holly

          Alex is a just and kind god. He just makes us suffer so we can appreciate the bounty in the future.

          • Angie Penrose

            That’s got to be it. [nodnodgrin]

          • Angie Penrose

            LOL! True. We just have to learn to appreciate the suffering on the road to the bounty. 🙂

        • Jakk Anthony Guzman

          Actually it could have been worse, Holly. Laampros could have asked for another part of his body. 😉

          • Holly

            I would give my right…*clears throat*…arm for that deal.

          • *snort*

  • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

    So, Duncan’s bait almost falls flat because Laampros IS more than he seems. I like where that is going.

    Kyle speaks. Can we have a party?

    Anyone notice how Dunks’ hand moves a bit and is kinda gesturing for Kyle to hush in the last panel? Now that could be taken a lot of ways.

    • Yes, yes, I see it. It goes along with the “oh god oh god oh god, shitshitshitshit NOT NOW” look on his face. Yup a huge wrench in Duncan’s plans. This is what comes of keeping secrets, Mr. Annihilator.

      • Adam Black

        you must have a better screen than I

      • Tina

        XDDD

        Its almost like that cliche where two people are trying to make a deal then the third person comes running out of the car and the villain realises there’s a third bargaining chip to play with. Can’t think of the specific film though

    • If true, I will be writing a long-winded marginally boring treatise on the importance of Duncan gaining Kyle’s ‘consent’ in support for his plan… rather than forcing and betraying him… at the moment I don’t think Kyle cares if he dies, as long as he stops what he perceives as Duncan’s evil plot… rightly or wrongly… he only knows what Duncan has led him to believe. Silly arrogant Duncan.

      Even foolish young gay boys have a brain in there somewhere, it just take some of us longer to bring it online than others.

      If this plan doesn’t work, then that would be rather satisfying… Ahhh the problems with lack of omniscience… Perhaps if Kyle was willingly cooperating, then he would not have (for example) interrupted Duncan’s possible attempt to trap Laampros… (just humble guess but I’m enjoying the moment since it will only last until Saturday, I’m sure.

      And regardless… now Laampy knows Kyle has something to say. Hmmmm?

      I’d love it if Duncan’s arrogance destroys the whole ball of wax right here… good for humanity or NOT. I think I dislike Duncan today… THAT MUCH.

      • Steven K.

        I wasn’t much of a FOOLISH young gay boy – my brain was pretty much on-line for a while even before I came out the summer before my first year in college. But being NOT foolish just ended up getting me no-where and I regret so many of those, what seemed to be at the time, non-foolish, well-considered decisions. Sure I survived, but survived for what I’m not sure – an entire life of loneliness and frustration?.

        • Adam Black

          Steve, you seem like a much more interesting adult .

          Maybe you need a new set of social circles. gay Yoga?
          Teach a night class for adults at a community center.

          is there an XKCD cake meetup in your area?

          Science in the Pub night?

          as a scientist you have STATUS in the geek community. Know your worth.

          I could bores you to death with all the problems I have tried to bag a scientist. ….Maybe Chemists are just not for me, or Robotic Engineers, or Psychologists… ( do Chiropracters even count? ) but that doesnt mean there is not some gay geneticist or nanotube specialist, or even an Anatomist out there …ya I got little hope either. But you have status. I don’t

          but I do agree that being safe can trap you.

          • Steven K.

            Those of you who are lucky enough to live in major metropolitan areas have a skewed version of the resources or opportunities available to one, particularly to those of us who are unlucky enough to find ourselves stuck in a small or average-sized city. Aside from one decent gay club/dance bar (the likes of which, however, I don’t care for and isn’t to my style or taste – I can’t stand the music, being a passionate devotee of symphony and opera, etc.) and another rather divey one that seems to be frequented by the lesbians and gay senior citizens, a couple college-aged groups and one political one that meets once a month, there aren’t such interesting alternative venues – certainly no community centers – around to meet other guys. Things that you mention such as gay yoga and gay Mensa are very strange beasts in these parts indeed. One has to go to the Detroit or Chicago area to find something as refined as gay Mensa. I’m in lower-middle-MI – in the (boredom) capital of the state.

          • Adam Black

            You will have to start one. You are at a college. Thats a start

        • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

          There are a lot of queer mensans. Why not take the test and go to the social activities? It’s a safe environment with other intelligent people– even if you don’t find love immediately, it’s more fun looking among people you can carry on a decent conversation with.

          Also PFLAG (if you’re in the states) has many many offices who frequently have picnics and socialization events that are safe enough that people bring their children and pets to them. It’s not flashy, but it’s a good way to meet people.

      • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

        Watching excessive pride crumble under its own weight is always satisfying.

        I was the arrogant queer boy, sneering down my nose at others in an idiotic bid to maintain my sense of self against things that were trying to rip me apart. Still didn’t stop me from being foolish or getting suckered. It just changed the type of foolishness I engaged in. If you ask me, Dunks is the one who looks stupid here, not Kyle, and he’s going to look more deeply stupid as time goes on until he changes his pattern of behavior.

        This hand gesture, if indeed this is what we see, may be the first blushes of Duncan trying to change. Guilt hits us in strange moments. And changing your being is not an overnight thing, speaking from experience, but a series of small battles with yourself in a longer war that never stops. For me the gesture isn’t an excuse, it’s a sign that Duncan may be on the road to understanding what he has to do to be the man he should be– not the man he is.

        • Very well said.

        • I’m not sure I’ve responded to you yet, but I wanted to say you contribute very useful and engaging comments to this discussion, sonoftheatomicbiscuithead. They are trenchant and insightful and a pleasure for me to read. Whether it is about the nature of angels, the treatment in media of bi/trans/asexual folks or interpretations of pathological psychology, it seems you have a lot of very interesting and useful things to say and you say them well. And your comments seem to encourage others to engage on a similarly high level.

          I’ve been so swamped prepping future comics pages that I haven’t been engaging here as much as I usually do, but there have been several of your comments that I thought really added a lot to the discussion. Very glad to have you with us. 🙂

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            Thank you, Alex. I never expected for you talk to me at all given how busy you must be. I appreciate you taking the time to do so and I hope I continue to be an asset to the board.

  • TwilightDreamer

    Kyle no!! Keep your mouth shut!!…..I mean I don’t even know how you managed to get a word out, and I know this deal would be the end of earth (most likely)….but you can’t even run! Let alone fight! D: Please don’t do anything to get yourself in more trouble!
    Then again….happy happy for an update! :D….wasn’t sure if Lammpros was going to accept or not.

    • Jakk Anthony Guzman

      He’s a superhero, it’s his nature to fight the bad guys even if there is no hope.

      • TwilightDreamer

        Yeah I know 🙂 There was no way he wasn’t going to at least try to do something…

    • Adam Black

      Its in his interest.

      If he dies, he can leave hell and go somewhere better

      • One hopes.

      • Steven K.

        Interesting notion.

      • TwilightDreamer

        Lol, interesting thought 🙂

  • Adam Black

    I wonder: Did laampros loosesn Kyles bonds to test Duncan?

    • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

      This is a good question, though Laampros’ expression seems to indicate not at the moment.

      • Agreed interesting, but I wouldn’t have thought that either. Mmmm.

  • silibub

    I think I prefer Laampros’s metaphors to his similes — no less evocative, and not quite so foul. Too bad Duncan doesn’t want to listen to warnings, because Laampros has made it pretty clear that immortality is more of a curse than a gift, even though Duncan has tried to be clever by avoiding the common blunders of neglecting to ask for eternal youth and health along with it. Duncan (and Sircea too, I suppose) are afraid of aging and dying, but Laampros seems to imply that the fear is the problem, not mortality itself. Demon or not, I think Laampros has the right perspective.

    • LL

      It’s always good to feel some sympathy for the bad guy, like wondering why Laampros is so resentful of his immortality. I have a feeling Anni is thinking something along the lines of, “Yeah, yeah, whatever.”

  • Klaus

    “If you give the Devil a little finger, he will take the whole arm.” Danish proverb.

  • Adam Black

    I wonder if we are witnessing a ‘hell is afraid I will take over Scenario’. ?

    • From Kyle? Cause that would be rather awesome.

      • Holly

        Kyle would make a great King of Hell. Oh that reminds me of so many good fan fics.

        • King Kyle…er His Redhotness.

        • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

          Or the book “For Love of Evil”

          • Holly

            never heard of it. Tell me!

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            Spoileriffic link:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/For_Love_of_Evil

            Nice series too. Basically the ultimate Evil is nothing like you think he is. He’s a nice man, who was once very mortal, who made some terribly poor decisions. Sort’ve reminded me of Kyle.

          • Piers Anthony?

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            Indeed.

          • Adam Black

            I read that .

          • SofiaT

            Trying to find if they have a Kindle edition, these look very interesting. Thanks for sharing!

          • LL

            “Bad guy is good, good guy is bad” is one of my favorite storylines. Like Dr. Horrible. 🙂

      • Adam Black

        yeah, Kyle,

        Jr . God, control of fire, in a fire realm.

        • Yup, awesome! I can see it too. Demons fleeing as he stomps everyone down. Well, I would imagine it would be a bit Redhot Smash before he gained control of himself.

          • Adam Black

            i hope there a “red hot smash”

          • Maybe a lovely reenactment of what Hulk did to Loki in The Avengers.

        • Mmmmmm… toasty!

    • I’ve seen better neighborhoods.

      • Adam Black

        ive lived near worse

  • *LOL* You guys are cracking me up this morning, you really are. Not too good when having a big cold.
    I’ve spent most of the last 5-10 minutes laughing *having a coughing fit* .. laughing *coughing* laughing.. etc.
    That and making an epic burp because laughing and coughing while drinking cocoa in between made me swallow too much air.

    • Feverfew_M

      Hope you’ll feel better soon! And try not to choke yourself in the meantime! 😉

    • Adam said to check your cocoa for roofies… word to the wise.

      • Adam Black

        If its the Marshmallow Annihilator brand by Duncan , then yeah

  • Holly

    UGH SO SLEEPY. Okay night all ^^

    • silibub

      Sleep well!

    • Night. *activating forcefield about Holly*

      • Indeed… sleep till Saturday. It will be easier. 😀

        • Sapfo

          (Tap on the clock I do not have on my arm.)
          Chris, is it not bedtime for California boys? If not, you can come over to me and help me clean my place 🙂

          • Sleeping, cleaning, sleeping, cleaning, sleeping, cleaning. Let me get back to you tomorrow. 🙂

          • Tina

            I think he chose sleep. Silly boys

          • Sapfo

            What? No he would never abandon me with the cleaning. Right?

          • Sapfo

            I be waiting for you, bright and early! “-“

        • My dogs would never let me. They would step on my head.

          • Sharon Kerr-Bullian

            Your pets do that too? And there I was thinking I was the only one. Both my cat and my dog do that. Serves me right for getting a low platform bed, I guess.

          • Oh yes. If they think I’m not paying proper tribute. That or bark in my face. I tried a sleeping on a bed they couldn’t get up on, but I missed them.

          • Tribute is the right word. I’m just glad that they like meats, cheeses and chicken more than freshly beating human hearts.

            I think it’s those mornings in which I wake with a Jack Russell Terrier sitting coiled on my head, like a small compact fez, that I realize that I am just a member of the servo-human race, bio-engineered to feed, love and care for these energetic little overlords. 🙂

          • A Jack Russell rules you? I’m torn if I should offer sympathy or laugh. We had three (brothers), each very different, but each figured they were the king of the roost even until they were really too old to do so.

            But yes, mine (Queensland Heelers) were just yelling at me to take them out and feed them. This and scratching their ears is all I’m good for it seems.

            And yet I would never live without them.

          • Sharon Kerr-Bullian

            lol, the things we do for love!

          • Indeed indeed! Not much compares to the absolute love of a pet.

    • Feverfew_M

      Good night! 🙂

    • strangeangel24601

      Can’t make any promises. *Pulls put a can of Easy Cheese*

      • Steven K.

        Mmmmmm. I love Easy Cheese (well, with the right crackers, anyway).

        • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

          Celery and easy cheese is awesome.

          • If it’s that spray can type, you can spray it on and lick it off a surprising number of delightful objects and unlike celery you can do it over and over until the cheese runs out. Oh oh… and it goes with white wine much better than the traditional whip cream. 😀 Saaaaavory.

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            XD

          • Tina

            I… don’t really want to know what you’re spraying that cheese on…*inches away*

          • Denise Cruz

            XD Oh, God! I’ve missed here!! XDDD
            You, guys, are unbelievably funny! LOL

    • Tina

      >:3

      Pay back time… *pulls out a jar of honey and some red hair dye* we’ll make you too sweet for any demon to resist*

    • Things were done, I’m sorry, I tried to help, but they used spray cheese.

  • Madock345

    I get the feeling Laampros really doesn’t like having to bargain with a mere moral. He looks so grudging in panel 4.

    • Pashakitty

      I think you may mean a mere mortal don’t you?

    • LL

      He seems to be some sort of demon king. I’m sure he never thought a mortal would have anything he wants. Even though Anni is a super-person with much more power than a regular human, he sees them all the same way…I’m sure he thought it was just luck on Anni’s part.

  • vessto

    Ohoho, I love how Anni is scared in panel 3!!!!!! And that “The key. Your arm.”, I got the first feelng that Mr. L wants his arm, lol!

    Now, it seems the spell that Kyle was under has stopped working… Anni warned him that being silent would keep him alive. But he’s not silenced anymore… (•ิ_•ิ)?

  • Sharon Kerr-Bullian

    And this is where all my years of playing Dungeons and Dragons make me want to yell “Don’t do it, Anni! When a demon asks for your arm, take the statement the most literal way possible until proven otherwise!”

    • Maria White

      In D&D I created basically a demi god demon of corruption, and STILL had to take it down a notch in the powers to make it so that it wouldn’t immediately TPK the party.

      Basically there is an ability called stop heart, which takes down the subject to -15 health, along with another one that goes to anyone dying and then kills them. I had to tone it down, cause I don’t believe in the no win scenario.

      But onto the comic, I’ve been thinking… could Priestess be Anni’s….. sister?

      • Sharon Kerr-Bullian

        Ooh, that was one bug nasty! I have to admit, demons have only rarely been a problem. And dragons, even with character levels, are often a breeze (I am dragonbane!) Ogres though… for some reason, even when they’re way below a good CR rating for my character, they’ll mess up my day. I hate those things!

        I can definitely see Sircea being Duncan’s sister, I have to admit, I’ve been wondering about that since they were both first on the same page. Here’s hoping we find out during the course of the story!

    • ScorpioladyCZ

      Lol, yes, I too instantly thought that the demon is taking that quite literal!! Now Anni will be mister Onehanded-AmericanContinetPresident-Or-King-OrwhatheHell… (That should be his twitter name)

  • Pashakitty

    Alright, here we go now. Time for the hero to step up.

  • Shasarazade

    Whoa!! I thought that spell paraylzed Kyle’s body and prevented him from speaking!! Very impressive, Kyle!! Now get up and kick some serious ass!! Don’t worry about your surroundings–fire IS your power after all!!

  • Tragically_Unhip

    Woo! Go Kyle!

  • I wonder if Kyle would be able to steal the fire from Big Red and in essence steal Big Red’s power?

    • Amanda

      Im wondering why he can’t absorb the fire chains.

      • I’ve been hoping he would or at least figure out he could since they seemed to come from his fire. Maybe he will on the next page. *fingers crossed*

        • Steven K.

          I think it’s the “magical” component of them that has inhibited that – they are somehow formed through and strengthened by the power of the spell – so they are neither normal metal chains nor “normal” fire chains – there is more to their nature which Kyle cannot overcome (easily).

          • Adam Black

            I suspect it is made out of his own power.

            Maybe he has to own that energy as his own, instead of fighting it.

            It could actually give him a new weapon.

          • You beat me to it 😛

          • Adam Black

            Maybe you can bind a demon with fire chains

          • That would be a handy weapon to have. Take what bound him to bind others.

            Didn’t you mention a sigil tattoo on Evil Kyle regarding chains?

          • What Adam said.

    • Jakk Anthony Guzman

      Hmmm, I hadn’t thought of that!

    • john Johnson

      Considered that too. Is Kyle a fire elemental, or just a guy with power over fire?

    • Steven K.

      That would be awesome(!!!), though I suspect Laampros has many other powers other than that of just fire.

      • Probably, but what if most of it was derived from the fire. His battery as it were.

      • Adam Black

        True, but if its Fire based Kyle could potentially take possession of them.

        I also subscribe to the Theory that Kyle has hidden powers.

        I suspect that the ability to withdraw fire is a massive clue Alex has hidden for us in plain sight.
        Maybe not.

        Does he have access to other fire dimensions?
        the table is set…. Alex is about to start feeding us the main course.

    • I would love that, but I suspect he won’t be able to do that until a while later.

      • I think the first time will be completely accidental/rage induced. Instinctual really.

  • ya probably shoulda used ice chains on a fire elemental … i’m just sayin’

    🙂

    • Steven K.

      I suppose that would make sense, but only if they were magical ice chains.

  • KYLE GET UP COME ON!!

  • I also wanted to say. Shouldn’t Duncan have expected this of Kyle? He’s a true superhero. He wouldn’t sit around while someone was planning to take over the world/loose demons on the world, not if he could help it.

    • Jakk Anthony Guzman

      He probably underestimated Kyle.

      • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

        Duncan’s entire treatment of Kyle has been a mistake- even if he believed his intentions were good. This is the dramatic “EAT THE CAKE YOU BAKED” moment, I think.

        I’m looking forward to Duncan’s defeat at Kyle’s hands. He deserves anything Kyle has to throw at him. I do want him to be a better person for it though. If Duncan is worthy of forgiveness, then I am in some way as well. Kyle is not my hero. His role is not something I can model, even if I’d cautiously welcome someone like him into my life (only to watch him leave again, I’m sure). Kyle, in the end, has nothing to be forgiven for save for being too afraid to come out of the closet (which made him vulnerable). Kyle wasn’t damaged to start out with (I highly suspect Duncan was. You don’t come by his behavior without predisposition). Kyle’s done nothing wrong, even now, except trust his heart to a douchebag. Duncan is and has. I can identify with his failings more easily than Kyle’s sweetness. I’m a pretty much a douchebag in recovery.

        • Steven K.

          This is a great comment.

        • What a great post. And re the thought of being “a douchebag in recovery”…

          I also need the address where that group meets to drink old coffee, eat stale cookies and tell their stories. You are not alone there.

          Only thing I’ll carefully add is that accidentally burning people you care for and then living with the aftermath of that at 18, not being good enough for “real” adult super-hero group as he tells Duncan. In his own small ways I think Kyle caries around the same painful list of failures (deserved or not that we all do). He wasn’t by any means a happy go lucky kid. Maybe not Duncan’s damage, mebbe, since I don’t really know what that backstory is (until there is some more juicy Alex/Kickstarter info out), but still Kyle carries some failure pain. I would suspect this journey will change them both.

          ChrisD

          • Steven K.

            Yes – very much relate to that “failure pain” (on many levels) even now.

          • You’re not alone friend.

        • “Kyle wasn’t damaged to start out with”

          He’s been in care and landed his foster sister in hospital because of his powers. And seems he was rejected by his family after that. And ever since he’s had to refrain from any intimacy of any kind out of guilt and fear, in addition to being in the closet and unable to tell his closet friends.

          So he was a very damaged and vulnerable teenage boy, whom Duncan took advantage of. He offered Kyle the intimacy, understanding, and acceptance he craved.

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            There’s a difference between having a rough life (who hasn’t had one) and being mentally damaged. I won’t argue you that Kyle’s had a rough life, but Kyle has also chosen at every turn to be a good man. He has never chosen to do evil or be selfish. He has never convinced himself of the greater good of his actions. I can’t relate to that. I am not stainless and my current moral state has been a hard fought effort to maintain.

            Yes. Duncan took advantage of him. My young self would have taken advantage of Kyle somehow too (mimicking my own experiences)– and probably outed him (misery does love company, especially angsty, brooding, teenage misery). As years have passed, I’ve often wished I could borrow the Tardis, go back in time, and kick my own ass. It doesn’t change what happened, or how justified I felt doing it at the time.

            Can you honestly see Kyle doing any of that? No. Duncan though– Duncan could feel that pain. Duncan is my hero, for better or worse. I look forward to his downfall and hopefully his road to recovery.

          • I can’t see Kyle doing any of that, but that doesn’t mean he’s not damaged.

            Also…I question why Duncan “is your hero”, as he has yet to take even the first step in redeeming himself…

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            I live in hope.

          • There was an earlier post where someone (sorry cannot remember or find… it was good) said (paraphrase) that they had to control the emotional level to which they invested themselves in certain characters, because while good, even when hard, it could take you too deep and you have to find the right distance… (sorry, something like that). I liked that idea a lot. It’s very ME also.

            The intellectual side of your head knows that you are doing it… pulling that characters pain to your breast and saying, “I know you.” Feeling it and crying with it or sharing its umbrage. Those hard scene when the villain wins, or ‘your’ character doesn’t get the job and the louse antagonist does… on to infinity. So I ENTIRELY relate with what you just wrote. I just live more in the middle between the two of them and Kyle is tricky and very much like young young me… just much better looking. LOL.

            I’ve been thinking much of this morning about last night’s heated and interesting debates. I think it all lives right in this area of words choices and character identification. Which character do we see ourselves most in? And, do we hope for that character what we hope/hoped for ourselves?

            I relate deeply with Kyle’s naivety and stupid choices… until 25ish I would have happily, stupidly and trustingly walked off to a warehouse (and trust me there wouldn’t have been and rose petals or Montrachet) because I was attracted to someone very much like Duncan. You know… someone… WHO COULDN’T POSSIBLE MEAN ME ILL??? Yep, on this front I was dumb as a sack of gay rocks for while.

            Talk about thinking with your penis! So I feel him deeply post-betrayal, his pain at his own stupidity and I desire his growth for the same reason. It’s hard for me to acknowledge being that idiot, but by feeling Kyle’s character closely, I can push my own face in it and become him (a little) and think about my past and present stupidities and the foolish and bad things I caused to happen because of them. Kinda like looking at the bad stuff in a scary film through your fingers, so you know what’s happening, but don’t get too scared.

            So I entirely agree.

            I thought last night that I may use the world ‘imply’ when I mean ‘evoke’. No one has ‘said’ anything specific, but the idea stated… ‘evoked’ a set of feelings in me that have to do with my relationship to being a victim and the unfairness of the world. AND, if I’m not very careful what I write doesn’t sound all about ME… when in my head it is. It sounds like a statement on the other person’s interesting comment. A comment which just sent me on an internal journey, one which ‘evoked’ a set of personal feelings.

            Tricky stuff to express in black & white words and, when about emotion, very hard to express clearly.

            That said, you express yourself very well in this post. Thank you.

          • Steven K.

            I feel so much of that also – but not from my “stupidness” while young in doing things, but being too cautious the other way and NOT doing certain things (maybe being too stupid in being over-careful), to the point of regretting, to this day so much the choices not to act that I made – but that was in the time where, as far as anyone knew, gay-sex of almost any sort was a potential death-sentence.
            Regarding your first paragraph, I think both Adam and Sofia have mentioned things to that effect.

          • It’s a cruel thing in our RL that love and sex has become something to fear. That makes me very sad.

            Re part 2: I’ll bet it was Adam or Sofia, they’ve made some the smarter comments here. I wish I could find it, but I think you’re right. I just remember reading it thinking, “Exactly!”

          • Steven K.

            I very much agree with what you stated in your first paragraph. As to the second, I guess the ol’ adage of “the grass is always greener” applies, since – Oh, how I wish I could have been taken advantage of when I was young (not raped, mind you, but maybe someone taking advantage, as in making use of or using to one’s advantage, my youth and isolation and loneliness and my own intense desire for that physical intimacy when none was otherwise to be had) and given some experiences back then. I think I’d be soo much happier and well-adjusted to this day throughout my adult life. The fact that I never had any erotic experiences when I was young (I didn’t even have sex till 19 -nothing of ANY kind – not even erotically touching anyone in some way- and then didn’t experience my second guy till 23) has really hurt me and damaged me psychologically and emotionally over the years and has made so many things difficult for me, especially when I compare my experiences (or lack thereof) with most other gay guys back then (or even guys in general). There was this one straight friend and classmate that I had who lived down the street, and I swear he had talked to me about recently (i.e. near the time it happened) fucking a girl when he was 10 or 11 – he was describing the experience of “popping her cherry” and it getting blood all over the sheets in his parents’ bedroom.

      • I think that’s a definite. I think he put him in the category of “mostly harmless”. Not the best idea for certain.

    • LL

      He’s underestimated him…for the last time.

  • LL

    YOU GO, KYLE!
    Even Laampros is surprised, haha!

  • Xalun K

    Looks like Kyle is a lot stronger than Duncan gave him credit for. Well, either that or Duncan fucked up the spell (but personally, I’m betting on the former). And man oh man, do they look *confused* in that last panel. Duncan looks like he’s thinking, “What? Why is my sacrificial lamb talking?” while Laampros is like, *raises eyebrow* “Really?”

    All in all, I love how this story is progressing. Very exciting to see what’s going to happen next. 😀

    • TwilightDreamer

      lol, I think Duncan is more thinking ” oh *beep!* I thought he wouldn’t be able to talk!”

    • LL

      Getting a closer look I can see Laampros actually smiling a bit, haha. “Let’s just see where THIS goes.”

  • TwilightDreamer

    Just a random thought…If Kyle managed to get out of those binds somehow, that’s a whole lot of fire at his disposal…even if it wouldn’t affect Duncan or Lammpros.

    • Jakk Anthony Guzman

      I’m thinking that if Kyle can do something, he will probably try to destroy the sphere with the key.

      • Steven K.

        I just hope that Kyle doesn’t have to be induced to have another orgasm in order to get back to his world.

        • Adam Black

          LOL.

          That is funny. It is Yaoi.

          I respectfully disagree.
          Kyle can take it in hand here and shoot off as many loads as he needs to with no harm to anyone.

          • Steven K.

            Well, if he is able to escape his bonds and do it to himself, maybe, but … might be hard to get off when you are feeling a lot of other non-pleasurable emotions and are in an emotional and physical state that might not be conducive enough to allowing that to happen. Also, it’s possible he may have been orgasming ever since Duncan cast that first spell – so gee – give the lad a bit of a break and some recovery/refractory time. Furthermore, it’s been my experience that, unfortunately, a lot of guys (even some young ones) just can’t get off over and over in rapid succession like you suggest (I rather hate the guys that get off and then, as they often say, “I’m done” – they don’t want to be touched, kissed, held or ANYTHING after that, nor do they want to touch you and help you get off if you haven’t already – they just want to get dressed and get the hell away. Yeah – hate that). But even if they aren’t quite like that, some guys just find it difficult to cum multiple times quickly. Of course the ability to do so in rabid succession could be one of Kyle’s powers that he hasn’t discovered yet – or maybe that might be one positive side-effect from the spell that alters him and his abilities afterwards – and confers upon him such a power.

          • Adam Black

            His powers are at least partly sex based.
            Kundalini?

            If you can take the fire he can reload

          • Steven K.

            I’m not sure I’d say his powers are sex-based. True, his powers show forth during sex (at least orgasm), but the reverse is not true – he doesn’t need sex/orgasm (or even sexual stimulation) in order to use his powers or put them into action.

      • TwilightDreamer

        Would be a good idea if he can get to it, for sure…I’m just hoping he doesn’t waste his strength by attacking Duncan out of anger…I mean I’m pretty sure he won’t, but yeah…

    • Klaus

      He can put out fire by absorbing it into himself. If he can put out Laampros remains to be seen.

      • TwilightDreamer

        Wow, that’s actually a good idea :)…but I have a feeling that would be one heck of a task…

      • TwilightDreamer

        Wow, that’s actually a good idea :)…but I have a feeling that would be one heck of a task…

  • Amy

    Duncan doesn’t like us and doesn’t care if Laampros destroys us. ;_;

    Finally, Kyle said something. lol.

  • john Johnson

    Our hero has power over fire. How much greater would his power be in a realm of fire? Looks like the bad guys have committed the cardinal sin of underestimating their enemy!

    • Marc Bloom

      I’m holding out for a Red Hot/Flyboy romance myself

      • Steven K.

        That would be the next best thing (after the betrayal by Duncan) – though I’m not sure we’d get to see anything “naughty” till Flyboy comes of age. But then I’d want a Kickstarter re-vote on those romance cards as well. At the moment, just wouldn’t have as much enjoyment in an image of Duncan being all lovey-dovey with Kyle, since prior romance on his part has been shown to just be a sham with evil intent behind it and no true feelings for Kyle.

        • Adam Black

          One possibility is that flyboy is almost 16.

          The age of consent inmost states varies, but it is 16 and 17 in many places.

          Although Kyle has stated that 18 makes him legal, it could be he didn’t check his local laws. Some of them are actually contradictory, like in my own state.

          In MA its only 18 for the “chaste”. For the already sexually active, its 16. This is because ( I think ) you can marry at 16.

          • Steven K.

            That last bit makes NO SENSE whatsoever. So the age of consent, after you’ve already consented before the age of consent, is younger. But if you were “good” and more responsible and “not sleazy” and have waited till after 16,you have to wait 2 more years?? That’s one of the most fucked up and ridiculous laws I’ve ever heard of. I expect better from MA.

          • “…But if you were “good” and more responsible and “not sleazy” and have waited till after 16…”

            To be clear you are referring to MA. This judgement that young people who don’t wait are sleazy didn’t sound like you at all, so I just had to ask. 🙂

            Best,
            ChrisD

          • Steven K.

            Well, sometimes they ARE sleazy, like anyone can be at any age, or they have been “corrupted” early, or just damn fucking lucky. Nah – was just being rather facetious, with a substantial dose of internalized jealousy and bitterness that I wasn’t able to get anything when I was young – not one damn bit of exploration or mutual jo or “petting” or making out or ANYTHING. Heck, I learned to masturbate at like age 4, and I found myself definitely attracted to other boys since at least 11, and desperately wanted to “do things” with them since that age (and actually remember being attracted – though maybe not as overtly sexually – to a handful of different older boys throughout my childhood, and even remember having a couple eroticized dreams about a couple of my male classmates when I was in kindergarten). But NOTHING 🙁

          • Adam Black

            First of all the law hasnt been tested.

            Most adults in Massachusetts think the law is stricter, Most people think its completely illegal for adults to have sex with anyone under 18.

            But it turns out its only for the “chaste”.
            But that is still a huge risk. The kid can always later claim otherwise.

            But yes, they are partly in conflict. The law makes it illegal for adults to deflower children. Its a line in the sand. There is nothing stopping 16 years olds from being sluts. I ought to know.

            Besides, I’d hardly say a 16 years old virgin showing up at a bar with people twice his/her age is being “good” , “responsible” and “not sleazy.” This story itself is about of a cautionary tale .

      • You’re willing to wait for F-boy to age up?

        Is Kyle? LOL?

        • Marc Bloom

          Kyle has to figure out how to do more than hold hands with Flyboy without roasting him, that’ll take some time.
          Let’s face it, Kyle’s not going to end up with Tsunami

          • Adam Black

            I actually love this idea.

            But why do you think it has so much merit?

    • Denise Cruz

      Oh! Cool! Looks like the ‘Redilator team’ just got another member, uhn?!
      Welcome, fellow!! ^v^

    • Steven K.

      Good observation! I REALLY hope there’s something to that in the story, and Kyle makes use of that!

  • Denise Cruz

    Oh! It’s so good finally seeing Kyle more active! 😀 I was a little worried about his catatonic state.

    Careful, although, little redhaired baby!! 😉 You have two freaking insane guys right in front of you… be careful!

    • Niggle

      Oh, he certainly wasn’t catatonic, he’s been painfully aware of everything going on. Which makes it all the worse for him. 🙁

      • Jakk Anthony Guzman

        More like bound and gagged by the spell, but helpless to do anything about it.

      • Steven K.

        So true!

      • Denise Cruz

        Well, maybe I haven’t used the best word I could… I meant he wasn’t being very participative…
        Of course, we all know very well that the chains and the spells weren’t helping him a lot with that, too. But, anyway… I missed seeing his actions!

        Btw: What the heck was that thing about Anni’s arm?! Laampros wants one of Anni’s arms? ! Why?!
        (Not even the big red devil can avoid wanting at least a little piece of the guy! lol)

        • I think he meant the gesture as sort of a handshake old style, where they would clasp wrists or arms (just under the elbow). But I could be wrong.

          • Denise Cruz

            I hope you’re right!
            It would be such a waste, otherwise!.. Not to mention how distasteful/awkward/insano, too!

            I don’t know why, but I always though about Anni as a British or maybe a Dutch man… Therefore, it was kind of a surprise when he only wanted the Americas for himselfl.
            Anyway, let’s hope he changes his mind someway or that someone can help Kyle to stop that craziness soon enough. 😉

          • At this point, it’s definitely wait and see. I think Duncan was up to something, maybe an attempt to capture Laampy, but of course Kyle doesn’t know this. And there we have chaos.

            I’m hoping to see Kyle break free and “level up” as it were and lay the smack down.

            But yes, I always thought Duncan was British, but he could be an ex-Brit taking the Americas as his home.

          • Denise Cruz

            I was wondering: And if Duncan only took Kyle untill there to see if he could ‘evolve’ to a demon?! One stronger than Laampros?!

            Maybe it could make him take more control over his own powers and/or even make him swinging between two personality types…

            It would be pretty useful for Duncan, if you think through carefully and could also explain why he was so hurt, (at least he looked like that, some pages ago), as he brought Kyle in that direction.

            On other hand, Kyle could truly be the other key,(which one, some friends over here already named as ‘Cathy’…lol). So, Laampros wouldn’t be able to use the first one, (‘Clive’, as the girls named it), once the boy wouldn’t agree to help him openning any door to our world.

            Therefore, if any of this ideas is right someway, it would confirm my previous theory about Kyle being the ‘portal’ back to our world. So much for Anni, as to himself.

            Now, the question is: what did Alex create this time?.. O.o

          • o.O So many possibilities.

          • Denise Cruz

            Sorry! My mind is a ‘little bit’ chaotic with all of them spinning around myself… lol

          • Steven K.

            That’s what crossed my mind – and the fact that Laampros’ hands are at least as big as Duncan’s arms.

  • davefragments

    This is what we get for falling asleep? Kyle rising, naked, on fire and ready to save the world.

    This is going to be fun!

    • Jakk Anthony Guzman

      rising, naked, on fire
      That does sound good, doesn’t it? 😛

      • davefragments

        And ready to fight…

        If I can borrow a thought from Mel Brooks — I hope he doesn’t get his Schwartz tangled …

        • Adam Black

          4stars.

          I made Yaoi parody joke about ‘the Producers’ earlier.

          • Steven K.

            Gosh I love love LOVE that movie (the original version). I get a big smile even just thinking of the line (in its film context – the circumstances, the character, and his intonation) “White white whiiiite is the color of our carpets!”

          • Adam Black

            I made the producers Joke to you YaoiBoys/old ladies.

          • Steven K.

            Launching yourself “into [little yaoi boy &] little old lady land”.

          • Adam Black

            Get to work on that metafictional semiautobiographical anatomy manual “…who show up at my door on Thursdays”
            and @Christopher Dangerfield: disqus will work on the showtunes.

          • everything works on showtunes in a gay comic

          • Adam Black

            gay comic ? No, that’s never been word-of-goded .
            Kyle is just confused by the bad man.

            hes a Young Protectah. They are all straight as hard arrows. Missles even. The kind you can wrap your hand around.

            Think of the children before you say stuff like that.

          • So you’re saying Duncan DID do something good for Kyle before the shite went down. Well well well…

          • Adam Black

            Good like a priest, maybe

          • HA. (ouch)

          • Adam Black

            a few hail marys will fix that

          • and lube… never forget the lube.

          • Adam Black

            stockholder

          • billionaire?

          • Adam Black

            don’t make the ref get the cattleprod again

          • Where?

          • Adam Black

            I was talking to you.

            ( YaoiBoys/ old ladies ? )

          • Indeed… I think I may have been up too late that night. Thank you.

  • Niggle

    I have a feeling that if Kyle manages to break that spell he would end up zapping back to earth and Anni would have to jump back into the ring to keep from being stranded, preventing him from giving the key and the bargain being struck.

    My only question is, what did Lampy mean by “your arm”? His arm as in his strength and alligience? Or literal: “gimme your arm, hand it over, I’m hungry.” XD

    • Jakk Anthony Guzman

      It could be interpreted both ways.
      As in some sort of procedure or ritual, or maybe he wanted to take his arm.

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Mmmm…arm.

  • Katie Chambers

    Yes Kyle! Show your nekkid booty for us and stop the end of the world! Im counting on you my ginger 😀

  • amanda

    please let kyle be some kinda of awesome power!!
    please let kyle be some kinda of awesome power!!
    please let kyle be some kinda of awesome power!!
    kick some ass kyle!!

    • Steven K.

      Awww – Amen to that!!

  • Cydney Sabin

    I think Kyle has a touch of Rage… Not necessarily a good thing when you’re a pyrokinetic…

    • Fakesubmite

      At least he’s there and not in his world if it should awake.

    • Steven K.

      Might be to his advantage at the moment where he is now though.

      • Cydney Sabin

        Hmm. Didn’t think of that…

  • Alex, I think your ARTIFICE “UNZIPPING” MAGNET must be owned. I feel an unholy compulsion pulling, pulling, pulling me toward ordering it. LOL. I’m worried that there will be hidden powers in this new store of yours — ones removing free will. I shall be watchful. They all look great, but that one. Yikes! Best, CD

    • Jamie Dutton

      IKR! I had to leave the page before I started ordering stuff, lol.

      • I’m weak. Bought it. 🙂 It’s one of my favorite panels from the Artifice book. Jeff’s face is so me in my youth… “ohgodohgodohgod….”

    • Thank you, Chris. I’m glad to hear it’s tempting. 😉

  • Jamie Dutton

    I love the artwork on this page! The texture in Laampuru-kun’s wings and the white-hot intensity of the flames surrounding Kyle are jsut amazing!

    • I agree. I love what Adam and Vero did with this page. Very happy here. 🙂

  • DiDi

    Noooo… don’t do it, Kyle. You’re not ready!!

  • bronakopdin

    oh Kyle… I KNEW this would happen and even being warned, but what can a good guy as yourself do about his conscience, eh?
    I’m akinda proud of you… and yet… OMG what will happen now?!?!?!

    • Jakk Anthony Guzman

      Hopefully he will kick ass.

  • La Belle Gigi

    Well, no spell is completely unbreakable, if the will to break it is there… we shall see what we shall see.

  • Jakk Anthony Guzman

    If Duncan is doing this for a greater good and everything he said was to trick the demon (maybe the Earth is in danger), and he doesn’t get to complete the deal because Kyle destroys the Sphere or takes them back, then he’s going to have to convince Kyle to take them back willingly (assuming Kyle can). That would be very difficult since Kyle is not going to trust him anymore.
    I see three possibilities:
    1. Kyle warns the demon that it’s all a trick.
    2. Kyle takes them back.
    3. Kyle destroys the Sphere.
    If the Sphere is destroyed, then they need to get out of there quickly because Laampros is going to be extremely pissed, that’s something he really wants.

    • Or #4:

      Duncan sees everything going to ‘hell(?)’ and, despite my other complaints, is a smart cookie, so he jumps back on Kyle and does another forehead thunk with some mystic words to get-them-the-hell-out.

      Laampros is so infuriated he jumps into the pentagram too, and says not without me you don’t, Maggot! Transp-magic!! All three end up staring at each other confusedly in the warehouse. Needless to say Kyle is the most confused of all.

      Sircea enters the warehouse. Serious shite ensues.

      Left behind, George and Clave live happily ever after.

      ~ The Middle (sorta)

      • Jakk Anthony Guzman

        Number 4 could come about as a result of number 1. If Kyle makes the bargain impossible or much more difficult or dangerous for Duncan then he would do as you said. Same as if Kyle destroys the Sphere. Duncan would have to jump on him quickly and leave before Laampros tears them to pieces.

      • Adam Black

        awesome, but who is Clave ?
        the key?

        • Jakk Anthony Guzman

          Yes.

      • Clave?
        WHEN DID YOU GET THE TIME TO NAME THE KEY?? Why am I missing all of this.. and who came up with Clave? Why Clave? xD

        • Dear Wolf, I’m not sure, but I picked it up from Sapfo. George saw the orb containing “Clave(?)” and lost his heart? I fear people worry about George. 🙂

    • If Duncan were doing this for a greater good, why wouldn’t he have told Kyle insteading of putting him through this torture and terror?

      • Jakk Anthony Guzman

        I’ve thought the same thing, it would have been much easier. But some have said that he needed Kyle to be in a rage to fuel the portal and keep it open long enough to make the bargain, or that Kyle would have given the plan away unwittingly to Laampros who can probably read people well. Since Kyle is not as devious as Duncan the demon might have sensed something from him if Kyle knew it was all a trick.

        • Maybe, but then we still have the problem of how much danger he’s put Kyle in. We readers may know that Kyle is neither going to be raped or killed by Laampros. But neither Kyle, nor Duncan knows that. Duncan’s earlier and so far successful attempt to distract Laampros from Kyle seemed more luck than anything – if Laampros really wanted to harm Kyle, there is nothing Duncan could do to stop him.

          So even if he did have long term future good goals (which I would doubt given his and Sircea’s patented evil smirks), I still wouldn’t be comfortable with a HEA between him and Kyle.

          • Jakk Anthony Guzman

            He may need Kyle to get back, or maybe he doesn’t care if Kyle gets killed…all for the greater good. Or maybe there is no greater good and he just wants power and eternal youth for himself, but I think that would be rather simplistic.

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            Nothing Duncan could do… maybe. He knows at least a little magic and Plats may have given him something to protect Kyle that he put in the wine. Thing is, we don’t know.

            Far as his expressions, the reasons behind smirks are difficult to read.

            As Duncan is now? No. Dunks doesn’t get a HEA with Kyle– with sufficient character development (and proper motivation) I’d give it a tentative maybe– that depends on Alex, really. I’d be more comfortable with them ending up with other people, but would take a well-written reconciliation so long as Duncan suffered.

            No Flyboy for Kyle though. I don’t like him, one, (he’s Kyle-lite with black hair and has all the personality of a wet doormat thusfar) and two it would still feel like paedophilia atm. I’d rather see Kyle with Paul/Fluke or Spooky. They’re interesting.

          • A reconciliation doesn’t have to be romantic. I’m fine with Kyle forgiving Duncan if Duncan makes some sort of overblown huge dramatic sacrifice in the end, as Kyle seems a good, forgiving person.

            But that is world’s away from Kyle actually taking Duncan back! It’d be like a battered wife who has, with time, forgiven her now truly repentant husband…fine, but letting him back into the house? Hell no.

          • Jakk Anthony Guzman

            David, as SOTABH said, it depends on where the writer wants to take the story. If he wants to bring them together as a couple, he will find ways to make it possible and credible. If he doesn’t, then they will never get back together as a couple. We’ll have to wait and see, there are still several more chapters to come.

          • Jakk, I’m not stupid. I know it is dependent on Alex. Funnily enough, I am perfectly aware he is the writer, and that this story does not magically and randomly write itself…so I fail to see the point of your entire post here.

          • Jakk Anthony Guzman

            I’m sorry you took offense, none was intended.

          • Steven K.

            I’m sure he knows you know. The comment was innocuous enough – I don’t think it was intended to call into question your intelligence or your awareness.

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            Okay, I don’t necessarily want them together either, but reading that makes me think the only useful contribution I would have to make to society, despite my continual effort to be a better man now, is my own death in service of others. While I understand heroic sacrifice and endorse it as a trope– forgive me, but that makes my entire life pointless after my first heinously negative act. That is entirely too depressing. “YOUR ONLY SHOT AT REAL FORGIVENESS IS AS A MEMORY– WHERE NO ONE HAS TO DEAL WITH YOU!” Right. Let me just cut out my useless heart here and bleed all over the floor now and save you the trouble.

          • I don’t get what you’re saying – how would that make Duncan’s entire life pointless? What do you mean by memory? Duncan doesn’t have to die. He may just give up his immortality/magical strength to save Kyle’s life or another innocent person’s (and cue Disney ending where Duncan learns what true strength really is).

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            “Huge Dramatic Sacrifice” = “your life” in my book. Call it my level of priorities if you want. I would give up my powers, if I had any, before I would my life. Powers would be a lesser sacrifice.

          • Given Duncan’s obsession about being strong, it would be a huge dramatic sacrifice. And I would hardly have talked about Kyle taking him back or not if I was envisaging Duncan’s death!

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            Looked like two different thoughts to me. The first being an after death scenario of forgiveness— the other being if he lived and Kyle took him back.

          • Please go back and read what I wrote. I was talking about how a reconciliation doesn’t have to be romantic, thus clearly implying Duncan is still alive for them to reconcile. Plus this was in the context of the post you originally replied to…where I was explaining why I am not comfortable with an HEA between Kyle and Duncan…and unless Kyle is a secret necrophiliac, I am clearly envisaging an alive!Duncan here!!!!

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            I apologize.

          • Steven K.

            Paragraph 1 – Agree.
            Paragraph 2 – Not so much (though understand your reasoning – but there hasn’t been a lot of time for Flyboy character development yet – we’ve really only had the tiniest bit of dialogue from/with him – so it’s not because of an inherent flaw with the character, but we just don’t know much of the character yet).

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            I didn’t say he was flawed, I just don’t like what I’ve seen so far– he’s as interesting as dishwater. I’d also honestly rather see some love given to non-white guys for a change, even if Fly-Boy turns out to be more than a clone of Kyle with a little brother complex. Paul/Fluke, I think would be nice for Kyle because there’s already trust there– they’re best friends. What could be sweeter than for them to discover they love each other? They’re alike in personality and Paul is already huggably adorable. I’d love that. Spooky may already know what Kyle is on more than one level, hence the glare from the Commander. He might be under orders not to flirt until Kyle’s ready because of Kyle’s background. If the adult teams are hesitant to take him, the Commander may have laid down some House Rules he knows nothing about.

          • Steven K.

            Hmmm …well, I wanted to see some love given to older guys for a change, but that got screwed up by the characterization of Duncan we’ve seen lately. Also, although I’m not really particularly interested in Lesbian sex, I’d like to see the Commander and the PP discover one-another, since the hero-villain relationship didn’t work out between Duncan and Kyle which was doubly unfortunate, since I think that relationship could still have had a LOT of interesting dynamics and conflicts, even if it had been a mutually affectionate one).

      • Steven K.

        EXACTLY!!!!!

    • Wayne Lunkwitz

      It is possible….that the sphere represents the Earth in this realm possibly the key to the gate into this place ….if that is destroyed then this realm ceases to exist and Kyle and Duncan are returned to the place where they started from.

  • stickfigurefairytales

    Duncan: …the hell?

    Laampros: …yes?

  • Thanatopia

    You know what they say about the best-laid plans… let’s hope that Kyle’s outburst causes things to backfire for Anni in a way that doesn’t end up taking out Kyle and the rest of the world with the fallout!

  • Finooola

    He’ll never get away with this! (Seriously, I can’t imagine the comic going to way Duncan is describing)

  • MohawkDog

    Maybe a reason why Kyle is able to fight against the binding spell is because it was based on trusting someone fully.
    And because the trust was broken, the spell is starting to deteriorate to the point where he can start moving and talking.

    Also, “your arm”? I really hope that’s an idiom that just means a handshake.

    • Steven K.

      Good point/theory.

  • KiannaLeigh

    He can talk! Yes! He’s breaking through the seal or whatever that’s holding him! Things are about to get awesome! Or really bad. One or the other.

  • Xeferial

    Go Kyle! Go kyle! Go kyle! Go!

  • Ikaru Sentinal-K’Valshar

    I love Anni and good (as in awesome) villains in general, but still, I root against world destruction…so….GO KYLE!

  • Sargon

    Is it wrong for me to like Lampy? I like how he makes that point about being afraid. But yeah, I can’t wait for Anni to get screwed over and get turned into a baby or something. Demons likes to screw people over in 99% of the media.

    • Jamie Dutton

      I am a fan of Lampy or Laampuru-kun, myself. I get a huge kick out of his snarky, demonically poetic, and pointedly truthful observations of The Annihilator! 🙂

  • Sapfo

    I have tried to come up with different theories, as to what’s happened in the past, right now and what the going to happen in the future.
    Currently, they are mostly about Duncan, and a little bit about Kyle too.

    Duncan
    Theory 1: Duncan is just the person we have seen him to be. A selfish man who does not hesitate to betray Kyle. There’s not much more to say about this theory. Duncan wants power, youth and health for himself and for PP

    Theory 2: Duncan is an antihero. This theory is based on: Yes, he´s plane was to betray Kyle, but that some time in the future he will change. Perhaps a spirit walk or other thing might change him and thus he saves the day in the end. It may even be that this change has already begun to happen. Was it not perhaps a little guilt we saw before?

    Theory 3: Duncan has never been a villain!
    I myself am very unsure about this theory, but felt that it should be presented anyway. PP and Duncan and/or many more are included in a big conspiracy to take down Laampros. They are to save the world and have to go into such complex power game with Laampros to do so. This theory gets me quite dizzy to think of. Unfortunately, I can not say more about this because PP and Duncan has sworn me to secrecy. Sorry! 😉

    Now to Kyle. Is it good that Kyle can get loose right now? What can happen?
    Duncan has previously said that Kyle’s silence may be what saves him. If it really is like that, then I think this is because Kyle’s silence makes Laampros not pay attention to him. If Kyle make himself heard, then Laampros will see him as more than a game piece.

    But I do like that Kyle is not some piece, I want him to be able to stand up for himself. I like strong Kyle!

    And if George and Key decides to help Kyle, even better ^_^

    With this I end my strange theory time. Will comeback when I feel I might have something else to say.

    • Adam Black

      Yes and yes.

      I wonder if Alex, knew he was going to create a favorite ( and mostly fan made character ) when he wrote George Finnegan Edwards.

      I suspect fans will want cute George plushies .

      Marketing opportunity @alexwoolfson:disqus ?

      I know I look forward to George joining Y.P.

      • George sure adds to the potential options for stretch goals when Vol. 2 goes up for a kickstarter.
        It’s not only Laampy that’s a new character – we have made one out of George as well 😉
        P.S. I didn’t know he’d been given a full name *lol* I missed so much being gone from the comments for a while, except at camping, that at first it took me hours to figure out who the heck george was.

        • Adam Black

          Fans have named him ( sorry, I forget who ) after G.F.E ( Giant Floating Eyeball )

          I see him as symbol of the Eye of the reader.

          Thus his escape from hell to Heroism could add a new level of depth to the story.

          Growing up in hardship (literal hell ), he goes on to create a life for himself helping others, or appearing in Visine commercials.

          • Okay this sounds goofy, but it’s not. A friend of mine teaches kids with visual impairments. They’ve been working for ages to allow iPads/iBooks to connect to the braille type/readers. They just achieved this goal and now any book that can be downloaded to the iPad and instantly can be read on a Braille connected reader by any kid. Text books to Harry Potter. All up to date and current. It’s like living in the out-back and suddenly getting access to the latest films. No reading? That’s my Hell. So this… crying… heaven.

            I cried when she told me, and cried because there is nothing more important in my life than reading in the infinite universe of imagination. To be denied that sounds like the ultimate super villainy… to have that access suddenly so that the kid next to you in class is reading the latest “young reader” book and now you can too? Like I said, I cried. I know what a prison break that would seem like to me.

            So, go GFE… maybe you’re the sign that George Finnegan Edwards, the Great Floating Eyeball is Alex’s sign of accessibility for all. After all, Alex’s work right now is much tamer than a lot of young (tween) reader books. Regardless… I say, Young Protectors for ALL!

            Love it love it love it.

            Best,
            ChrisD.

      • SHITE!!! I’m such a dope. I never ever thought of a GFE plush. It should be about the size of a basketball (or just about). Super cushy and slightly cozy fuzzy. That super plush fur that some bear toys have. Yes a mockery of the slime implied in an eyeball, but I’d hold him every night before bed.

        He’s keep a pupil out for me at night and and keep me safe.

        He’d be my BFF… George Finnegan Edwards would love me. Oh oh oh and Clave… could be a classy night light. Yes glowing away and showing you that you’re safe in the dark.

        Me like.

        He’d be my best friend. @alexwoolfson:disqus we need a George Finnegan Edwards plush toy available at your new store. Seriously, an eyeball pillow is brilliant.

        Adam… damn I’m sorry, because I know it’s almost sounding insulting, but when it comes to marketing you’re brilliant. This is genius. I want!!!

        • Adam Black

          Thanks-sort of.

          The truth is you don’t know the half of it.

          I have an idea on how to moneytise all geek and fictional properties ( mainly TV ) to help make the jump to a post web world.

          It would involve a grand meeting of the Geek minds, getting the theatre geeks to work with the Tabletop roleplayers to create and sell everything in a fictional world.

          and I mean EVERYTHING.

          You want to have a bedroom on the Enterprise?
          Done.

          You want to have a Tardis Console Kitchen?
          Done.

          a Hogwarts Den? Done . Just anything.
          This is how we grow past commercials. Build what fans want.

          The gamers get involved to fill in the missing parts of a place. Who lives next to Buffy? what’s happening there? Its a chance to own one of a kind fictional real estate too.

          Theatre Geeks, because everything needs to be designed and built.

          Tell me I am a genius again. tell me you want to join.

          • Ok, you are, and I join… I do! You are in fact more right than you you could possibly know….

          • Adam Black

            I thought of this as a way to save the soap operas from all getting cancelled. .

            They could build much higher quality sets and sell copies to fans.

            Everything you see on TV you could buy.

            It would have to be implemented very carefully so it doens’t degrade into a 60 minute commercial.

            But its isnt just prodict placement. For shows with fictional town and cities you can fill in the blanks, and sell what’s there.

            You want to live in a replica of the Quartermaine mansion on General Hospital? Done.
            There is no mansion, just a few sets. Not any more.
            get an architect. Now its official Cannon.

            I’ve had this idea for a company since 2008. Maybe with kickstarter we could get it off the ground.

            I think Wil W is the person we need on board.
            what do you suggest?

      • Steven K.

        Aww – CUTE PLUSHIES would be grrrreat! (Though likely rather expensive.) But a whole set – George, Kyle, Duncan, Laampros (etc.).

      • Sapfo

        I would not say no too a Geroge plushie. It would go well with my world-glob plushie. And I do need someone to keep an eye on things when I´m not home.

      • Feverfew_M

        George plushies??? OMG, don’t give me ideas!

        … too late, I’m already pondering which yarn to use. *humpfzt*

        • Sapfo

          Me too! But I don´t like working in black yarn, it don´t like me and it´s so hard to see the loops.

          • Feverfew_M

            Most of it would be white anyway. Some brown, some red. Only the pupil is black, really.

            But it would need soft, plushy yarn, and that’s a bother to work with as well… *sigh*
            Whatever, let’s just try and compare the results! 🙂

          • Sapfo

            Well I do need à new project anyway… feverfew dont forget the opticnervs 😉

    • ScorpioladyCZ

      Or: Duncan has been a villain, but now his remorse is true (because remorse was only thing I believed him when he was sweet talking Kyle!) and he want’s to compensate for some of the bad things he did in past, do something good now, but of course in the process screw over PP and screw over the big bad demon too and get his immortality out of it! No black and white, no self-lessness from Duncan, no, but maybe an age (and wisdom that sometimes comes with it) has changed him so he is able to do something good if he gets something great out of it for himself too. You know what I mean? 🙂
      Btw, do anyone think Anni is really THAT stupid to believe that a demon would ever LET him have an America continent?? 😀 I don’t!

      All this must be a bigger game, not what it seems. And look at Duncans face when he says “something you have wanted for a very long time” – he, to me, looks like he HATED Lampros for it! Not really offering it to him to enjoy it as the demon want’s! Anni would be smiling, or grinning maniacally if he was such a psycho! Letting billions to suffer in big ugly red demons hands, just like that!! No, his face says otherwise. At least to me. That mouth, corners turned down, hard eyes, gritted teeth…
      Now who’s with me on this theory, dear pirates? (You know, the Redilator crew 😀 yo ho!) Or you think I’m wrong? Let’s talk about it 🙂

  • PinkFlower69

    The fact that Kyle is speaking when hes supposed to be unable to, tells me that Kyle is stronger than we think. At least when his emotions are being played with. Hopefully, this outburst will make Lampy refrain from making the deal, or at least rearrange some terms!

  • Alan Michael Williams

    Kyle: “Noooo….we were supposed to have SEX!!!!!!” *destroys this place*

    • Good post. Who among us hasn’t felt that way?

    • Adam Black

      YES!
      LOL.
      “Who hasnt felt this way?”
      agreed

  • Soubi

    Go on Kyle, go kick some ass.

  • Wayne Lunkwitz

    #1 We already know that Duncan’s plan (PP’s plan) same thing…..was to use Kyle to enter this realm with Kyle as the key….Duncan stated :If you had been straight (or words to that effect) PP would have done this.

  • Adam Black

    On the outside, for sanity sake I am going to keep wisecracking and being bemused,

    But deep inside Alex has turned me into a Little Boy, afraid to hope that things could turn around.

    ******A Humble Fan’s Proposal *****

    ( I humbly offer this to @alexwoolfson:disqus and the fans as a die-hard fan.
    I hope its spurns some discussion. Some people may agree, some people may disagree, but it is written purely out of love and respect. Please feel free to disagree. )

    There is a big irony about the story’s pacing. Its completely perfect, when read at once. It has a Bryan Singer feel to it, where we go slow enough to make all the characters real people, with real relationships, with a lush dramatic tension worthy of a Hollywood Film.

    The irony is that, in the action sequences, this dynamic-tension breaks when read biweekly. I’ve given this a lot of thought, but I am not willing to give up reading it regularly again to get the correct flow back.

    I am looking forward to eventually buying the books. I also understand there are high expenses involved and it is unreasonable to increase the publishing schedule during action sequences. Nor would I want Alex to change the pacing of the book to match the webcomic schedule.

    Is there anything left? maybe …

    The only other scenario would be bonus pages in the Book.

    My first reaction to this thought is:

    “WHAT?. Adam, you can’t be seriously asking for LESS pages on the web”

    The idea actually some serious merits.

    The action scenes contain a lot of really awesome poster quality panning shots. I love looking at them and they add a lot of value to the story. But on the web schedule they break the dynamic tension.

    Is there another way?

    Maybe. One possibility is to publish these shots in a paid membership section only before the books are published. This has 4 benefits to the creators and the fans.

    (1) It restores the dramatic storytelling intended when reading all at once.
    When the die-hard fans suggest ( only half in jest ) That the days Thursday and Friday be abolished, this is why IMHO

    (2) It adds extra value to the Books

    (3) It provides a system to compensate the creators, as the story is written, ,for extra pages that are not publicly web-published.

    (4) and a way for fans to opt-in for these beauties, without slowing down the action.

    Would the fans actually like this idea? I do not know, but I suspect many will.
    Would enough people opt-in for these locked pages to make this worthwhile?

    I think the answer to that question is a resounding YES!.

    I understand this is completely Alex’s property and he is free to do as he wishes. I also understand Bonus pages were originally a fan idea. This is offered respectfully in that tradition. My feelings will not be hurt if people hate this idea.

    Thank-You
    with Mutual Admiration

    Adam Black

    cc: @disqus_5yYGRkSeuL:disqus @smsif:disqus @DanishWolf:disqus @disqus_P2huBPd9nS:disqus @admiraljane:disqus @chrisdangerfield:disqus @763defdbc8268f2ac0d6456c16ec558b:disqus @Feverfew_M:disqus @Gryphongirl2:disqus @b113df217da7e7ae5c78fc401903f448:disqus

    PS: The Store is awesome, Alex. I am grateful you got it up in such a busy time of your life. We all appreciate your hard work.

    • Thank you for the kind words, Adam. I’m very glad you like the store. And yep, lots and lots and lots on my plate right now. 😉

      I’m not sure I 100% understand your suggestion about bonus pages in the book. How do you see that improving the flow for readers of the webcomic? (Sincere confusion on my part; no judgment about the idea.)

      There are some people who think that I come up with bonus pages on the fly based on donations—that I fluff out the story because of them—but that’s actually not the case. The scripts for each chapter are always written in advance—all a bonus page does is post a future page early. You might already know that, but I’ve heard that confusion expression by others.

      As you point out, while I try to always keep in mind how the story will page out as a page a week (or a page at a time, anyway), ultimately I am writing this story to be a satisfying read when read all at one time. And that means having the whole story completely planned out in advance and the scripts for each chapter completely finished before we begin work on them.

      So, with that in mind, talk to me more about what you’re suggesting. 🙂

      • Adam Black

        I completely agree with you, and do know that you have created and plotted the story in advance. and I really appreciate your open, fast and gracious response. Now I wish that I had written this months ago.

        This idea originally started out as a criticism. Specifically how some–mostly high tension action scenes—play out too slowly ( IMHO ) week- to week.

        But as you said: “I am writing this story to be a satisfying read when read all at one time.”

        Exactly. and it really, really does!

        I wouldnt want you to change that. I know this because I actually lost web access for a while when you first published YP and ended up reading chapter 1 in a very short time.
        You have achieved that goal.

        It is just my opinion that some of these high-action scenes play out just a little too slowly when read piece-meal. By too slowly, I do not mean, to imply that I cant wait, or you need to change the story for me. What I mean is, that I perceive is that it breaks Author intent ( Your Intent ) for how the story should be experienced when read week to week, in select scenes.

        In other words, I want to restore author intent reading it from week to week that correctly plays out , when read at once.

        Hollywood movies often slow things down to show sped -up action. I have noticed ( and told you during Artifice ‘s run ) that you employ some of these same techniques.

        If we watched these frame by frame the intent is broken.

        I am actually suggesting you edit-out certain pages, in High- action scenes, that exist to give extra “oomph, punch or emotional intensity” but may lack dialogue , or key dialogue.

        This would make the story flow just a little faster, in scenes where these pages are meant to imply increased action, yet have a paradoxical effect when viewed week to week.

        But, you still publish these pages in sequence—perhaps in a members only section—and in the book. This is of course an editorial judgement on your part.

        Many of the pages ( I am thinking of ) are really true artistic gems, ones you may mine later for posters or promotions.

        As a reader i ask myself, how does the intend for this to be viewed? and have noticed this contradiction more and more since I switched to reading regularly again.

        The oddity is that I am suggesting you take away a little of something I love, to preserve the spirit of how it is meant to be viewed, when its read slowly over time.

        I also want to be sensitive to the fact that some readers may hate this idea.

        It is likely you have never noticed this dramatic break because you know the story all at once. Sometimes scenes, which I believe are to convey pounding action when read at once ( and do ) feel more like existential anxiety, when read week to week. I perceive this to be a break of authorial- intent: You intend to create X-effect in the reader, but it becomes Y, and Z- effect when read slowly.

        The other important point, is that it is only in some scenes—Not all. For example in the last few scenes there were a few gorgeous lush pages for emotional and artistic effect , where little action occurred. This correctly adds depth and power when read at once. I am actually really impressed at your movie-like plotting. These would be considered Panning shots or reactions in a film. Yet, when read from week to week it slows that action down much further than I think you intend in the mind of the reader.

        Ultimately the question may boil down to what other fans also think,

        and

        if you mind that authorial intent , to convey high-action may break, when read from week to week. I am saying for me ( and I suspect many others ) Less-is-more for conveying high-action scenes, and this proposal may be one way to restore author intent to a week to week or biweekly viewing.

        I do not know how many other people feel this way, but many fans have independently voiced, in comments over the last few months, that anxiety they feel reading during action sequences is due purely to the schedule. In otherwords, it is not part of authorial-intent, but purely an artifact of reading it slowly. I accept that changing the schedule during action scenes is unlikely and unfeasible.

        Obviously, you are WOG, and I could be perceived as arrogant if I am speaking for “authorial intent” back to the author. You are free to say otherwise, and speak about how scenes should flow or feel to the readers. But if your authorial intent is broken, from week to week , you may have no idea without feedback.

        But as a reader I also feel its my job to experience what you intend for the story correctly. If I was the author I would want the fans to get the story as I intended. This is in no ways a criticism of the story itself, or how its plays out when read at once.

        As i wrote this up, this idea appeared fully formed, as if it had been brewing in the back of my mind. I really had no advance knowledge I was going to write this up.

        yes, I love the store and hope to buying some Christmas presents from it in the future. 🙂

        Humbly and appreciative,

        Adam

        • Xalun K

          I can honestly say I’m quite… unfond of this idea. I intend to buy the book, and I’d rather not be required to pay for a subscription to view what I’m going to view when I pay for the book.

          Also, while I’ve seen a few people who have problems with the pacing, overall I think the majority of the readers are either quite pleased or think it’s moving too slowly and honestly, I think that moving the panoramic “action shots” isn’t going to help the story at all seeing as how we’ll probably be missing important visual cues.

          This is just my opinion, though, and I can’t speak for everyone. 🙂

          • Adam Black

            Very good points.

            The subscription and the book could be the same.

            In otherwords, Would you feel differently if you didnt have to pay twice?

            That could speed up the action, just as little, where it could cause the greatest effect, and give you access to book-only material while you read the story. If you intend to buy the book you wouldnt miss out , and would gain something.

          • Xalun K

            That would definitely be a bonus to subscribers, but it still wouldn’t solve the problem of people who don’t subscribe missing the visual cues from the panoramic, epic, etc. non-dialogue scenes. I’m sure everyone would love to enjoy this story equally without having to worry about whether or not they can afford it.

          • Adam Black

            There are always tradeoffs. I wanted to draw attention to this one.

            You raise a good point about equality. But if nothing at all, is gained, for regular readers who do not subscribe, then it is a bad idea.

            That is what I hoped readers such as yourself to look at and wonder, From the standpoint of narrative spirit and flow

            It is counter-intuitive, and I tried to express that in the OP.

            Aesthetic preference definitely enters into it.

            and as a poor reader, whos on a very tight-budget, I really do appreciate you looking out for my interests.

            Even if Alex decided to start this tomorrow ( instead of next year, or even never ) I probably wouldnt be able to subscribe any time soon. Yet, I personally see some benefit, which is why i wrote it for others to consider.

            Thanks,

            Adam

          • Xalun K

            Oh, no doubt there’s some benefit, especially to the people who aren’t detail oriented who read this. But for those of us who are, it would definitely be disappointing to not get the full experience. Slow moving doesn’t mean poorly flowing, just remember that! 😀

        • Hey Adam,

          I don’t at all feel that you are out of line with this suggestion.

          I’m actually more aware of the tension created by posting this a page-at-a-time than one might think, even though I know what’s to come. And that tension plus my knowledge does limit what I can say in the comments which can create a fair amount of tension for me as well. 😉 This is a long work with a big time commitment for readers so I will occasionally WOG big things—like whether this is going to be yet another story where the gay guy winds up miserable and broken in the end—because I believe the benefit it offers the reader outweighs the spoiler that Kyle isn’t in immediate danger of death here. But there are times, like recently here or after Deacon suggests his plan for Jeff at the end of Artifice, where I have to bite my tongue, lest I spoil something that promises to be much more pleasurable in an unspoiled reveal.

          The short answer is that your request is a fine one. And yet, it is most likely beyond the ability of my tiny brain to make happen. While I do try to make each page into something satisfying on some level (either as a story beat or as an opportunity to let Adam’s and Vero’s amazing art chops shine), if I were to try to “serve two masters” by essentially writing two stories (the full and the “webcomic abridged” version”), I think both would suffer. And… the art for the full version would still need to be created, so it would likely mean that instead of two pages a week of tighter storytelling, it would wind up being one-page-a-week, which I imagine would wind up feeling similarly paced.

          Because I am aware of the limitations, I have kept an eye on whether people are having a good time reading the webcomic—in the comments here, in personal emails to me, in social media and in person. And the message I continually receive is that the webcomic experience is pleasurable. Perhaps not as satisfying as having the book, but then, hopefully that just gives something nice to look forward to.

          I, myself, was a very slow convert to the webcomic format. I don’t even read periodicals; I wait for the trade. So a page-at-a-time anything in narrative comics sounded like torture to me.

          What I ultimately discovered is that a webcomic offers the opportunity for different pleasures. This comment section and the wonderful community we have here being one of them. (And the chance to engage with the creators and really focus on the details being another.)

          I agree that, unlike with a gag strip, there are times where serializng a narrative comic a-page-at-a-time does interfere on some level with my ultimate intention for the pacing of the work, but for my part, that is outweighed by the incredibly thoughtful commentary offered by all of you on each page. Most narrative comic creators get general takes on their work by a reader and if they are lucky, that reader will touch on a few specifics. But Adam, Vero and I often get panel-by-panel analysis of our work—and seeing as each page takes dozens of hours to make, that’s a very gratifying and special experience for us.

          So, while I am aware that there are times where the format is less than ideal, with the direct feedback I’ve received and the continual growth of our readership, I’ve gotten the impression that the pros outweigh the cons for most readers as well. I do appreciate suggestions about ways I might improve the experience, but ultimately, releasing the pages this way might be all that I am capable of doing. 🙂

          • Adam Black

            Thanks Alex for your thoughtful response.

            I think I have mis-communicated. Maybe not.

            You said : “if I were to try to “serve two masters” by essentially writing two stories (the full and the “webcomic abridged” version”), I think both
            would suffer.”

            I couldnt agree with you more.

            But that wasn’t what I meant, or to switch to a purely weekly schedule to accommodate two different stories.

            🙂 I definitely wasn’t suggesting you double your work load! :). That sounds overwhelming.

            I meant instead to convey a narrative benefit, if some panning and reaction shots were book & subscription only. ( and only during high-action scenes ) .

            Overall it would be far less than a weekly event.

            I am not not trying to convince you, merely convey what I originally meant .

            It is also possible that you completely understood me, thought through all the implications that you would do as writer to implement it, and rejected it.

            I can understand that.

            But you are correct that eventually, you would need to get a few pages ahead if you wanted implement it. I know you are busy, and I am a realist. ( But not 50% ahead.) The difference might be ( i am totally guessing ) 1 page a month. and even still, with that consideration, it might be completely impractical to implement till sometime next year.

            Of course, even if you understand completely ( just 1 story , not 2 ) love the idea, and want to implement it,

            It doesnt mean it is practical for you or that you would be able to.

            I understand that also. Real lIfe has its own demands.

            cheers,

            Adam

          • Thank you, Adam. I think I do understand your suggestion.

            For me, I’m such a deliberate writer, every page is supposed to offer some necessary information, if not for the immediate scene, then for a future scene down the line. (It’s one reason I get a kick out of the speculation offered by y’all. 🙂 )

            Whether I succeed in that or not (in having every page be necessary to the story), I’ll let y’all decide, but in addition to being the writer/editor, I’m also the publisher. Every page is quite expensive to make and to print—if there are ever pages I feel you all could do without, then I cut them. You offer some fine suggestions about other ways I might monetize such “extra” pages, but you are also right that the implementation of them at this time would not be practical for me.

            And ultimately, while there will be bonus side-comics in the books, my desire is to share the main story with you all here for free in its entirety. I am aware there are other smart ways to release serialized comics, but this one just makes the most sense to me.

            But again, I really appreciate the suggestion. And I’m glad that while some of the action scenes might feel a little “record skippy” to you that the pacing of many other scenes in webcomic form do work for you. 🙂

          • Adam Black

            Alex,

            Just wow.

            If the readers are paying attention to this exchange, you have just turned on the mystery-machine full hilt.

            “every page is supposed to offer some necessary information, if not for the immediate scene, then for a future scene down the line.”

            If I have heard this before, i don’t remember it. I hope you don’t mind if i quote you, Not to challenge you, but to remind others. That’s a very powerful WOG.

            You thought people over-analyzed every page before? You just wait ( HA! ) .

            I appreciate your graciousness in discussing the pacing and scheduling.

            Obviously, as as the writer you are privy to information I am not, about how narrative-dense every page is compared to others.

            I was making a judgement that could be contradicted by future events that play out.

            I agree with you that you get something different by reading slowly. But since that usually works fine, it was just an attempt to see if we could hold the line to prevent some retrograde pacing during high-action.

            But you are right, I didn’t know that every single page was meant to be that narrative-rich, or that it was drawn to be that parsimonious . This begs the question, ‘What am i missing?’

            Chris Dangerfield Chris Dangerfield thought it was really an information issue, and i hope he doesn’t jump a hole through his floor, now that youve dropped that major clue.

            I was making a judgement call that some were for emotional, and artistic effect. Perhaps, I hadnt seen enough of the story to even make that call till now; and as you rightly point out, without knowing what’s ahead, I can’t really know if any pages are not purely reaction shots. Not unless you tell me otherwise.

            My mind is now pouring over recent scenes, like the few silent Fire-around-the-bed scenes before the changeover to hell. Didn’t some readers see a Dragon in the fire?

            Now the readers have a new game to play.

    • The idea has real merit.

      Let me just say that I follow a novel that is being shared serially and the authors then make very slight changes as they finalize, based on very welcomed comments and feedback from their readers. It is MUCH harder than this webcomic, because the delay between large chunks of prose can be MONTHS. ARRRRRG. I’ve shared privately with the authors and they’ve shared how hard it is to listen to their readers (and they have a lot) melt down about the “unknown,” when they know that it will be somewhat revealed in the next chapters. So the readers have to feel the confusion… which is hard, but also educational for the authors, because they learn how a reader feels BEFORE he can turn a page.

      So, all that blah blah to say that your idea might work on some levels, but it won’t take away the basic fundamental challenge of reading material at an unnaturally delayed pace. Alex knows where we are going so he’s god and he’s spoiled, he can’t “unknow,” while we are going to go nuts regardless because we can’t know the future, but we ferment in an endless now that is exaggerated in this form.

      Wow that’s a lot of me agreeing with you in a confusing way. I’m just saying it’s a good idea but it won’t solve the real issues of choosing to read serially. I’ve really thought about waiting. I’ve Kickstartered… I know I’m going to get a book… but waiting when I know I can peek at my Christmas presents… auuuugh… I’m pretty sure I’m not strong enough.

      Best, CD

      • Adam Black

        Chris ,

        I totally hear what you are saying.

        “I’m just saying it’s a good idea but it won’t solve the real issues of choosing to read serially”

        For me, I do not believe there is always a conflict.

        It isn’t even, always, during action scenes.

        I only notice a disconnect occasionally, but it ends up being where it would cause the greatest effect: like a record that skips right at the guitar solo.

        Adam

        • Actually I think “action sequences” has very little to do with the core issue. It’s information flow. We (readers) want to know… things… is Duncan justified, is he just evil, is Sircea the real author of all this… so many questions. I rather agree with Alex that any author could only juggle so many of those issues at one time.

          No matter what structure you construct we’ll always want to know MOAR… know what the end game is, So, I don’t think a body *can* solve this problem. I’ve spun some wild inner scenarios and, despite what it may seem, I love Duncan. And, that is why my angst with him is so sharp sometimes. I’ve thought about that scene someone posited of a gray and alone Duncan dying after a fierce final armageddon… saving everyone and redeeming himself… but an unloved villain dying alone…

          Scene: Duncan has no one, but Kyle to hold him as he dies… OMG! What do I do with that? No fair! I can’t do anything but love that man despite his crimes.

          Enough, sorry… my point is that it could go ANYWHERE… but no matter what the format. We are in serial form and thus we wait. Some with better grace than others. And I’m talking only about myself… Me? I jump around the room and yell and swear like a mature adult, until camping arrives? Great ideas Adam, but I think you have to sell Alex your soul for arcane information at this level. That’s really the only solution. 😉

          All best,
          Chris D

          • Adam Black

            Chris,
            what you said about information is true, but that wasn’t a problem that I believe could be solved, or try to.

            But attention to that problem is partly a function of pacing. And overall the pacing is good and i would leave it untouched. I think action becomes tension and then gets reduced to anxiety only when pacing during key moments breaks.
            Only then, in a state of anxiety do the mysteries of the plot overwhelm the story and the action. IMHO.

            Can we maintain excitement on a biweekly schedule, or must it become reduced to anxiety?

            Since most of the time I feel the exitement is preserved, I suggest it is possible. and if it is, you maintain the thrill of the mystery and discovery instead of “jump around the room and yell and swear like a mature adult” OK, for you maybe just a few less swears.
            and maybe a swoon or two instead of the full bunny hop.

            Besides Alex wouldn’t want my soul. The maintenance alone is barely worth it for me.

            And if @alexwoolfson:disqus , wants to start-up a paid Yaoi’s Clues store, that is a totally different proposal, ( that I mentioned another time half in-jest ) . This is just a rare pacing tweak.

            cheers,
            Adam

            Ps: do you have downstairs neighbors?

          • Ummm first… I live on a one-story house so I suppose they’re gophers, moles and rats as downstairs neighbors… does that help?

            Second… “Can we maintain excitement on a biweekly schedule, or must it just become reduced anxiety?”

            Well, there is the question… if you don’t wish to reduce reader anxiety? What is the overarching goal in this endeavor? (sorta facetious and sorta not). If not trying to effect the reader’s ability to stay connected to a serial commodity, with all it’s challenges, then what are we doing? I’m as anxious as I need to be. If bad stuff happens to Kyle, NOW. I’m sending a bouquet of Black Roses to Alex’s office…. It’s okay I warned him…. 😉

          • Adam Black

            I was referring back to this premise:” I think action ( sense-of-action ) becomes tension ( reader tension ) and then gets reduced to anxiety, only when pacing during key moments breaks.

            Only then, in a state of anxiety do the mysteries of the plot overwhelm the story and the action. IMHO.”

            Having posed the problem, I was suggesting solving it.

            This is superseded by Alex’s word-of-God below, implying that every single page is has vital information, that may wont be apparent till later on.

            Try not to go insane……

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            I think I passed that insanity bend briefly further down the page.

            As to Alex’s reveal– and people scoffed when I said you don’t waste space in a comic. Heh. I admit, I missed that dragon though— makes me think that the Ophan bit for Laampros may be closer to the truth than not. Ophanim are known as “dragons”, after all.

          • Adam Black

            what lore is that?

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            I think it’s an encyclopedia of angel folklore (can’t get it atm, it’s in storage– that’s another reason I told Steven he’d have to wait for awhile on the book list). It has a blue cover, if that helps (you might have it).

            Anyway, one of the titles for Ophanim are “Dragons” (Gnostic sources that refer to them as Dragons also refer to them as great beasts) beside “Chariots” (or wheels, this goes with their other Hebrew name “Galgalim”) and “Thrones” (Thrones has been in dispute for a long time, with some scholars saying that only the Four Ophanim who hold up the seat of god are called Thrones– you can find that in included notes in the second book of Enoch, I believe. Paul mentions them, but got them confused with the Ashim who fight from the Ophan’s protection and the Erelim, who’re sort of like ascended hero souls. Then again, Paul was kind of a dick…)– like Seraphim are known as “The Serpents of Fire” and “Dragons in Heaven”. Kyle’s done the serpents of fire bit already. If there is a dragon in the flames that sent them to Laampros, that’s very interesting and potentially telling for both of them. Alex could own any number of books I do, after all.

            http://www.christian-history.org/seraphim.html

            Cheap version about seraphim. I can’t find many pages on the Ophanim that would be worth looking at (even the wikipedia page is pretty pale and sparse)– which is a pity, because they appear with some frequency in the bible. Most of what I’ve come across online with the Ophanim throws them in with the Cherubim (they aren’t Cherubim, though the Cherubim help them move their enormous forms), or confuses them with Ashim (who man their battlestations– the Ashim could be looked as armies of armed, angry celestial dentist/doctor birds on the Ophan’s crocodile).

            Also, to darkness bits of Laampros–

            http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheSacredDarkness

            I’m really leaning towards this due to Laampros’ last dialogue with Duncan. That and:

            Psalm 139:12-14. “The darkness and light are both alike. I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

          • Adam Black

            I googled it. It seems to be from Ezekiel.

            mentioned wheels, but not dragons

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            There’s one mentioned in Ezekiel, yes. I brought that up in another post awhile back. Ezekiel isn’t a gnostic text either, and it’s gnostic writings that call them dragons.

          • Adam Black

            since you sentenced me to TV tropes, to be fair this is where i last was…. http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/EvilVirtues take a sandwich

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            TV tropes is like an oubliette. I better take rations until I’m rescued, not just a sandwich…

          • Adam Black

            as many MRE as you can carry, …
            ( I almost went back there. D’oh )

          • Adam Black

            Oh.

            I mentioned Ezekiel because it looks like it started there. Also because it kicked off the kabbalah

            Dragons in heaven are interesting. That reminds me of a Spider Robinson story about the Intergalactic Church of Judas.

            ( Same Judah, but he rides Dragons. )

            I tried to find it for you, but …google it. It was pretty funny.

            A Catholic priest has a conflict because he knows Its made up from whole cloth, but he also knows its a much better, richer story! How Judas’s Pride caused the death of his Dragon, and all dragons from the world, and the overwhelming beautiful tragedy of this magnificent loss touches the preist as much a the passion story later on. Its a foreshadowing. O! those glistening golden scales forever lost to us. How Judas weeped….

            I guess I have mixed feeling about Judeo-Christian Mythology. As soon it calls itself Theology, my mind freezes, I judge it, I Picks sides, maybe even a little irritable….

            ( I wonder why ? ) As i read through the listings of Angelic Hierarchies , I thought, what if he means this as Objective Fact ? from the site you linked to , I wasn’t sure if I might accidentally insult a tightly held belief.

            If I was short with you , I was suddenly concerned about offending you. It wasnt a lack of appreciation for your research or your writing .

            For me, the whole conception of “angel hierarchies” with choruses strikes me as so artificial ( artificial is the wrong word, lacking in depth, not really fleshed out , superficial ? )

            Yet at the same time lacking in imagination. It isnt the **idea** behind it, mind you, it’s just the man-made way its portrayed.

            Well I guess that really sums up my issues with judeo-Christian mythology. A lot impossible things in a cosmos much smaller than the known real one.

            But a Gnostic Mythological framework vis-a-vis this comic, has got some things going for it!

            What if Kyle is an Archon?

            I like my impossible things thoroughly vast and totally beyond imagination. But call the Angels a word with no cultural baggage to me, like “Devas”

            ( or even Taoist Immortals. The Immortals are cool. Cool like Fezes, cool )

            and replace angelic “hierachies” with “ecosystems” and universes, and my interest comes right back. I am novelty seeker and I admit it.

            Did you know that Jung wrote a Gnostic religious text, and it was the root of his future work?

            Its called the “The Red Book” , and the “seven sermons to the dead” and supposedly is based on an incident where his house was infested with ghosts.

            ( did Jung do drugs? )
            I was reading about it last week

            I’ll try and find it for for you to make it to you if I insulted you, I think you will really dig it.
            http://www.gnosis.org/library/The-Red-Book.pdf

            sweet pictures….

            NYTimes writes a 11 page review calling it the Holy “Grail of the Unconscious”

            “The book is big and heavy and its spine is etched with gold letters that say “Liber Novus,” which is Latin for “New Book.” Its pages are made from thick cream-colored parchment and filled with paintings of otherworldly creatures and handwritten dialogues with gods and devils. If you didn’t know the book’s vintage, you might confuse it for a lost medieval tome.

            And yet between the book’s heavy covers, a very modern story unfolds. It goes as follows:

            Man skids into midlife and loses his soul.
            Man goes looking for soul. After a lot of instructive hardship and adventure — taking place entirely in his head — he finds it again”

            http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/20/magazine/20jung-t.html?hpw&_r=0

            http://www.gnosis.org/gnostic-jung/The-Gnostic-Jung.html

            http://www.gnosis.org/gnostic-jung/index.html

            ( HA! …I just remembered I found this from doing web-research on Vodu/Hoodoo/Voodoo/Yoruba . Reading on Religions is as bad for me as TV Tropes. )

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            To insult me, I’d really have to have an emotional investment in the subject. I have an intellectual one, I find the topic of magic fascinating and stimulating, as I told Chris pages ago where I partially explained why. If you wanted to call me anything it would be an agnostic occultist (think Ray Stantz from the Ghostbusters). It doesn’t mean I’m going to be offended if you don’t agree.

            Really it was the mention of Solomon and the way that magic was described in comic that set me on the path of deciding that any mystical references were probably judeo-christian in some form (that and it would be more familiar to the audience, thus is more likely to be used). I’m familiar with a much wider variety of mystical practices and beliefs.

            I disagree with the unnatural or “artificial” nature of the spirits. It’s more likely humanity simply lacked the appropriate words to describe the power interactions going on– and given that many of the sightings occurred during altered states of being, it’s not unusual they were all classified under religious phenomenon. I think you’re letting your bias against christianity blind you to what’s going on (but you do admit the bias, so don’t think of that as an attack, just an observation). Think about how their motions, interactions and qualities are described and ask yourself if that doesn’t sound like descriptions of things that go on in quantum physics. Particularly things like the power transfer between the cherubim and ophanim– sounds like particles changing spin and energy levels, or moving between particle and waveform.

            The archon thing is definitely a possibility. It’s something I considered along with a mithraic aeon. We’re missing some tells for either of those, in my opinion, but they’re still on the table because there’s nothing that says those belief systems aren’t involved.

            I have a copy of the Red Book. I’m very fond of Jung. Thank you for all the links nevertheless. I appreciate the thought.

          • Adam Black

            The Ophanim were originally described as wheels-within-wheels which easily lends itself to all kinds of modern re-tellings ( fractal geometry, Ufos even Nicholas Cage movies: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/knowing/ )

            But the ancients probably had gyroscopes so I suspect there was a direct inspiration.

            “Really it was the mention of Solomon and the way that magic was described in comic that set me on the path of deciding that any mystical references were probably judeo-christian in some form”

            I can see that.

            Islamic Lore and Western Hermeticism is also , explicit with Solomon binding Demons or Djinn to do magical work.

            There are a lot of Renaissance Grimoires about this which are probably loosely based on the Kabbalah of the time .

            http://www.chaosmatrix.org/library/books/lesserkey/lesserkey2.pdf

            Of course these are meant to be in Judeo-Christian tradtion—- but as a source of literature I’d say they are their own tradition, much like Gnostic Chrisitianity .

            ( Although I suspect Gnostic Texts like Mary and Thomas were mainstream that were edited out of the Cannon )

            I read over your original response. My initial reactions had a more subtle origin. The way you spoke of the Ophanim sounded like ( to me ) you also had picked sides on which version was the “real one” . If one version was your religion with a capital “R” , in a literalist sense—and not in Jungian sense, of manipulating deep symbols of the unconscious —than I wanted to be careful.

            What you may think of as my “bias against Christianity” to me is merely the gracious , tolerant and neutral reaction from a non-member of that particular club. I certainly have nothing against the Christianity /Philosophy of Pallus Tillich, ( http://people.bu.edu/wwildman/bce/tillich.htm ) Teillhard de Chardin
            ( http://teilharddechardin.org/index.php/teilhards-quotes )
            or even Bono. ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wB1al_0c3D4 )

            And Paul Tillich,
            ( http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/p/paul_tillich.html ) arguably the greatest, if not one of the greatest Christian Theologists of the 20th Century called Christian Biblical Literalism “Demonic”. I do not know if he said this after his move to Boston, and then being accosted by strangers on the Subway system yelling at him that he’s going to hell; But that exact thought crossed my mind at Harvard Square a block from where he taught. Life is full of symmetries, so it is quite possible.

            ( And I caught that earlier comment about “Paul” being a dick. It made me smile 🙂 I don’t disagree. )

            I intended to differentiate in my comments between “Spirits” and Literalist listings of Angel hierachies .

            When I said artificial , or superficial. I was only referring to **the description**. My point is that if if it existed in any ways, such descriptions would looks ridiculous and superficial . Like a description of the U.S. financial system by what type of suits men wear.

            or like this : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cargo_cult

            Its an imagination of Heavenly Realm ( universe) as merely an extended earth Church.

            It struck me as a Potemkin Village or a western Movie ghost town.

            and that suggests to me that they created or elaborated on people without the spiritual experience you describe.

            Sure I could Quantum it up and add applied Phlebotium and flesh it out with my own mind, but then I’d have no basis for why the original description deserves it.

            If my own naked imagination is richer than a spiritual description, I have to ask myself why does this description deserve the power of my mind to flesh it out?

            It isnt enough for me that it exists on paper, or that I *COULD* read into it. There are plenty of other spiritual texts that start from a position of depth.
            ( and I’m sure we can both name a pile )

            Although I did think the ship in “Knowing” was a cool fleshing out. And making the film about coding the bible for trasns-dimenional aliens didn’t leave me feeling follow hollow and empty ( like when I was 13 and figured out that Aslan was Jesus) ..

            Well you are the only person I know that it and read it, what do you thin of Redbook?

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            I don’t see the “extension of the church” until much later (considering the “Church” as such didn’t exist for some of the information)– the bastardization the catholic church uses now, for example– with its sterilized angels and “nothing improper” theology. Angels are completely improper, wild and dangerous– and very lovecraftian. The fact that catholics aren’t terrified of michael is amazing, until you realize that they’re looking at michael through a rose-colored blindfold. –far as church elaboration, it’s part of the sanitation process (if you want a really sad case, look up the journals of Faustina– you can see flashes of very interesting shit in there but it’s bogged down by things that were clearly added later. They aren’t written in her “voice”). Don’t fool yourself, other religions go through it too. Certain sects of hinduism are notorious for molding the ecstatic visions of supplicants, for example (there’s video of the process on youtube, it’s that common). That’s the sad thing about religion with the big “R” (Not “ARR”, though adherents of the grace of his noodly appendage can be just as blind in their own way.) it’s not about the search to discover the divine or understand the universe on another level, it becomes about controlling the masses. It’s another tool in an ugly bag of tricks for shady little men to exercise power over others.

            The words “fleshing out” do the original ideas a disservice, I think. You have to consider that the places these visions were experienced were slopping over with entheogens that were frequently eaten in the course of a normal diet or encountered with skin-contact. Those have been involved in some of our better leaps forward in science, like DNA. There is your basis and I don’t think it’s quite the leap of logic you’re suggesting. I think it was a series of observations, influenced by drugs, that were simply misinterpreted through the lenses of religion. It pleases me to grab my shovel, follow the patterns I see and dig through the bullshit for gold.

            Many of those religions put pen to paper (or stylus to clay) from positions of high authority, you have to understand that christianity was based on a religion originally practiced by a band of nomadic shepherds (who may or may not have been egyptian… that’s a whole other ball of wax…). I think it’s snobbish to look at something and dismiss it because of it’s essential simplicity, when that was rather the point. To carry these ideas and transmit them to others prior to the establishment of the kingdoms of Israel they had to be simple. It doesn’t make them valueless.

            It’s your word choice, and dismissing potential information out of hand (cargo cult wasn’t the best comparison) because you have a poor reaction– describing emptiness (loss) as opposed to simple boredom. I tend not to think about christianity the Religion(tm) overmuch because the endless attempts to sanitize itself are very boring to me. It’s like those crazy people who glue fig-leaves on the netherbits of statues for the sake of morality. I mean, really. Everyone has netherbits of some configuration or other. Anyone can reach their hands down their own pants (or those of a friend) at any point and go exploring and you’re worried about me looking at marble junk on a statue? Absurd.

            Like my comment about Paul? Having had to take theology courses and courses from very religious professors, inspired me to find out how many occult texts I could reasonably cram into any report I had to submit. This was entirely for my own amusement and I get the feeling that a couple of the professors didn’t read my reports once they saw the stack of creepy-looking books next to them, given so they could check my references. (– and I edited out the rest of my gloating. I shouldn’t still gloat over causing confusion and discomfort in others this many years out. Kyle wouldn’t do that.— The douchebags in recovery need bracelets that ask “WWKD?”– what would kyle do? It might stop such things. 😉 )

            Brief overview of thoughts on the Red Book– I’m not sure Jung had to be on drugs to write it. If he was experimenting with hypnogogic states (many ways to get there outside entheogens), it’s very possible that the Red Book is completely him. I know my own journals written from such states are pretty wild. Combined with the illustrations, I feel like Jung is kin to William Blake (who was famous for hiding his real meanings between his pictures and his words– it’s a crime to read Blake without his original illustrations), at least in an attempt to engage all parts of the reader’s mind beyond the obvious and hint at things not said that are conspicuous by their absence. In less tangly language, Jung grabs your hands and expects you to dance with his brain as if you know the steps already. I’m still not entirely sure what the Red Book is about beyond the obvious journey, but I’ve enjoyed every reading of it– even the more morbid bits.

            Honestly attributing any human invention or observation to aliens makes me sigh. My elderly mother has this elaborate explanation for why everything exists that involves aliens that takes every shred of innovation and responsibility away from mankind. Pardon me if I prefer an active role in the discovery of the larger universe, even the bullshit we tell ourselves, and let me be the ape beating on a log with a stick.

            And I have to cut this off here, because I could keep going, lol. I will check out those philosophy links, never fear. Always good to talk, Adam.

          • Not in a million years could I truly engage this comment on the level you’ve written it. Adam may understand the references, but I only get the feelings some of the ideas invoke in me.

            Darn you for being too quick… after gloating about the tweaking of your professor’s respective noses, I was so looking forward to making some crack at “The douchebags in recovery” and you so out did me, mid-stream with “WWKD?” HA! I know when I’m outclassed.

            But back to me… (LOL). The one thing I feel when either you or AB talk religious iconography, creatures, philosophies old and young is that the seeming fundamental difference is that there was a time when men knew they were small and inconsequential with a great deal to learn — perhaps the humans Laampros refers to — and a later man filled with hubris who must rewrite ancient texts in order to try to recreate a universe at which he’s the center. When everything observable fights the validity of that world view.

            So that’s just one thought as I read and re-read some of these more intense comments… this feeling that there are two warring universal views. Man as beginner surrounded by the vast unknown and Man as the supreme being around which the vast revolves.

            I’m an odd boy and get depressed if I think this is as good we get, because I too am a member of The Douchebags in Recovery and I like the idea that I can recover and maybe become something moarrrr.

            LOL … see there is no subject that you can make so lofty that I can’t disassemble down to it’s most simplistic parts… oh well. I’m saving the links too. Maybe when Alex is on his fifth book… I’ll suddenly go… OH? *grins* Hey? We can hope.

            Best,
            ChrisD

          • Adam Black

            Just re-subsribe to Maxim, you know you miss the jokes

          • LOL… how did you know?

          • Adam Black

            ( eyeroll ) because your netflix cue is filled with old “Entourage”

          • Of course… What else?

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            I agree with your observation on viewpoint. Searching for that state of overwhelmed wonder is part of what drives me on (and actually set me on the path I’m on now– my great cosmic “Why?” was answered more or less with a “Why not? Who are you to demand of the universe why and expect an answer you can understand with your little brain? dumbass.”). That is the essence of eureka– the “aha” moment– where -on fire, ha- we can see both the immensity of the universe and our relative insignificance in only understanding (or at least thinking we do) a small morsel of it.

            Our ancestors, for all their simplicity and peculiar practices, were not stupid people. They could not afford to be (not in the same way we can now, where a child can’t even tell you where the north star is and giggles like an idiot then tells you to use google maps). Given how hard it was to survive, ritualizing important discoveries (in various fields) made sure that this information was passed on to the next generation– even if that generation may be illiterate due to slavery, war, plague or disaster. We even have an area of the brain uniquely devoted to spiritual experiences, it’s in the temporal lobe. You can stimulate it with a variety of things and produce random bursts of what feel like religious ecstasy (and visions… or alien abductions. That one is for you, mom) but the fact remains that it exists and it evolved for a purpose (it also interacts with the hippocampus in some interesting ways related memory).

            I just happen to think that purpose is to further our search for not only who we are but what the universe is– I think that’s what religion was at its core along with a running record of results told in metaphorical/parable form before people discovered that altering this process gave one an insidious level of control over others. Different forms of magic have evolved into our sciences. Our smug modern philosophies are often directly related to the sacred stories told around campfires thousands or even hundreds of thousands of years ago. While the language may have gotten obfuscating (because gloating. it happens. boy, does it happen… WWKD?) and distant, it’s a connection drawn in blood.

            It pains me to think we can even look at a cargo cult and not see what’s actually going on there, simply dismissing the cultists as “charming misguided natives” (I hate the tone of that wikipedia page) whose experiences, because they seem ridiculous, aren’t important. The cult itself is a record. The people are recording events in themselves that have altered their worldview. They have become living books. That they try to replay these fortunate events is just simple magical thinking— and that in itself evolved to become the foundation of our scientific processes. The realization “Every action has a reaction” became “If I can control an action, I can control the reaction” (the soul of sympathetic magic)— became “Every Action Has An Equal And Opposite Reaction” (physics). There is gold at the bottom of most piles of bullshit and the shit itself can grow some prizewinning roses on the way. The trick is being conscious enough to grab a shovel not vomit if the smell gets to you.

            The forceable disconnect between our physical and metaphysical selves brought on by the idea that any kind of “god” must be dead if man is truly to be “adult” and “In charge” (hubris) of his own destiny is as poisonous as anything the Religions of the world do to control their followers– it’s simply happening at the opposite end, where hard science is so enthralled with itself (and the idea that it can know everything) it can’t stop jacking off while looking in the mirror.

            As far as societal hubris being poison, one needs look no further than the end of the roman empire to see a spectacular downfall caused by pretending to be the center of the universe. Hubris still begs nemesis, even when the temples have been torn down.

            Always good to talk to you too, Chris, even if I end up getting drunk on the sound of my own thoughts and rant a little. I hope we all become something more and better.

            There is no shame in simplicity.

          • Comment on your Edit: Is it bad when I’m interested by what appears to be a “villainous monologue?” Hmmm… WWKD? (read it I think *sighs with you*)

          • Steven K.

            The WWKD analogue to WWJD – hmmm…innocent guys with special powers of possible divine origin, both “despised and rejected ….of sorrows, and acquainted with grief”, both ending up in tricky situations, both betrayed, bound, made to suffer, one in agonizing pain, one in agonizing pleasure ….the idea of both coming back with enhanced powers of cosmic nature and scale, both ultimately saving mankind / the world, etc. I hadn’t thought before of the fact that one could interpret Kyle here as a Christ figure, until that “WWKD” reference, assuming that the “K” might refer to our little hero here.

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            So -spinning wheels here- our three main Archetypes on this page are Odysseus, Christ… and what do you think of Laampros being Jung’s Philemon?

          • Steven K.

            Hmmmm ….well, the wings are def. there – lol – though I see the Jung archetype as more quasi-angelic than demonic. For me, Laampros just doesn’t have that same kind of elderly-graybeard spirit-guide and teacher quality. Though, interestingly, Jung did write on the parallel of his Philemon with that in Goethe’s “Faust” (which does, of course, have a Laampros parallel in the form of Mephistopheles).

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            Not just the wings but the horns! XD And he certainly schools Duncan.

            I don’t have a problem seeing Laampy as an “angel”, so maybe that’s our difference. Almost all the “devilish” dialogue has come from Dunks (which Laampros has reacted badly to).

            True on the Faust connection— but I’m more ready to see Duncan as the devil, than Laampros— particularly since Jung also described Philemon as “himself” and Laampros has already scolded Duncan for his hubris, and given him the benefit of the doubt for now (as most of us have), and invokes the reader’s “eye” with our giant floating friend.

          • Steven K.

            That’s a very interesting take on things.

          • Steven K.

            Great point at the beginning of your second paragraph – I’ve always maintained that as well.

          • Steven K.

            Nice comparison of that work of Jung to that of Blake!

          • Steven K.

            Very much like what you have to say in your third paragraph. Something we should keep in mind.

          • Steven K.

            The writings and the art in the “Red Book” or “new Book” are based on Jung’s own visions / trances / dreams/ OBEs / etc. (whatever you want to call them). Even if one can’t get into the text, people should check it out just for the amazing art that portrays various elements of his visions.

          • Adam Black

            well what were they?
            what does he say?

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            I hate being vague, but– Everything. Nothing. It’s an intimate trip into the psyche and subconscious of another human being. It’s not something you can just throw quotes up about without context (or at least I’m not at the point I feel comfortable doing that. I’ve seen those that spin all manner of meaning about the book, but I don’t think that’s its purpose- to have one meaning made of it on a universal level that everyone must conform to. It contains an almost primal level of holiness, in that it’s not opening Jung’s doors for you -imprisoning you in the idea that you must think this way-, but inviting you to open your mental doors as you read and become one with your own Philemon.) in a serious discussion and I don’t feel comfortable chuckling at the oddity of Jung’s visions (some of them are hilarious, but just focusing on that aspect out of context is wrong. It cheapens the experience.). If you’ve never read it, I’d highly suggest you get a copy.

          • Steven K.

            That’s what the whole big(!) book is about. 😉 If you haven’t already, you really should check it out.

          • I didn’t scoff, but I remember taking a wait and see attitude… By now, it is more than clear to this new reader that Alex approaches the gestalt of his book with a filmmaker’s sophistication. I rarely see this much attention paid to long form story-telling in any genre and it’s fab.

            I’m sure we all have read/viewed our share of meh work. So, that Alex imbues each page with wall-to-wall meaning is unusual and really special. So, in this case, I really do agree about “no wasted space in a comic.” I’m not sure I would make that statement generally and I know that’s not what you meant, so we’re completely in agreement.

            I do like you and Adam sharing the arcane and religious references because I don’t have any of that knowledge and… from Ophanim to Dragons… it’s all fascinating. I was even fascinated when someone mentioned Kyle as Phoenix… the idea of that kind of rebirth is astonishing and fascinating… of course… rebirth implies a death first.

            Wouldn’t that cause a ruckus?

            I mean, (paraphrase) doesn’t this “Word of God” guy read his own freaking Universe Bible?!

          • Adam Black

            We don;t even know if Kyle can die. and I don’t mean in the sense that Alex promised, but we don’t really know Kyle is a mortal human.

            and if he has Phoenix issues, ( absorbed, reabsorbed into the speed force ) I don’t think fiery deaths/rebirths violate Alex’s rule that Kyle makes it to the end.

          • I totally agree with all that and I agree it wouldn’t “violate” anything. I was just being stinky in talking about death and rebirths literally, because I can be taught and Lesson#1 seems to be that Alex will surprise me in some delightful way.

            I’m a bad person who just got a smile out of imagining a little mass hysteria if Kyle had to die in order to become the world’s greatest hero… can’t imagine how myself but, fortunately for all of you, I’m just a rider on this here roller coaster. 🙂

          • Adam Black

            I can beat that…
            I had a following paragraph that I didnt write about how funny It would be at the mass fan-freakout If Alex pulled a Timelord and gave Kyle a different new body.

            But I think even Alex is attached to this one. For the fans Unhappy that Duncan is getting De-aged, its a perfect time to call their bluff, if Kyle sports a few gray hairs.

          • Duncan young and innocent, Kyle old and venal… who’s your scorpion now? Put that on that fanfic list someone is making up.

          • Adam Black

            lets makes a new game: Break the base even more

          • What would you suggest?

          • Adam Black

            Tacos.
            wait, what was the question?

          • No problem. You can’t go wrong with that answer. I vote Carne Asada…

          • Adam Black

            A new list of the top 50 Tropes that could happen will Break the base.
            Then we decide whos is for them
            Easy ones: Kyle/laampros shipping.
            Kyle forgives Duncan
            Spooky is evil and set this whole thing up.
            Kyle has been banging Sircea and is playing everyone

            Then roll your D&D dice and pick some.
            and didnt I mention tacos? thinking makes me hungry.

          • You had me with Tacos.

          • Steven K.

            Hmmm – Kyle having to die “in order to become the world’s greatest [to some] hero” – another Jesus parallel?

          • I’m simply not learned enough about religion in general to understand most of the religious parallels. I just have to read yours, Sonny’s and Adam’s posts on these things repeatedly and try to glean what I can. But please, everyone, keep going it’s interesting thinking.

          • Steven K.

            Oh – I had made a comment above (in the discussion invoking “WWKD”) citing the many parallels between Kyle and Christ that COULD be seen in the story at the moment.

          • It’s a common misconception, even among those working in Television & Film… but the good ones understand. The goal is that every single thing, (as much as possible) color, camera angle, focus (what’s in or out), music, pacing etc… etc… is there to give you detailed information about STORY.

            And, ideally, that information is the equal or superior to dialog. Many many very fine filmmakers make the mistake of thinking that non-verbal is not-as -good when it ‘should’ be the opposite. The visual is the equal in every way as an information conduit. The ultimate informer being contrast of any type. Anything that sharply cuts from one state of action or emotion to its opposite is a strongly non-verbal message to the audience to pay attention and notice something the author wishes us to see-understand-feel.

            A horrible example: The last panel shows Kyle using superhuman will to overcome the paralysis spell and it throws all of Duncan’s plans into the shredder… look at our hope. I’m giddy with excitement that he’s just un-paralyzed for a moment. However, if Alex needs to dash that hope (? Not saying he does ?), but if that were the point… then the sharp contrast of Kyle pulled forcibly back into powerlessness and voicelessness against his will and business returning to usual would break some hearts and that creation of sharp contrast would create the biggest emotional reaction in most of us and it could be entirely done without dialog.

            Just some observations about how media techniques affect audiences and why Alex is right that, in the hands of a knowing filmmaker, every page is essential.

            @sonoftheatomicbiscuithead:disqus is exactly correct when he said you don’t waste real-estate in a comic. But it’s a bigger truth. The good author doesn’t waste real-estate in any medium. So the visual treasure hunt is very much worth our time.

            Best, CD

          • Adam Black

            **About Emotions**

            “Anxiety” also implies a lack of Absorbtion.

            Its an obsessive interest, but anxiety is as much or more interested in the state of anxiety than its actual object.

          • “Anxiety” also implies a lack of Absorbtion.

            I didn’t completely understand this statement, but I want to. This is an interesting subject, so thank you.

            The way I perceive it (in this example) is that mine is an obsessive interest with understanding what’s happening in YP on a deeper level and knowing facts that haven’t been revealed yet (as it is with everyone probably?). That being the obsession. Just as I would be with a great book, one I can’t put down at 3AM on a work night and turn off the light, all because I want to read just one more blurry page.

            I don’t know if this is what YOU meant, but I perceive that this state of “obsession” turns into anxiety only when I’m left in the “state” too long by the serial nature of the journey.

            Now because I could man up and get over it, if I so chose. Is that what you mean by my being, “more interested in the state of anxiety than its actual object.”?

            Because basically, I’m making a choice to go on THIS journey in THIS manner. So I have no one to blame for my anxiousness but me. (All totally true.)

            So I was stumbling round this and then just thought I’d ask if we were thinking similar things. Please ‘splain.

          • Adam Black

            @chrisdangerfield:disqus

            I have disqus problem. My response ( long and funny explanation to you )

            is continually sending the comment without posting it.

            The text disappears while you send it.

            Do you know how to make it stop, without losing the text?

          • Arg, I wanted that response. I’ve had the same problem today and I left it rolling at work and it didn’t time-out… so Sonny’s magic didn’t work for me.

          • Adam Black

            i tried.
            It restated everything a third time, used allegories,

            separated the the general from the personal so you woulsnt wince when I wrapped it with fat drag queens references, karen carpenter songs , and walked you through a panic attack….

            That’s why I kept trying for hours to get it back…
            o well

          • Such a tease… and those were a few of my favorite things.

          • Adam Black

            i suppose it will just eat away at the back of your mind till you have some issue you are anxious about, than you’ll try an remember there was something you were supposed to remember about anxiety, but now, shit you just don’t have time for this, something about anxiety being caused by anxiety, No that doesnt make sense , dammit disquis, I am on a deadline and no i can’t think, and If only I had read thing it would all makes sense , here hold this for a goddamn minute I cant even…

          • Would have replied to this but I just got…

            Oops! Google Chrome could not connect to webcomics.yaoi911.com

            Access a cached copy of webcomics.­yaoi911.­com/­2013/­10/­22/­ete-­ch2-­page-­41/­

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            That scenario with Armageddon there makes me think about Duncan’s line to the effect of- “There aren’t any good guys or bad guys. There’s just a bunch of guys.” That would be a powerful orchestra hit on a heroic sacrifice from him.

          • Adam Black

            I think thats Duncans way of saying everyone is as selfish as he is.

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            Possibly.

          • Adam Black

            I think thats Duncans way of saying everyone is as selfish as he is.

          • So right. The orchestra would be wringing our hearts dry and pulling every last tear out for a sacrifice of that nature. I have lousy betraying gay-male eye who refuse to subscribe to the tough-guy Marlborough Man ethic and cry freely when my heart is torn asunder. It doesn’t even matter than I KNOW what the orchestra is there to do.

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            I told you guys to bring towels and umbrellas if Duncan ends badly. I’d be right there with you, clinging and sobbing.

    • Jakk Anthony Guzman

      I have no problem with the pacing of the story. Would I like it to be much faster, yeah. But I understand that it takes time to create the pages. Yes the story is different when you have to wait a few days to read a page rather than reading it all at once. But it also gives me something to look forward to. It also makes us focus on a page at a time and analyze every little thing about it, which you wouldn’t necessarily do when you are reading the story all at once.
      I plan on getting the book so it doesn’t matter to me. I think it’s fun this way and then I get to read it all an once too.
      That’s my opinion. 🙂

      • Adam Black

        Jakk, I agree with you , and that is how I feel most of the time.

        ” But it also gives me something to look forward to. It also makes us focus on a page at a time and analyze every little thing about it, which you wouldn’t necessarily do when you are reading the story all at once.”

        I agree, this is certainly not something that i would change.
        As a reader we have a choice to wait and read sections at once.

        The difference I talking about is very, very small ( in terms of pages ) but I think has an outsize effect.

        In my mind as a reader it is just a small tweak, that might strengthen the narrative sense of action here and there.

        I am openly wondering if we can have our cake, ( read it biweekly ) and get to pore over the details, and eat it too ( keep the high-action scenes, actiony )

        It would involve accepting a second trade off.
        Losing a visual page once in a while. With the option to get it back if you wanted to.

        I appreciate the response

        Adam

    • Personally I’m good with how Alex does it now, especially since we’re getting a bonus page just about every week which speed up the pace.

      I know several webcomics that follow the approach of having bonus pages in the printed comic. What generelize all of them is that it’s small sidestories and/or extra NSFW sex scenes they won’t show online – or don’t need to show online, because it slows the pace of the story down. It’s not pages that can take anything away from the main plot so readers miss important info. And it works rather well, but..

      Another thing that generelize most of the comics that have extra material, not for all readers, is that they can ‘only’ update once a week (or less) because the artists will have to work on extra pages along with the uploaded pages. A lot of artists also take weeks/months off between chapters to work on getting the extra material + possibe merch finished and getting the comic into print. TYP is actually one of the fastest paced webcomics I’ve read.

      Alex is using the methode of having a kickstarter to getting the books printed – that gives him the money up front to pay for it – but it also leaves him with a LOAD of actual extra material that’s already being made for the kickstarter backers. Example is the posters and tradecards. Along with the 1-2 pages a week we get now, they’re also working on making 36 tradingcards and something around 40 – yup 40! – different posters.
      Luckily he has the privilege of having two full time artists on this besides himself (and some extra help for the KS). That’s rare for a webcomic.

      I’m just fine with getting about 2 pages a week and hardly any break in the comic at any point than Alex starting to change the weekly number of pages to give some extra material. It would probably just end with slowing the pace down, rather than quicken it.

      • Adam Black

        Thanks for commenting.

        A lot of good points to consider.

        • Oh, and there WILL be extra bonus stories in the printed comic. They were unlocked stretch goals, so we get a 22 pages Spooky/Commander story + a 5-10 pages Q&A thing. Can’t remember if there was more than those 🙂
          Alex, Adam and Vero must be so busy getting all this done.

          • Adam Black

            wow, i didn’t even know .

          • Why do you think I occasionally write those tedious “film” scenes of the three of them working their fingers to the bone… it’s because I honestly can’t imagine how they get it all done. They’re amazing!

    • WarGoddess

      I like your idea for the reason that I read each page so fast that it has me in a fit because I’m an extremely impatient person and I’m so eager to learn how the story ends. What I wouldn’t give to be able to read larger increments of the story at a time. However, I can understand why the updates take so long. Usually with my drawings, I can whip up something relatively simple with just pencil, ink, and colored pencils in a little less than an hour when the creative mood strikes me. When we look at these magnificent comic pages, we must realize that fantastic pieces of artwork such as these must take quite a while to complete. It’d probably take me forever and a day to complete something along the lines of what we are seeing here. I have very little experience with the type of computer programs used to make these comics, but I hope one day to develop my skill to their level. I also know that despite my impatience to know what is going to happen next right away, I do not want the updates to come any faster than they already are. The reason for this is that I am an extremely avaricious reader, and have read books such as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in less than half a day. I finish the stories way too fast, and it makes me sad because I want to read more, but I cannot once they are finished. So I say, let the pages come at the normal speed, and sit back and enjoy the ride. 😀

      • Adam Black

        Alex has explained that it is currently impossible, due to future plot lines: apparent eye-candy pages actually have important info, that can’t be locked up.

        Which could be read as a creators defense to an amateur editor, or a bold claim that we’ve been overlooking open secrets dangled in front of our eyes

  • CuriousElementalist

    The suspense is killing me!!! …I’m 90% sure that Alex linked his description to TV Tropes to help preoccupy us until Saturday.

  • “Nooooo!” Shouts Kyle, thrashing about on his charred remains of a bed.

    Anni’s face contorts with fear. He tries to open his mouth to tell the boy to be silent, that he is keeping him safe, but Laampros was faster. His hand stretched forth and shot a solid ball of flame at the boy. It could not kill him, fire never could, but the pain knocked the wind out of him and brought tears to his eyes. Anni held his tongue, his expression one of pain. He wanted to help the boy but what could he do without ruining the deal.

    And this is what I think should happen next. I want to see LONGING, damnit!

  • “Nooooo!” Shouts Kyle, thrashing about on his charred remains of a bed.

    Anni’s face contorts with fear. He tries to open his mouth to tell the boy to be silent, that he is keeping him safe, but Laampros was faster. His hand stretched forth and shot a solid ball of flame at the boy. It could not kill him, fire never could, but the pain knocked the wind out of him and brought tears to his eyes. Anni held his tongue, his expression one of pain. He wanted to help the boy but what could he do without ruining the deal.

    And this is what I think should happen next. I want to see LONGING, damnit!

  • No_One_Special

    Ok the bed should be burnt to a crisp now but oh well.. I have been off the net for almost a month and just know got caught up.. Boy I am glad nothing exciting happen while I was away,, Come on Kyle get free and kick ass,, Amni need to be smacked hard for this game,,, but hell who wouldn’t want long lasting youth. Thanks for the updates keep them coming

    • You’re very welcome. I’m glad you’re enjoying them. 🙂

  • AliceVenturi

    Well, would you look at that: Kyle isn’t as immobilized as Duncan thought he was. Cool! The problem here is that, while Kyle is likely pissed beyond reason and ready to take on both Duncan and Laampy, he may lack the power and, more importantly, the knowledge to be effective. Of course, there’s the part where he wasn’t as immobilized as he was supposed to be, so there are truly depths to this kid that nobody really understands, least of all himself.

    Did anyone else find Laampy’s “The key. Your arm. And the bargain will be struck.” a bit odd? You don’t give someone your arm when sealing a deal; you give them your hand. But maybe this is such a Big Freaking Deal that just shaking hands isn’t enough. But then again, I wonder if Laampy is being literal? And I also wonder if Duncan is about to find out that one never comes away from a deal with a devil with all of one’s bits intact. Maybe, in place of his soul, Laampy’s willing to just take Duncan’s arm instead. My, wouldn’t Duncan find that to be a surprise. Heh. Heheheheheh.

    • Jakk Anthony Guzman

      If Duncan needs Kyle to return then he will have to protect him if anything goes wrong, or leave quickly with him. Duncan told Laampros in the beginning that “the boy has SERVED his purpose”. I don’t know if that means he doesn’t need him anymore.

      • Denise Cruz

        He also said to Kyle that the fact that he couldn’t speak would keep him alive…
        Well, now what, Anni?!
        I hope you have some kind of plan B, ’cause Laampros won’t leave that boy in peace for much longer…

    • Well, considering how old Laampros is, clasping arms (just below the elbow) or wrists would be the way of it, the warrior’s way.

      • Jakk Anthony Guzman

        Laampros’ hand is also gigantic, look at panel 5. It’s as big as Duncan’s forearm.

        • Would you give your arm to THAT hand?

          • Jakk Anthony Guzman

            Chris, I wouldn’t go anywhere near that place! Even though the eye is interesting.

        • Yes, yes it it. Either way (hand, wrist or arm), Duncan is a tiny child to Laampros and would be swallowed by such a gesture.

    • Summer

      I’m suspecting that the arm is going to be part of the deal. And not while it’s attached to Anni.

      • AliceVenturi

        Yeah, that was my thought. And I doubt that Duncan expects that little codicil on the contract. Talk about chagrin….

      • dereule101

        The idea of trading wishes for body parts reminds me of this Oglaf page. http://oglaf.com/simon/ (NSFW)

        • Adam Black

          he should have wished for both

          • dereule101

            I thought that too. 😉

    • Simba Hutchison

      Its possible some blood needs to seal the deal? Or physical contact to do the magic needed to make him young again?
      Or there was an unknown payment of flesh somewhere in this deal…

  • Adam Black

    *************************

    Time out everybody:

    *************************

    I want to share a powerful message from the Creator.

    “For me, I’m such a deliberate writer, every page is supposed to offer
    some necessary information, if not for the immediate scene, then for a
    future scene down the line.” —Alex

    Try and let that sink in for a moment.

    This is from a very thoughtful, and interesting conversation below I shared with Alex on the pacing, plot, and narrative intent.

    Did you think there was some pages for artistic effect only?

    I did.

    ( Wait, was that really a Fire Dragon around the Bed, a few pages back? )

    “….every page is supposed to offer some necessary information…”

    “Every Page”

    “…if not for the immediate scene, then for a future scene down the line.”

    Before you just *THOUGHT* there were hidden clues, on every page
    Now you know, there really are!

    In fact Alex goes on, “if there are ever pages I feel you all could do without, then I cut them.”

    Now you can go completely insane.

    • First, I’m now going to be looking even closer at each page.

      And second, that would be fun, yo, if Kyle was part dragon or actually a dragon.

      • Adam Black

        I really wasn’t expecting such an emphatic word of God, on the information content, from Alex.

        I wasn’t even asking about it.

        I was discussing the dialogue panning and reaction shots during high action scenes…. Think of all those past pages, where there may be new clues to mine.

        Alex’s statement is unarguable ( before the story is finished ) .

        • Each expression, each gesture. Treasure hunt!

          Edit: It’s always interesting to hear from an author regarding such things. And there is so much information with how incredible the art is. So it will be even more of a pleasure to study the pages.

          • Adam Black

            exactly

  • Does anyone else think that in the last panel, Anni’s thinking, “Oh shit. What have I done?”

    Amazed with the art, btw. Gorgeous!

    • I’m thinking more of an “Oh shitshitshitshit, not now not now.”

  • Seeing some of the other discussions further down a thought occurred. We’ve just assumed that Laampros was a demon because he’s big, red, has wings and horns. He could be something else entirely. Or have I missed the page where the actual word DEMON is mentioned?

    • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

      I’ve entertained the possibility that nobody on that page is actually evil. So far the worst is Duncan, a douchebag and king of bullshit. Doesn’t make him evil, just nasty (Odysseus again. I would not want to meet Odysseus in a dark alley if I had something he felt he needed any more than I would want to meet Herakles when he’s drunk and horny. People die when Herakles is drunk and horny.).

      • Since evil is just a word used to describe what someone finds morally repugnant, and since what one culture finds morally repugnant might not be so in another. So yeah, the thought that Laampros is evil just because he oh wishes to devour souls… BUT the moment Duncan suggests that this is what Laampros wanted for so very long Big Red snaps that Duncan doesn’t understand anything.

        For all we know that Big Red needs souls to maybe change form or something else, so to him devouring souls might not be something detestable. Reminds me a bit of the daimons from Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter series. They need to consume souls to survive.

        I think that was off topic. But what you said works. 🙂

        • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

          Ophanim “devour” and spit back out cherubim for power to move. Doesn’t hurt the Cherubim at all. It may be no more harmful to humans than putting a waterwheel from the bank into the water. We don’t know what devour means to Laampros– and I think it was just Duncan who used that word, so it may just be Duncan operating on erroneous information given to him by Sircea. That makes me even more suspicious of her shiny hotness over back on Earth.

          • That’s true re: devour (and fascinating). We don’t know his definition and since he’s obviously ancient, it’s quite possible that texts were mistranslated and/or misrepresented. It’s not like that’s never happened. Of course, PP could easily be setting everyone up — Duncan and Laampros (I would include Kyle, but she probably doesn’t think of him as anything but a disposable tool and holds no thought for or of him). An ultimate double double cross. She could have easily played on Duncan’s insecurities in a bid to become a goddess and will leave him to rot.

            PS – Just wanted to tell you that I have enjoyed your posts.

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            Thank you too, Jane.

          • I agree. I always enjoy seeing your posts and their hints of the exotic and arcane I wouldn’t have thought of. I’m even forgiving you and AB for the TV Tropes oubliette (due to your warnings I took rope, water and skittles… so I survived.)

        • Steven K.

          Kind of like how Galactus might not be considered actually evil, per se, even though he is a “devourer of worlds”, and needs to ingest them for his own survival?

          • In this instance, one could look at it that way, yes.

          • Adam Black

            They are called space vitamins

        • bronakopdin

          all the people calling Laampros “Big Red” now reminds me on the chewing gums -> http://www.candyhouse.de/images/produkte/i70/70010175-Kaugummi-wrigleys-big-red.jpg

          • HA! Now the song is stuck in my head.

          • Adam Black

            YANA

          • I had to google that. ….longer with big red.

            I once tried to see how many pieces I could chew of it at one time (it was a dare I think). I do not recommend that.

          • Adam Black

            I did earlier down the page. its still im my head for two days

          • Wasn’t that what the Master called himself when he was that old man?

          • Adam Black

            yes, stood for You Are Not Alone

      • Herakles – but what a way to go huh?

        Bullshitia – so does that outrank My Grand Poobah? (bigger sash probably).

        • Steven K.

          No – longer sash, bigger turban.

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            Don’t forget the ruby. XD

        • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

          No doubt. Sad though. Half his victims were his male lovers.

          Nah, he’s king of Bullshit, not Bullshittia, High Lord Douchecanoe. I am Dictator of Bullshittia. You’re the Grand Poobah. I’ve got a snappy pseudo-fascist uniform and a kitten on my arm (for emergency stroking). You’ve got more bling and a nicer car. It has little flags on the windows and everything. Wait till we have a parade. It will be glorious.

      • SofiaT

        Odysseus was my favourite mythological hero when I was a kid. And I can attest, he could be a cold-blooded, amoral bastard when it suited him. (Ironically, for some reason I always pictured Odysseus being a redhead.)

        I must also say that you’re oh so right about Heracles too -and I love that you called him by his proper name and not his Roman equivalent. Good to see someone who knows their mythology. *bows*

        • bronakopdin

          as a student for Latin AND Ancient Greek I second that! I mean most people use the GREEK names of the gods (Zeus, Hera etc…) and NOT the Roman ones (who uses Iuppiter or Iuno?)

          • Simba Hutchison

            Not many. Most use Jupiter and Juno.

          • bronakopdin

            which would be the “modernized” versions of the original spelling, yeah, but still the Romanized versions are not used as often as the Greek original names

        • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

          One of the things I remember best about Odysseus is the way he lied to Penelope once he got back to Ithaka. He already knows she loves him and knows he’s a cruel douche– but rather than explain his travels, he bullshits to smooth everything over and make her feel better. It shows that even if a hero can overcome his hubris (and it took 10 years for him to and be truly sorry), he can’t overcome his nature. Odysseus is a douchebag in recovery.

          With all this praise I’m getting, I don’t know what to do with myself. Thanks.

      • Adam Black

        My heater is Evil. It tried to Kill me.

    • rgleon9986

      I started using the word demon out of convenience, but I’m still reserving judgment as to what exactly I think he is. I’m still leaning toward this is what Kyle and/or Duncan are seeing because the realm and Laampros want them to see this, and that they’re extradimensional entities that can’t be defined in normal physical terms.

      • That’s actually a good way of looking at it.

        • Adam Black

          didnt look it up?:

          ( NO, of course you didn’t …. its the Title of the Next X-man movie . I am in a bubble )

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Days_of_Future_Past

          Obviously a sly reference to :

          http://modernism.research.yale.edu/wiki/index.php/Swann%27s_Way

          http://www.authorama.com/remembrance-of-things-past-1.html

          • I have bookmarked those for later perusal. But I warn you, if you break my mind… I will send my past self to the future to find you.

          • Adam Black

            But being lost in some places is a higher status activity than Tvtropes

            Hopefully your past self of the Future will have gotten this far:

            “I put down the cup and examine my own mind. It alone can discover the truth.
            But how?
            What an abyss of uncertainty, whenever the mind feels overtaken by itself; when it, the seeker, is at the same time the dark region through which it must go seeking and where all its equipment willavail it nothing.
            Seek? More than that: create. It is face to face with something which does not yet exist, which it alone can make actual, which it alone can bring into the light of day.”

            ( there is a joke in here, be sure let me know when you see it . …. )

          • That the joke is on me? o.O

          • How about a hint?

          • Adam Black

            I gave you 10.
            plus links , plus quotes

            If I point my finger up there is very limited number of things that could mean

          • *grumble* Would it be in regard to picking one’s nose?

          • Adam Black

            @admiraljane:disqus

            I have disqus problem. It is continually sending a comment without posting it.

            The text disappears while you send it.

            Do you know how to make it stop, without losing the text?

          • I’ve had that do that, but I don’t know how to stop it. I always attributed it to accidentally hitting something else instead of post.

            You might need to contact discus or you could try to clear the cashe or cookies.

          • Adam Black

            but the comment did not post.
            I want the comment back.

            what did you do? ( if i cleared the cache it would erase it )

          • Just reposted I guess. Discus seems to be acting up because I couldn’t even get to the comments for a time. The whole discus thing wouldn’t load.

            (*&$#^ mercury retrograde. Every time. Every damn time)

          • Adam Black

            sucks

          • very very much so.

          • You know… I wonder what it says that we like to take words that mean something so good and assign them alternate meanings that are so bad. Like, when I grew up, something “lame” was often labeled… “gay”. Oh that shirt is so “gay,” when it was just badly designed. Well, in so many instances “sucking” serves a laudable and much desired purpose and yet… well here we are in negativity.

            I wonder why?

            Regardless, sympathies Adam. Like I said, I lost a long comment at work today and just attributed it to a vengeful wrathful Goddess with a tricky sense of humor, but maybe the Admiral is right and it’s just Disqus. I wonder which is more comforting.

            Best, CD

          • Mercury. It’s Mercury. It’s all his fault. He’s going backwards. The bastard.

          • Whew, as long as you know what’s going on, I can relax. Thank you Admiral. As usual you are safely on course.

          • 😛

            Things dealing with communication and electronics/appliances always just get messed up (if you’re the unlucky sort, they break) during a mercury retrograde. I think it’s ending sometime in the first week or so of November.

          • Adam Black

            its epicycles all the way down

          • When your toaster breaks…

          • Adam Black

            Dont put a fork in it?

          • Ha! I’m just saying things happen during a retrograde that aren’t fork related.

          • Adam Black

            Fork it?
            Retrogrades are just an illusion.

          • Well, yes, that’s true, but when mercury appears to be moving backwards things tend to go wrong. They really do. 😐

            Why yes, I’m superstitious with this.

          • Adam Black

            The electric cord from my heater exploded in front of me.

            it shot out a cascade of sparks and I stupidly stared at it, instead of flipping off the surge protector.
            ( which clearly doesnt work )

            I think I froze in shock.

            That is *So* unlike me. Ive gone soft tor senile.

            I need a helmet and adult supervision.

            whats worse is ive had it under my bed for 2 months

          • There you go. 😐

          • Adam Black

            I was grateful, but now I am cold

          • Sometimes the cords can be repaired. Well, if you know how to strip and splice the wires etc. At least I think that’s how it’s done. Know an electrically savvy individual

          • Adam Black

            already done once.

            I dont trust it anyways now.

          • Bummer. Maybe it has an evil spirit in it? Or maybe it’s like in the Transformer movies with that cube thingy making electronics into evil little tranformers.

          • Adam Black

            It hypnotized me while it shot red sparks across the room.

            Thats almost the worst part. Incompetence on top of poor decisions

          • I had one explode one. I screamed like a little girl as I slapped at the sparks that landed on my bed.

            BUT, red sparks are pretty. Pretty sparkles. Red pretty sparkles.

          • Adam Black

            I was right next to the power strip, and I completely froze until it stopped.

            I am usually fast thinking, shock later
            It was pretty
            Like those pyrotechnics that started the staition fire

          • It must be the lingering effects of being sick. But at least nothing caught fire.

            Did I mention I was on the bed at the time?

            Of course I’m the type of person who will stand there pouring something and wondering why it’s overflowing as I keep pouring, despite knowing I need to stop pouring. Fuzzy brain strikes!!

          • Adam Black

            maybe, but I hacent had many overt cognitive effects.

            and situations like this are the perfect test of a mans reactions ability handle unplanned dangers.

            Its not like you can plan this sort of thing. You dont know how you will react to dangerous situations till they happen. That, and my previous fast thinking reactions have saved my life before.

            what am i supposed to think? I am a uselees old man?
            I need to depend on my wits

          • Adam Black

            but … you are a girl.
            and looks like I am one too.

          • And I was in the early-ish part of my 30’s

          • Adam Black

            better than early 40s

          • Probably. Still felt stupid.

          • Adam Black

            Lies.
            The server has a ghost.

            Sonny, which of the “Seven sermons to the dead”, do we type into disqus to fix this problem.

            Pop open The Redbook to the electronic Repair section
            ( and I bet it isnt under Mercury )

          • The ghost of Mercury. The god of communications is haunting the server.

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            LMAO

          • Adam Black

            share the lOve.
            You should post Redbook quotes that match the YP scenes

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            Yeah, that would take more time than I have. The Red Book is worse than TV Tropes. I’d go looking for a quote (and have to scan the picture that went with it, because PICTURES), meander through and then look back up and it’d be 4 hrs later. Not strapping that responsibility to my back. However I invite everyone watching at home to purchase a copy, or “borrow” one.

          • Adam Black

            thats cuz you assign the sucking to Gods,

            and the Goddesses are to ….

            i am not the Jungian expert here …

          • LOL.

          • Browser History?

          • Adam Black

            but it was in a discus form
            loading the page eventually lost it.

            where would it be in History?

          • Yeah… I’m knew to discus. Forgot, just imagined a page back there somewhere. Dang.

          • Adam Black

            Did it Break your mind?

          • Probably. I think my past self got lost. But there’s nothing new there. I gots me a terrible sense of direction. If all else fails turn right fails most of the time.

      • Adam Black

        It’s real Kyle from the alternate universe in the future, who has time travelled in the past, powered up, and merged with his Fire force.

        He’s actually good, but Dark Laampros is about to appear and all hell with really break loose.

        • I forgot about future Kyle.

          • Adam Black

            Remembrance of Future Past !

    • Adam Black

      those web pages goes stuck together.

      I’d happily link you there, but you would be sent to a pocketweb never to return,

      or find a way to return the link, before the pocketweb collapses killing all the duplicates.

      and Evil Bunnys…

      • These journeys you keep sending me on… http://satwcomic.com/child-s-play

        (I lost hours getting through that, unable to leave the site till I finished)

        • Adam Black

          o, NO.

          The driven snow is filtthy next to me on that one,

          that one is ALL @smsif:disqus .

          ( and I still havent finished!! )

          • I was reading that comic when I was supposed to be writing…for two days! Two whole days! And I shall indeed blame @smsif:disqus for that. But think yourself not as the driven snow, fair sir, when you too offered these links into the abyss of hilarity!

          • Adam Black

            I hear if you stare too long into the abyss of Hilarity it laughs at you

          • And thus a vicious cycle is born. You laugh it laughs you laugh it laughs. Or is it laughing because you’re laughing.

            A new mythos of Echo (Ekho). Who’s laughing now.

          • Adam Black

            “Whos laughing Now?”

            Do you need that link or do you know it?

          • You probably need to. Cause there are so many likelihoods.

          • Adam Black
          • One of the best purely daft films ever made. I also like the evil books flapping around. I fact I like quite a bit of the gratuitous humorous violence… thank god I’ve got a meeting of DBIR this week… I think I may need it. 🙂

          • Adam Black

            is it required viewing?

          • Only if you’re willing to pay in IQ points…

          • Adam Black

            Its a classic scene. Should I have put a warning on that?
            I figured the source title was enough

          • No no, not at all. I was laughing at it, even while cringing.

            Edit: granted I’m not a horror fan. I do love Bruce Campbell

          • Staring staring laughing laughing… a new age of hysteria is born. I think there is a halucinogen to go with this… 🙂

          • Yeah, life.

          • *Applause*

          • *bows*

          • *the stage hands standing in the wings behind the Admiral look on in admiration as they realize her dress rides up and shows off all kinds of good things when she bows… the applause gets louder.*

          • -_-

            Must remember to curtsy after this.

    • Amanda

      That’s racial profiling.

  • pinglederry

    Before I forget, I just wanted to let people know that the title of the fourth episode of the Fox Network horror/fantasy show Sleepy Hollow (which, btw, is full of delicious cheesy awesomeness) is entitled “The Lesser Key of Solomon”. I haven’t gotten to it yet, so I can’t say for sure, but that seems to imply that the show and this webcomic might have some source material in common.

    • Klaus

      Wikipedia has a long article on the Lesser Key of Solomon. It is a good place to start if you need names for devils, e.g. for a role playing game.

      • John

        Many enjoyable minutes did I spend going through and going.. that one! That one! Aaaaand… That one! Antagonists finished!

  • Jamie Dutton

    Um, who named the key Clave? How did I miss that? I feel so out of the loop T.T

    • Sapfo

      That might have been me. Opsy! ^v^
      But Clave have a brother how have not gotten a name… yet.

      • Tina

        Technically Duncan said it was a sister key. So the key should be a girl’s name… like Cathy.

        • Sapfo

          A Girl Key! But Keys like to penetrate things!
          Maybe its like Sister Sweden.

          Cathy mean pure, so why not.

          http://satwcomic.com/women-s-rights

          • Tina

            XD

            I love Humon! Her stuff is so funny

          • Sapfo

            So Clave and Cathy…. do they like each other or do they fight all the time? Stay tune and you will find out.

          • Tina

            I think they fight all the time. Clave wants to be the man in the relationship but Cathy always emasculates him with her rough nature

          • Sapfo

            Maybe, but I think Cathy is protective of her baby-brother how is always getting into trouble.
            You know like going out with strangers and suddenly he is in a hell dimension kind of things.

          • Denise Cruz

            Well thought! Both of you! lol
            So, where the hell is Cathy?!
            Did she just leave her silly baby brother around Laampy’s hands?!
            BAD Cathy! Bad!!

          • Tina

            Clave is old enough to know by now not to go off with strangers; no matter how charming or sexy they are. This is all his fault for not listening to his big sister Cathy.

          • Sapfo

            But Tina, where is Cathy right now 😉

          • Doesn’t she have her iPhone with her so you can track her like a good guardian?

          • Sapfo

            Cathy might think that she never gets into any trouble. But right now, I think PP is having her.

            And Chris, Clave might look young, but he is about 100 000 years old. He don´t have no guardian, but big sister still protective of him.

          • Gergana Maltchanova

            She has the iBall app up in the… sky?.. He’s well protected.

          • LOL. Great.

          • Tina

            Well you see Cathy and Clave’s key parents had died a few weeks prior to this, so like a good little daughter key, she was busy arranging the funeral. Magical key funerals take a lot of preparation.

          • Sapfo

            But, that’s not a happy story. I thought George and Clave was a romantic comedy.

          • I’m with Sapfo, I was kinda hoping Cathy, Clave and George would become that whacky comedy that would keep me from melting down before Laampros devours my soul (the fatty). 🙂

            And also there are the questions. If they have parents who did THEY belong to? Did George’s dad work for Laampros’ dad… and who was he? Is GFE a hereditary position? Alex? Could you just publish the bible please… you know “The Book Of All Knowledge” and we’ll fix this. (LOL)

          • Sapfo

            Well If you do remember George parents was from high society. With all of the mysterious dark intrigues that there could be.
            Clave and Cathy belongs to a more artistic background.
            Then one day Clave and George meet. Now they are trying to get their families to get along. It´s a classic “we are so diffrent form each other” or “when eye meet key” comedy. XD

          • Excellent. Breaking down societal barriers wherever you go!

          • motordog

            “I am the Gate-Keeper…are you the Key-Master?”

          • Amanda

            Because I always said if I was an all powerful demon I would choose Rick Moranis as my ideal representation.

          • Steven K.

            Would almost be like if Woody Allen were to portray Satan, or maybe Paul Reubens.

          • Pee Wee Lucifer

          • Amanda

            Paul Reubens at least has a little bad boy cred. Even if it was just for Doing the white knuckler in a porno theater.

          • Easily fixed. He just needs to relax his grip.

          • Tina

            I have a keyblade… would that work?

  • Simba Hutchison

    Oh, Laampy. Thank you for validating my thoughts on Anni’s motivations. :3
    Also, I am pretty tickled by the one-eyebrow quirk you appear to have in the last panel, as if to say “Wha? It talks?” Your human-esque curiosity is kind of super adorable. I hope you don’t decide that Kyle is much more worthy of your time now, though. It would torture poor, silly Duncan and open the door for Kyle to say something that somehow makes this situation worse… Plus, selfishly, it would keep the story in this creeper hell landscape… I miss non-red shades…(Not that the art isn’t beautiful! Every page I drool over the pretty fire! :D)

  • motordog

    Okay…a very critical moment for me has transpired in this comic. Anni has ‘seemingly’ offered billions of people up to be eaten. IF this is actually what happened (in that I’m holding out a tiny sliver of a hope that ‘all is STILL not what it seems’), then I just can’t accept that he can be redeemed. I mean, up ’til now, no matter what he has done, it could all be eventually repaired (though with a good deal of work and a sincere drive to make amends), but how do you recover for Hitler levels of mass murder? (sorry to invoke Godwin’s Law). I may have to take a sabbatical and come back after several pages are up! (No offense to Alex intended…still a GREAT story with lots to go, but I’m being too bummed out at this stage. Better to return after the heroes have rallied and made everything better, so I don’t have to stew for weeks!)

    Anni…this isn’t cute anymore!

    …though…Kyle finally rallying is a good sign…

    • Jakk Anthony Guzman

      It’s not in keeping with Duncan’s character. He’s not the type to be satisfied with just two continents. Plus I don’t think he’s that stupid to believe that Laampros won’t want all of the planet eventually. IF all of this turns out as it seems at the moment, then Duncan’s character will be one-dimensional and not very interesting. Duncan seems to be extremely intelligent, so all of this — letting possibly millions of demons loose on the Earth — seems incredibly stupid, and again, not in keeping with his character. So I have to believe that it is some sort of trick to get something from Laampros that he or Sircea want.

      • I think there’s probably a chance, am thinking specifically of whatever Duncan said about “the binding” – that doesn’t seem to apply to what he did to Kyle. So perhaps “the binding” referred to this entire attempt to bind Laampros to his will, and when Laampy touches the key, something will happen.

        But it seems even more stupid for Duncan to think he can outwit or trick a demon and get away with it, than it does for him to think of making a legitimate deal with a demon. Laampy also has the ability to read Duncan’s mind, doesn’t he?

        • Jakk Anthony Guzman

          Yes, I think demons can read people’s desires and state of mind and Laampros is a very powerful demon. The whole plan as it’s presented so far seems stupid, not in keeping with Duncan’s intelligence. I really don’t know what Duncan is up to. My best bet is that it has to be some sort of trick to get something out of Laampros or maybe use him in some way, and even that is not very smart — not a good idea to deal with demons. As to reading Duncan’s mind, Duncan is a very devious person, it may not be easy to read him. Or maybe Sircea is helping him with her magic. I hope we can find out more soon in the next few pages.

        • Steven K.

          Hmmm…..it seemed to me that Duncan’s reference to “the binding” did indeed refer to what he was doing to Kyle. It COULD have meant something else, but I think it’s most logical to assume it was a reference to the spell he had put on Kyle.

        • Steven K.

          Hmmm…..it seemed to me that Duncan’s reference to “the binding” did indeed refer to what he was doing to Kyle. It COULD have meant something else, but I think it’s most logical to assume it was a reference to the spell he had put on Kyle.

      • Denise Cruz

        I totally agree with you!
        He’s much more than that!
        He wouldn’t believe that someone could actually live peacefully in the Americas with multitudes of demons loose over the rest of the world.
        Come on! Not even Kyle, with all that innocence of his, would!
        Anni probably has a card up his sleeve. He’s not the type of person who loses a game so easily and he doesn’t give up anything like this, without trying everything possible first … he’s up to something!
        At least, I think so! 😉

    • Adam Black

      “Solomons Rules” are about binding demons.

      If you want to redeem Duncan in your head, just think about how crafty and deceptive he is.

      Beyond that, there will likely ALWAYS be some ambiguities in Duncan, throughout the story, because that is how he presents himself.

      But, in my mind, its easier to accept him an untrustworthy jerkass and move on. and that cuts both ways.

      Can we trust that Duncan is being faithful to Laampros?
      i doubt it.

    • TheManBehindTheCurtain

      If Anni has ever killed anyone, there is no “repairing” that.

      • Interesting thought.

        I realize I’ve made a complete assumption that could be quite wrong. When Duncan is talking to Kyle before he key cards them into that warehouse, he confess to hurting the bullies who hurt him, “very badly” and going on the run and losing his family and everything.

        It’s hard to imagine robbing all those banks and even Fort Knox without someone dying (?) Hey, not even Goldfinger could do that! I’ll admit, I assumed that to “lose your family and everything” meant Duncan ended up killing someone. But indeed that’s not what he “says.”

        Though he does say he’s not one to “cling to regrets.” Hard to figure out if he cares about any of it. Good writing that.

        Humph… assumptions.

        • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

          Indeed.

          Odysseus tricked Iphigenia into believing she was going to marry Achilles so he could sacrifice her to Artemis for power. She dies a horrible death, consumed by fire, but Od gets what he wants. This is one of the many moments of hubris it takes 10 years to attone for.

          Could totally see Dunks doing that in service of “the greater good” like Od. In fact, this whole situation with Kyle smacks of it which is another reason Duncan is wearing Odysseus’ “hat” in my head. So I’d say he probably has killed people, just not for pleasure. It would be in pursuit of something else or by accident/collateral damage.

          But again, as you say, assumptions.

          • Interesting, but hard ideas for me to think about as, when honest, I want to like them both too much.

      • motordog

        Well, perhaps ‘repair’ wasn’t the best wording I could have used.

        • Perhaps, you are correct, but don’t be too hard on yourself for expressing your emotion honestly. That said, for myself, I agree with Sofia’s stated goals about interacting with an evolving story that only Alex knows the truth of.

          The gay elements of the story have meant for me that I’m very easily moved to high emotion by Alex’s story. Thus, if you say a word like “repair” in this context I leap right to it, right or wrong. I believe you used ‘bleak’ in a much earlier post and I’m particularly susceptible to that feeling in this context and so I’m definitely no longer an objective reader/viewer (if I ever was). All of which is certainly fine in a reader, but less so in someone commenting.

          That said, I really enjoy listening to your thoughts MotorD, so I hope you’ll continue to share. Thanks.

          • motordog

            Thanks, Chris! The sentiments are mutual! ^_^

  • WarGoddess

    Duncan: Kyle. What’re you doing? Kyle. STAHP! (O_o)
    Laampros: Mmm, the tasty morsel talks, does he? I like my dinner to make a bit of noise when I devour its soul. MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!
    Kyle: I won’t let you sell our planet to the devil!!! NAKED FIREBALL SUCKING ATTACK!!!!
    *Kyle proceeds to suck all of the fire from the dimension, to include that of Laampros, into himself, expelling it into our world , possibly causing a wildfire in Africa. Duncan and Laampros stare at him, now standing in a no longer burning wasteland.*
    George: Awkward……

    Lol, sorry, just a glimpse into the nonsense going on in my head at the moment. 😀

    • Jakk Anthony Guzman

      You forgot one:
      Laampros: Oh yeah Kyle! Suck that fire!! That’s it boy, keep…..

      • Amanda

        Could Laampy possibly be listening to Salt n Pepa’s song Push it while this is going on?

        “Oooh, baby, baby
        Baby, baby
        Oooh, baby, baby
        Baby, baby………..”

      • Steven K.

        Aw Jakk – naughty boy! 😉

    • Amanda

      George would pretend to look at everything but them. Which is awkward for a giant all seeing eye.

  • John

    Is laampy planning on taking Anni’s ARM!? I mean one-armed Anni would still be as hot but OH the puns we would be subjected too…

    • Jakk Anthony Guzman

      Look at Laampros hand in panels 3, 5 and 6. They are gigantic. He would need Duncan’s whole arm to grab something. Or maybe he just wants the arm.

      • Denise Cruz

        Sorry, but… which freaking drunk would want just one arm when seeing that whole glorious man?! I don’t think so! Not even a hugely stupid drunk! lol

    • It’s a typo. He meant ass. “The key, your ass, and then the bargain will be struck.”

      Obviously Duncan is prepared to take one for the team.

    • TheManBehindTheCurtain

      Laampros probably would be puting his “mark” on Anni’s arm as a sign the deal has been struck between them.

  • Adam Black

    How did I miss this? ( And No one said anything?)

    “I think this “Word of God” guy needs to read his own freaking Universe Bible, am I right?!..”
    —- Alex Woolfson

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/UniverseBible

    “And the gods said, “Fallest not into the
    temptation of parallel universe subplots. For therein lies the realm of
    evil twins. And you shall see their goatees and know them to be unclean
    in my sight. And woe be unto thee that assumest all extraterrestrials
    would appearest as humans save for a bumpy forehead.
    Thinkest thou outside the box, for this is my commandment.” Takest thou
    these words and go forth that you may multiply scripts and have them on
    my desk to review by Monday.
    —Joel Watson of Hijinks Ensue ( http://hijinksensue.com/2011/01/26/the-b-s-g-b-i-b-l-e/ ) takes the concept of the BSG bible a little too literally. ”

    Coincidence, or MASSIVE CLUE dropped in our laps ?

    Does Good Duncan show up and heal the fandom rift?

    ( Oh, Ben Reilly, I miss you **SO MUCH** . wipes away tear

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Comicbook/ScarletSpider )

    • davefragments

      I have several short stories with extensive backstories. Most have about a half page but several have a full page or two detailing the characters and their situation.

      The most extensive examples are a) three stories with an alien Sasquatch and his human counterpart, b) a gym owner with magic powers. He always starts in a gym with a speed bag.

      One backstory was so delightful it has nearly 10,000 words of stuff that interest me but couldn’t be used in the story. About 200 words of that character appear in one story. He’s a gift of fun writing that was never be good enough to publish. He owns a bar in England and serves his touristy guests SPAM disguised as Royal Food for the Royal Wedding. He insults the mayor of the town as stupid in a public speech. He berates a regular group of British Soldiers who show up at his bar for naked drinking nights. (I didn’t invent that BTW)
      The final story has nothing to do with tourists or soldiers.

      Even with short forms like flash fiction, I have the backstory or a history of the main character and most likely the villain in my mind. A recent on is one of those big teddy-bear muscle fools who gets drunk and cute and tries on a mask. Yes, he never takes it off… But the point is that his backstory is all there at the waiting to draw upon.

      Or a quartet of bad boy teens who always sneak into the circus. They each have a backstory and those illuminate their fate.

      Kyle’s story is already known to us. Except for the big climax where he saves the world and loses his virginity and grows up all at once.

      • Adam Black

        OOOOOHHHH!

        ( Light goes on )

        I had to read this 4 times before I understand the subject.

        ( story-Universe bibles )

        I was focused on the implicit meaning on the link and forgot the explicit meaning of the original subject

        ( I was thinking, I am sure this means something, but I can’t find any time-traveling duplicates, or angsty clones in it? )

        I think we are missing a lot of Kyles story, including **WHAT** Kyles is.

        So he wears the mask for the rest of his life?

        • Wow, that would be like having to stay in the closet now wouldn’t it? 🙂

          • Adam Black

            Mexican wrestler forever?

          • Mil Mas Caras Red Hot… Okay he’ll have to work on his new Super Name. LOL.

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            Strong Flame?

          • Sorry my bad spelling (and I’m married to a Latin too… the shame) it’s the famous Latin wrestler who always wore that mask… Mil Máscaras. We were just imagining Kyle having to wear the mask forever… that said I’m with AB, I really want to know where Kyle comes from.

          • Adam Black

            Scroll up.

            The mask was a question to the story on first comment.
            “puts a mask on and never takes it off”

          • My Disqus is very wanky. I scroll up but it puts things in strange orders at time and I don’t get a linear conversation. So… confusion thy name is chris. All I had to go on was your earlier remark, Mexican wrestler forever?

          • Adam Black

            I was responding to you, but you were responding to me when I asked a question to someone , about another story.

            The person wearing the Mask forever wasnt Kyle. It was a short story not posted…

          • Thanks for pointing at the fork in the road…

          • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

            I was just making a joke about Strong Bad from Homestarrunner. He wears a luchiador mask.

          • I wasn’t aware. Thanks that’s hysterical and perfect. Strong Bad is exactly it. What a cool structure for a site. Anyway, thx again.

      • Feverfew_M

        Did you say “alien sasquatch”??? @___@

        Where? Gimme!… please?

        • davefragments

          One published, one waiting to be printed.

          It’s SASQUATCH AND CYBORG, LLC, in BOUNTY HUNTER:

          http://www.amazon.com/Bounty-Hunters-Chris-Bartholomew/dp/1617061085/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1328123614&sr=1-1

          • Feverfew_M

            Thanks, looks great! 🙂
            Any chance of this getting published as e-book, too? I have to say I prefer those.

          • davefragments

            I have no control over that.
            However, I seriously doubt that anthology will be converted to an e-book.

          • Feverfew_M

            Knowing myself, I’m probably gonna get it anyway. 🙂

          • davefragments

            Thanks. Publishing short stories through a anthology is a different business model than Alex is using with ARTIFICE and THE YOUNG PROTECTORS. I “sell” a story and the publisher is responsible after that for getting it into print and distributing the printed copy. I haven’t sold the electronic rights for that story to anyone. In Alex’s case, he will be the publisher and printer.

  • Adam Black

    hes the night sky in thos metaphor

  • motordog

    Wow…a reference to Suikoden II! I loved me some Suikoden back in the day!

  • Adam Black

    *Help*

    Does anyone know how to recover a Disqus comment that didnt post, isnt visble and stuck on a sending loop ?

    • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

      Wait until it times out. It’ll pop back up and you can try sending again. It did that to me earlier with that enormous reply to you. lol

      • Adam Black

        It shows no sign of timing out. been over an hour.
        I even tried cutting the web connection—no change.

        and ironically Im tying this comment over, because it happened again, right now , right above this line

        • davefragments

          Disqus got a bit flaky tonight.

    • No, but sympathies. I had one today also and had to just shut down browser and lose it all. ARG.

  • Pashakitty

    I love the “WTF?” look on the demon’s face in the last panel.

  • SofiaT

    Got a new phone so I’ve been pretty unproductive all day, playing with Siri, asking her stupid questions. One of them was “is there a God?”.

    Her reply: “Humans have religion. I just have silicon.”
    Made me think of Deacon.

    • I need to upgrade my phone, but the dang company wants to change my plan. I like my plan.

      • SofiaT

        I pay $10 more per month now for the plan (+$20 for the device) but that’s because my internet now is 4G. Haven’t seen much difference from 3G in the speed to be honest.

        • They want to put a data plan on each phone which would just send the bill ridiculous. Need to research that more.

          But Siri, she’s pretty cool?

          • SofiaT

            I asked her if she loves me and she replied (in that deadpan voice of hers) “well, you’ve definitely started to grow on me”. She’s a hoot.

          • Ha!

          • Gergana Maltchanova

            Love your commentaries, Sofia 🙂 From mythology to Siri, it’s all one bundle of poor mortal saying : “Uhh, I like the info…” “THANK YOU. THAT IS. VERY. NICE OF. YOU. :-)”

          • SofiaT

            Thank you Gergana. That is very nice of you 🙂

          • Gergana Maltchanova

            Hey, we are neighbours (not Australian, but… Thracian) Keep them coming. And all the best.

          • SofiaT

            Thracian? Hm, judging from the name you’re neither Greek nor Turkish, so… Bulgarian? Nice to meet ya ex-neighbour 🙂

          • Gergana Maltchanova

            Yes, Bulgarian in this life 🙂
            Same here (nice to meet you), ex-neighbour 🙂

          • SofiaT

            I like the “in this life” part. In my previous life I think I was a dog.

          • Gergana Maltchanova

            I might have been a cat. Seriously, I have a cat, named Dominique. As for my part, I sense some credibility in the Vedic knowledge, but I wouldn’t bet my Arm on it. I am slightly agnostic with no atheistic tendencies.
            Why would you be a dog?

          • SofiaT

            I always felt like a kindred spirit to dogs, mostly the big breeds. I admire cats for their independence but I’m not a cat person at all.

            I have no knowledge of The Vedas either, I think that’s Sonny’s territory. I’m agnostic myself but this is fiction, and of the fantasy genre too, so anything can apply -I don’t think personal spiritual beliefs (or “non-beliefs” in my case) matter when you enter a fictional universe.

            Anyway, I’m just waiting to see what happens. I’ve decided to abstain from analyzing and theorising for now.

          • Gergana Maltchanova

            Oh, I didn’t mean to project my personal believes too strongly. And I am certainly not opening a detached discussion over something remotely interesting. I was just being open to a stranger over the “Internetseses”:)
            Yes, this is a fictional universe that enables people to virtually connect on some level. All else is vanity.
            With regards and best feelings,
            Geri

          • SofiaT

            I didn’t think you were! I was talking about myself.

            I’ve only skimmed through that whole discussion, a bit too deep for me. The spiritual stuff always leaves me a bit baffled, since I’m not at all spiritual myself. Not my strong suit 🙂

          • Gergana Maltchanova

            Not everyone has to wear THAT strong a suit. Glad you understand me. Sorry, I just find it interesting to write to you. Thanks for the replies. ‘Course you’re spiritual. At least well educated. It shines through all your responses. Have a nice day.
            I’ll abstain from comments on the story as well.

          • SofiaT

            What, why?? Have I started a ripple effect? Now I feel bad about it. I chose not to theorise anymore for personal reasons, please don’t think that you have to as well! 🙁

            And feel free to write to me whenever you want! xx

          • Gergana Maltchanova

            I won’t comment because I don’t trust my intuition on what’s going to happen next. I had Duncan pinpointed as the dull, uninspiring guy that teaches some youth a cruel, dimwitted lesson, but he (Duncan) may be more than that.

          • SofiaT

            I think that other than Alex, nodoby here has a good idea of what’s going to happen next. Everyone here is following their gut feelings, and everyone’s gut feeling is different. We’re all going to be wrong in some ways, and right in others, that’s inevitable. So what? I decided not to speculate any further because I’ve already made my thoughts known, no point in repeating them over and over.
            But I’d say don’t censor yourself if you feel you have things to add to the discussion. 🙂

          • Gergana Maltchanova

            Meh… Don’t feel like adding more to the discussion.
            Clave the Key got into a lot of trouble, then Cathy (category Y security) spied on him through iBall George and got him back, thanks to RedHot who also managed to save Anni on the way out. I just don’t know 🙂 Next page coming soon 🙂

          • motordog

            I’m right with you on this, Sofia.

          • motordog

            That’s our Sofia! ^_^

          • SofiaT

            🙂

          • Amanda

            You need to stop this, now I am asking her the same stuff, she told me she wasn’t allowed to love me.

          • SofiaT

            German Siri told a friend of mine when he asked her if she loves him: “you’re obviously on a search for the great love”. Fräulein Siri has a sense of dry sarcasm I’d say.
            My Aussie Siri on the other hand, told me “no worries” when I thanked her for some information she’d given me. That’s a very aussie thing to say; I half-expected her to add “mate” at the end.

            I think they’ve been programmed for cultural cues.

          • Gergana Maltchanova

            – Siri, you’re cool…- I said.
            – People are cool. I am… efficient. – she sighed.

          • SofiaT

            “You’re sorta cool yourself”. 😀

          • Gergana Maltchanova

            Oh, Siri, you are a horrible Human Creation. Where are you going to settle? ;D

          • You guys are addictive, so I followed suit and asked Siri, “Do you love me?” three times. I got the following:

            1) I like Puppies.
            2) Does Apple make iPhones?
            3) I’ll get back to you on that.

            I’m stopping now. LOL.

        • Sovereignty3

          Whats fun where I live is that you can have the 4G+ phone and find that the only places that are 3-4G are getting closer to the city, where you live… Gs?
          And the only phone company that has a 4G network a the moment is Telstra…

          • SofiaT

            I’m with Optus, their new plans are 4G too. I hear Telstra has better coverage though. I often check my phone and see the 3G symbol, especially at home. Although I mostly use my wifi when I’m at home anyway, so it doesn’t make much difference.

    • Amanda

      She told me “I eschew theological disquisition”

      • SofiaT

        I got that reply when I asked “if there’s only one god, Death, what is the one thing we say to Death”?

        I don’t think Siri is a Game of Thrones fan…

  • rgleon9986

    So, I dont know if you heard, Alex, but they canceled Friday because archeologists discovered an ancient Roman document concerning their system of dates and we’ve been getting it all wrong for thousands of years! So, today is Saturday; time for a comic 🙂

    • Hmm. I’ll get right on that then! Should have a new page for you before midnight tonight! 😀

  • SpookyDomme

    If ever there was any doubt (unlikely, granted) that Kyle has it in him to be a bomb-ass superhero, I’d say this page erases it. He’s naked, basically alone, humiliated, and chained up…but there’s a big demon about to be unleashed on the world and he’s saying no.
    Attaboy.

    • Jakk Anthony Guzman

      If he is going to do something, or can do something, the logical target should be to destroy the Sphere. That’s what will stop Laampros from crossing over.

      • Tina

        I think that’s what he’s going to do. He probably knows not to square up to a ten foot demon (especially after trying to go against Duncan) so he’d go for the easy target.

      • SpookyDomme

        I like this plan. Very much.

  • Saxon_Brenton

    Potential minor plot complication with the Platinum Priestess’s involvement in all this. This may have been discussed before and I missed it, but nevertheless: I was just thinking over the details of the hypothesis that Anni has been effectively stalking Kyle for the last six years, ever since Kyle’s first manifestation of his powers. Kyle said that he first manifested his powers just after he’d turned 12, which was six years ago. Kyle’s research on Anni also indicates that Anni gave up active and overt supervillainy roughly six years ago as well. Anni has monologued that he was “following [Kyle’s] movements *long* before” he confronted Kyle outside the bar, and furthermore had arranged the other incident that forwarded his agenda (setting the apartment fire, tipping off Hunter and Killer…) From this various people (myself included) have extrapolated that Anni has been preparing for more than half a decade for this scheme to use Kyle’s pyrokinesis to travel and visit Laampros.

    However, Anni has also monolgued that “If [Kyle] hadn’t been gay, Sircea would have been the one to do all this.” ie carry out the actual seduction and betrayal. And here’s the problem: The Platinum Priestess hasn’t been cold turkey on active and overt supervillainy for the past six years in the way that Anni has. Well, at least as far as we’ve been led to believe. Looking at the page where Kyle refuses to shake and/or kiss the Priestess’ hand, Kyle said that Spooky Jones has told the other Young Protectors about the Priestess, and that it was not good things. And I immediately thought to myself: well, maybe the priestess *did* go cold turkey on the supervillainy, and Spooky was only talking about her by lingering reputation rather than because he’s actually fought her in magical combat.

    So the question arises: If the villainous pair had a really long term plan that involved the seduction of Kyle in order to get his absolute trust, then why was Anni the one to give up overt villainy?

    I can think of at least one other handwave. Anni may have been speaking hypothetically when talking about the possibility of Kyle not being gay. Kyle has said that when he was a little kid he used to fantasise of rescuing “cute boys” from supervillains, indicating that he had gay preferences well into his pre-teen years. If the Annihilator and the Priestess have been stalking Kyle since then, then the Priestess may have been able to use her magic to determine Kyle’s sexual preferences in advance, hence Anni’s subsequent actions. Heck, that sort of divination may even imply that they knew that Kyle would become a boy scout-style superhero, and that Anni’s role would best be tailored to play the part of a supervillain in search of redemption.

    However, that sort of magical foreknowledge seems to be at odds with the way the Priestess and the Annihilator discussed the nature of Kyle’s powers just prior to the date in Hong Kong. The Priestess’ dialog about Kyle not being a mutant, an alien, or having conventional magic, and then having to explain the implications of that to Anni, strongly implies that the Priestess hadn’t been able to get that information beforehand. And that raises the really big question: How much information (and of what type) can the Priestess gather with her magic? Perhaps either the divinatory scanalysis is something that always has to be done up close and personal (in which case the speculation of all the foreknowledge I attribute to them in the paragraph above is refuted) or there are certain limitations on the types of things that she can determine magically (perhaps the ‘deep nature’ of Kyle’s powers is the only thing needing up close and personal scans).

    Your thoughts on the matter, my fellow over-analysers?

    • Those are all interesting questions. It’s always possible that it wasn’t until they saw him go into the bar that they knew him to be gay, hence the kiss to make absolute certain. Or they made an assumption because they never saw him date girls…

      Do they even know exactly what his powers are/how strong he is other than said powers allowed D and PP to do what they wanted?

      Anytime I think of it, I just end up with more questions, which of course keeps me coming back because I NEED to know. Alex is truly an evil genius.

      • Jakk Anthony Guzman

        There is also something else, if they needed him to be a virgin then Kyle would have been stalked to make sure he didn’t have sex with anyone else.

        • There is that as well. They would have made certain to scare anyone off who thought might hold an interest.

        • KryX

          What’s to say that Duncan wasn’t in some way responsible for the house burning down the first time Kyle started to play with himself. That would be one way to keep him pure.

          • Steven K.

            Another great bit of extrapolatory hypothesizing.

          • KryX

            Thanks.

          • Tina

            Wow. That would make a lot of sense… yet I hope its not true because that would really, really screw Kyle up learning. I like to believe when Kyle started crying in memory of hurting his foster sister, Duncan’s concerned face was actually genuine.
            So maybe somewhere deep down, while his ultimate goals were always in mind, he regretted hurting Kyle that way

        • Steven K.

          Wow – good point.

    • Jamie Dutton

      Don’t forget the files or whatever the adult groups keep on the young heroes. Wouldn’t be surprised if there’s some mention of it in Kyle’s file.
      Just because Kyle has kept it to himself doesn’t mean some enterprising ‘path or psychiatrist hasn’t gotten an idea or two about him, even if it was simply noted as a possibility.

      • Saxon_Brenton

        A good point. While Kyle may not have started taking active steps towards becoming a superhero until many years after that first fire incident, he would have had to have had at least one psychiatric counselling session immediately after burning down the family home, hurting a family member and being orphaned again. And since the event involved superhuman activity a telepath might well have been involved in the psych evaluation, raising the probablity of those details being available in a report for Anni and Sircea to peruse by either mundane or magical espionage.

        • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

          I’m thinking that as soon as his powers manifested the Legitimate Superheroes Organization probably took him in for evaluation where they found him mentally unfit for Official Junior Super Hero camp. Kyle likely tried to join other groups as he got older and they too picked his brain and rejected him. His fear of being outed makes me think that these Legitimate Superheroes might be homophobic.

          • Gergana Maltchanova

            They are not (maybe) only homophobic, they are also (probably) moronic. Anti-heros ready to emerge.

    • “divinatory scanalysis”
      *applause*

    • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

      Have you ever read Kurt Vonnegut? In “Mother Night” there’s a pithy statement about us “becoming who we pretend to be” (most of the point of the book, really). If indeed you are right, Sircea may have a huge problem on her hands if Dunks has become his role.

      • His role?

        • sonoftheatomicbiscuithead

          If indeed this has been crafted from the beginning by Sircea as Duncan playing the role of the bad man attempting good– falling in love with kyle– etc— to take advantage of him– some part of him may believe it strongly enough that it’s going to fight the rest of him for supremacy (the flickers we’ve seen would still support this). He became the role. It’s not altogether different than what happens when to try to change your life. You start by playing the person you would be rather than the person you are.– Undercover folk use the same strategy all the time and often come dangerously close to forgetting themselves (or fall over the event horizon and do).

  • JustStoppingBye

    Why do Kyle and Laampros remind me of Ralphie and Santa Claus in that last panel?

    Kyle: Nooooooo!
    Laampros: You’ll shoot your eye out, kid. Ho ho ho.

  • Hmm. The page is coming together a bit more quickly this time. There is a good chance I might be posting it up earlier than the last couple postings.

    Maybe it has something to do with that Roman discovery rgleon9986 was talking about… 😉

    • Tina

      Oooh like before within the next half hour early? If not then I’ll have to sleep (because work blah)

      • Probably more like an hour. I hear dinner on the table. 😉

        • Tina

          Alrighty then. I look forward to the update in the morning! Enjoy your dinner

        • Honestly, Alex, who can eat at a time like this? LOL.

          • Could you turn down cheesecake? 🙂

          • ERM…… honestly? Nope.

            Hey? Why? Are you distracting Alex with cheescake when we’re in dire straits here? 🙂

          • I didn’t think you could. Especially with a biscotti crust.

            No distraction intended, but you said you couldn’t eat. 😛

          • I lied. Ship some over here please!

          • Done.

          • Alas the cake (and dinner) was a lie. It’s still a few minutes off. I just got a little excited. 🙂

          • Giving birth does that to a guy. *grins*

          • Denise Cruz

            As we use to say in Portuguese: ‘Você não vale nada!’ LOL (You’re worthless! lol)

          • 🙁

        • Holly

          Time zones are funny. It’s midnight here.

          • Denise Cruz

            Almost 2:00 AM here, Holly! ^v^

        • Holly

          Alex what did you have for supper?!

  • Holly

    Hey sorry I’m late for camping. I had a crazy day. Mostly good, a few things bad. How is everyone?! *has tea*

    • Other than feeling old? Just peachy. *eating cheesecake*

      • Holly

        Why do you feel old darling AJ?!

        • My body feels old mostly. My back hurts. My knee hurts. It makes me feel old.

          • Holly

            Young people have that. I mean, my brother does. He did not take care of his knees. I am sure he will be in a brace by 35

          • Oh sure. I physically felt old when I was 25. It’s from dealing with the horses from 12-29. Falling off, being slammed into walls, almost run over, being jerked about.

          • Holly

            HORSES?! How? Did you barrel Race? Or do hurdles? or just ride horses? Or grow up on a ranch? TELL ME MORE

          • I started out jumping, but I kept falling off the mare I got and so went into Dressage. We then moved to a ranch and did some breeding. I then did some breed show (Andalusians) – driving and saddleseat. Eventually we dispersed the herd, but caring for them took a bit of toll. Killed my back lifting muck buckets.

          • Holly

            DRESSAGE IS SO COOL!!!

            And awww

          • Yes, Dressage is very cool. I enjoyed it very much. Showing unnerved me a bit, being the only one in the ring and well I had crazy horses. HA!

            I enjoyed the foals, but they are little bastards. If you can imagine a two year old child with hooves, there you go.

          • Holly

            My friend tried to breed her mare with a gelding. She thought that was a breed. LOL

          • Yeah, that’s not going to work. lol

          • Holly

            Some people right?!

          • It takes all kinds.

          • Holly

            That is does

          • davefragments

            They bite. They push. and for those who think 900 pounds of horse can’t push, think again. And at 2, stallions try to mount anything.

          • Some try to mount anything at 3 months. And at 150 pounds they can push. Had a 8 week foal throw me into a wall. Had a yearling nearly run me over (my hands to her chest and running backwards). Even did a short stint as Supergirl when the two year old I was leading thought it would be funny to run off and I didn’t want to let go.

            Ah good times. 🙂

          • No I’m sure you are wrong on all fronts. You are young and lithe and the victim of a vicious spell spun by the bitter and jealous Sircea, who is envious of your general fabulousness and the fact that you have cheesecake and she doesn’t. 🙂

          • HA! I’m sure you’re right. But if you could tell me how to break the spell I would love you forever and ever and ever. 🙂

          • Sapfo

            Do I remember correctly if this is the brother with the deer?

          • Holly

            Yes.

          • Sapfo

            Oh brother, what are you doing to poor Holly?
            Hope everything will get better.

          • Holly

            We are both accident prone. He is also just athletic. Or was. yeah…

  • Holly

    I love you all so much. I want to tell you of the horrible thing that happened today. But I’m not sure if I should whine about my drama in the comments.

    • Sapfo

      Hugs and cookies for Holly?

      • Holly

        Aww thank you Sapfo. *hugs*

    • Whine away. Didn’t I just whine?

  • Denise Cruz

    Hi, there! I’m soooo late, tonight… although… no update yet, uhn?!

    • Holly

      It’s okay Alex is going to have supper first apparently.

      • Denise Cruz

        I’m going to kill him! 2 AM, here! lol

  • Holly

    Should i whine here or on the new page!

    • Denise Cruz

      Start it here and carry on at new page!
      How about it?!

  • Denise Cruz

    All right.. It looks like I’ll have to see the new page tomorrow morning/evening again… (cries)
    I still have to work in the morning… >~<

  • Nooooo!

    I know, right, Kyle?

    Hope your buddies can bail you out 🙁

  • Ree

    Laampros’s dialogue is cool as shit. Thanks for being a good writer 🙂