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The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Chapter Three—Page 81

371 Comments on The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Chapter Three—Page 81

Every time y’all quoted Helmuth von Moltke the Elder in the comments on the previous pages, I chuckled. It seems Commander and our smart readers think of things very similarly. 🙂

SPECIAL HOLIDAY DEAL: Ordinarily, I sell the Kindle version of Artifice for $9.99, but I’m doing an Amazon “Countdown Deal” for one week that began earlier today. For the next few hours, you can still get it super-discounted at $0.99 / £0.99 (that’s, like, 90% off! Crazy!), then the price rises each day while the promotion runs.

There is a free Kindle app for pretty much any device, so you’d be able to read it in full color on your mobile, tablet, notebook or whatever. You can get the deal in the U.S. here. And in the U.K. here. (And feel free to tell your friends!)

We had our seventy-first bonus page in a row on Wednesday. And thanks to your generous donations, and in addition to our regular Saturday updates, there will also be bonus pages on Wednesday, November 26th (page 82!), Wednesday, December 3rd (page 84!), Wednesday, December 10th (page 86!), and an additional bonus page (page 88!) on Wednesday, December 17th! And look below! We’re already at $199 towards the bonus page after that!

Special thanks go out to long-time supporters Lia B. (who makes their second generous donation to The Young Protectors!), Antonia S. (who makes their fourteenth generous donation to The Young Protectors!), & Saxon B. (who makes their 126th generous donation to The Young Protectors!) and a warm welcome and grateful bow go out to new supporter Oodee E. for their generous donations over the last few days!

Big hugs go out to long-time friend of The Young Protectors Lindsay W. for their super-generous $25 donation, their second super-generous donation to this comic!

Superhero-strength hugs go out to long-time super-friend Florian M. for their amazingly generous $50 donation, their second amazingly generous donation to this comic!

And finally, ZOMG!, mega-mondo hugs and very grateful bows go out to long-time mega-friend Christopher D. for their amazingly generous $100 donation, their 121st amazingly generous donation to this comic! You are totally awesome, Christopher! Thank you!

Thank you all so much for your generous support!

So! Commander gets all pink fluffy unicorns dancing on rainbows with her pep talk, it seems Spooky is a wartime consigliere, and the team says they are willing to do whatever it takes to stop the ritual and save the world. Is today a good day to die?

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

DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! Edit 11/22/14 3:14 AM: You’ve done it again! You just tipped the donation bar below past its target! That means that, thanks to your generous donations, and in addition to our regular Saturday updates, there will also be bonus pages on Wednesday, November 26th (page 82!), Wednesday, December 3rd (page 84!), Wednesday, December 10th (page 86!), Wednesday, December 17th (page 88!), and now an additional bonus page (page 90!) on Wednesday, December 24th! Ho ho ho! Y’all totally ROCK!

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  • Only Mitch in the very last panel?

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Congratulations to you for snagging the virgin, though!

      • Thanks…I almost thought about not announcing it on the previous page just yet when right before I hit enter I saw Gryph’s post about snacks…

    • Yes, congrats, Doki!

    • Nice work! Too busy camping / drawing in Photoshop ;)p

      • It has been awhile, I was overdue I think. ^_^

  • silibub

    Amanda’s so with it.

  • davefragments

    Good talk to the troops.

  • stickfigurefairytales

    If Kyle is killed, Paul is in charge. If Paul gets killed, Mitch is still on lookout duty.

    • davefragments

      hey – Happy Birthday

      • stickfigurefairytales

        Thank you! 🙂 My birthday was yesterday, but I’m still celebrating.

        • Jen Roberts

          Happy belated! 😀

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Thank you! 🙂

        • purplefoxglove

          Happy very belated 🙂

    • silibub

      Lmao, yes

    • LOL.

      Happy birthday, you! So glad you’re with us here. Keep being awesome! 🙂

      • stickfigurefairytales

        Thanks, Alex! I’ll do my best. 😀

    • Believe I said it on Tumblr but yes, Happy Birthday Weekend!

      • stickfigurefairytales

        You did indeed, but thank you again! 🙂

  • Agree with Dave, good talk, but now I’m getting scared. I don’t want anyone to die or be injured!!! 🙁

    • silibub

      I’m hoping now that one of the characters has voiced the possibility in all seriousness, it’s less likely to happen in the actual story. Maybe it’s a strange thing to say considering we have demons, Earth potentially falling into the hell dimension, backstories including abuse, etc., but I think killing off a teenager or young adult would be pretty dark considering the general hopeful tone of the comic.

      • stickfigurefairytales

        I hope so too!

      • That is a good hope for sure and I agree with you about killing off a teenager or young adult. *starts fretting* Let’s just hope for the best.

    • Gryphon, Can I have ALL the lemon cremes?

      • Saved just for you, Doki! I thought I saw something about you liking lemon flavored desserts.

        • Yay! To console me on the shortage of Mitch on this page…. ^_^ 😛

        • stickfigurefairytales

          Can I have some snickerdoodles and a cake pop?

          • I was also going to ask for snickerdoodles and a cake pop, but then I saw the lemon cremes…

          • Well, you can have all of them, Doki, but the question is will you have room?

          • *takes all the apple things* ^__^

          • nah I am good ^_^

          • *hands over the cookies and cake pop* Here you go! All handmade.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Yay! Thank you! 😀

  • DC

    After hearing Amanda’s common sense I would be wanting to join in even more if I was Mitch.

    • Klaus

      If Amanda is taken out, Mitch is not going to be doing much good just observing.

      • stickfigurefairytales

        Good point. Is one of his powers yelling really loudly?

        • Megaphonation….. it’s a legit “power”… kinda weenie, but still…

          • stickfigurefairytales

            JUST like a bird!!!

          • Klaus

            And the voice of a … What bird would he be compared to?

          • davefragments

            eagle

          • Klaus

            So he has the eyes of an eagle, the voice of an eagle, flies like an eagle and so on. Are you sure this is not an eagle?

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Mitch is the symbol of America!

          • davefragments

            I’m with you!

          • DC

            Anyone notice if he has an eagle on his jacket?

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Hmm, not that I’ve seen, I don’t think.

          • Klaus
          • stickfigurefairytales

            Ah, you’re correct!

          • davefragments

            But it still is an aviator-style, leather bomber jacket.
            Big points for style.

          • DC

            Thanks I don’t know how you always find the right pages. I need a picture archive.

          • Klaus

            At the bottom of Alex’ comments, there is a list of all characters on the page. Click on one, and you get thumbnail views of every page that character is on.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            So cool! Thanks for the info!

          • JEEZZZ! Between Foghorn and the Steve Miller Band I can barely breathe!!! LMFAO!
            *tries to catch breathe, chokes instead*

          • My absolute favorite song when I was a little kid. 🙂

            (And interestingly, the second time I’ve heard it referenced today. Is the Universe trying to tell me something?)

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Seagull.

          • Mine. Mine. Mine. Mine. Mine. Mine. Mine. Mine.

          • LOL! I was thinking the EXACT same thing but decided it would be best if I didn’t say it.

            Sooo glad you did!

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Me too! 😀

          • XD

          • DC

            Foghorn leghorn would be loud, not that I would compare Mitch to him though.

          • davefragments

            That would be hysterically funny.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            SON, I SAY, SON!

          • hahahhhahahhhhhHA!!!!

          • DC

            “That’s a joke, ah say, that’s a joke, son.”

  • PFUDOR! Yes it’s all PFUDOR up in here!

    • Admiral… you sure you don’t mean FUBAR? (just checking?) 🙂

      • stickfigurefairytales

        Nope – Pink Fluffy Unicorns Dancing On Rainbows, just as Alex said.

      • PFUDOR is going to get FUBAR’d.

      • Sapfo

        I did not know you where going to be in this comic. But I can only think of One person that can do this part 😀

    • Sapfo

      With Pfudor by their side! Nothing can go wrong!

      • Other than stuck with a PFUDOR earworm and singing it while in battle. >.>

        • Sapfo

          Muahahaha! Right now I am immun to our little unicorn. Danish planted another one in my ears yesterday.
          Mockingjay “Hanging trea”. It was good in the books and the movie version is letting me down.

          • Well it’s been playing in my head for you. 😛

  • stickfigurefairytales

    I wonder if the bad luck of his teammates being killed would end up super-charging Paul’s abilities to the point that Duncan and Sircea would be completely defeated through a series of incredibly unlikely twists of circumstance. Still hope nobody on the team dies, though.

    • silibub

      Ooh, good thought!

      • stickfigurefairytales

        It honestly makes me curious as to whether Fluke would become basically unstoppable (for a brief span of time) if his entire team were killed, since that would be some of the worst luck he could possibly experience. Of course, that also makes me worry that the villains might have thought of that and so would try to take him out first. Except that I’m guessing they’d see Spooky as the biggest threat given the diversity of his abilities, so hmmm…

        • silibub

          Now that we’ve heard the Protectors’ plan, I’m curious to see how Duncan and Sircea react to and handle the attack on their ritual — to see them thinking in action, is what I’m trying to say. And then to see how Amanda reacts to that…it should be a very interesting strategic battle as well as physical fight.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Definitely!

  • YangYueLan

    Whoo! Full body shot for the Commander!

  • Jen Roberts

    If anyone needs me, I’ll be over here fangirling. Just follow the sound of the squeeing.

    • Soirbleu

      There’s several squeeings going on directionally right now… WHERE ARE YOU???

  • No pressure or anything, right?

    • Keneu

      Nah – who would feel stressed in this kind of situation? A stranged father-son reunion, dealing with people who’d like to kill you, and getting to know someone you’d only know by name, while everyone else must remain quiet? It sounds like the perfect family celebration. Oh, and the fate of the rest of the world is decided here. Big deal. 😛

  • I love Amanda being so straight to the point and in-your-face honest. I knew it would come to this and just wondering who will be effected the most :S

  • Keneu

    Spooky doesn’t say anything, one more proof he agrees with Amanda and is her right hand.

    It’ll be interesting seeing Kyle in charge, but I hope it doesn’t actually happen.

    • He would definitely get the job done but I hope it doesn’t come to that.

      • Keneu

        Me too. It’s a very short span of time until the military arrives, but anything can happen in one hour given what’s at stake.

  • *sigh* I think my eyes are failing….how did I miss Mitch in the middle panel on the right???? Maybe I just got used to him being left out of the group shots?

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Oh, you’re right!

      • With a blunder like that I might have to resign my position….I have failed…*goes and cries in a corner*

        • You can’t resign your position! Someone has to watch over Mitch and keep him safe from who-knows-what!!!!!

        • stickfigurefairytales

          It’s okay, love – if we can learn anything from this comic, it’s that we all make mistakes, but it’s what we do afterwards that matters!

          • BUT IT IS MITCH!!!! I AM NOT SUPPOSED TO BE ABLE TO MISS SPOTTING HIM!

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Shhhh, it’s okay, you found him again! It just took a little longer, that’s all. He wouldn’t blame you at all.

          • It doesn’t mean you love him any less.

          • I feel so unworthy.

          • You are NOT unworthy! Just a bit tired, perhaps.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Yes, what Gryph said!

          • *sigh* Those are just excuses, I have to live with my shame, just like Frodo.

          • :((

          • Klaus

            I believe you came off rather well in that metaphor.

          • I cried for Frodo at the end of LotR when I read the book. legitimate tears.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Don’t sail away to the Undying Lands! Dokiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!

          • …..I don’t think the Elves would have me…

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Hey, they took Gimli.

          • rgleon9986

            TurnerMohan drew a touching work depicting Legolas leading a decrepit Gimli to the ships at the Havens. It’s a powerful piece.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            That sounds fantastic!

          • rgleon9986

            Does anyone else find the Grey Havens to be one huge weepy tear-fest? Any time I think about Bilbo and Frodo, or Sam, or Gimli and Legolas, sailing west, I get all misty-eyed. My girlfriend burst into tears when I told her about the ships sailing West on the true, Straight Path, rising up out of the water and going to the Undying Lands.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Yeah, I’m with you (and your girlfriend) on that.

          • davefragments

            I had a floor show in the theater.
            A woman who announced at the start of the movie that she needed first row seats (people had to move for her she sounded so pitiful) got up, spilt her popcorn and drink and announce in a loud stage whisper that she had to visit the ladies room and that only her son could take her. She had the most pathetic, pity-me voice. Meanwhile, the theater is collectively sobbing, sniffing and teary-eyed all the while the distraction is going on. So I kind of missed all that wonderful sadness in the movie.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            You should read the books!

          • rgleon9986

            I’m planning a read-through of the Hobbit tomorrow, just because!

          • stickfigurefairytales

            My dad read that to me when I was a kid. I’ve read it again since then, but I love my memories of that.

          • rgleon9986

            I am DEFINITELY going to read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings to my kids. And do voices, and accents, and sing all the songs. 😀

          • stickfigurefairytales

            My dad is GREAT at voices. 🙂

          • Klaus

            If you want to sing the songs, a group called Tolkien Ensemble has set them all to music. A couple of samples:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9Erdh3XFJ8
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoVnWUQ9CR8

            When I read the books, I found the songs to be just fillers. But hearing them sung, they had a great impact on me. Especially Sam’s song in the orc tower and Boromir’s funeral song.

          • rgleon9986

            I’ll probably also use some of Donald Swann’s settings from “The Road Goes Ever On,” as that’s the topic for my dissertation.

          • davefragments

            I read the books twice years ago.
            It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the movie, it’s that at the end there was a different entertainment in the theater than on the screen.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Ah, okay.

          • Klaus

            Just in case any of you did not see the extra material on the DVD:

            Weeping is one of the hardest things an actor has to do. Shooting this scene took all day. The hobbits are weeping thoughout the scene. Austin got rather unpoular when some shots had to be redone because he forgot to put on his waistcoat after lunch. (Actually Sam’s waistcoat is missing in one shot in the released film). The actors were utterly exhausted at the end of the day. As one of them later said: if we could have picked one day that would not need to be redone, we would all have picked that day.

            But one of the camaras were not focused properly. The entire day had to be redone.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Oh no!! The poor actors!

          • rgleon9986

            I was actually talking about audience reactions, but damn, that does sound like a hell of a day to have to redo.

          • rgleon9986

            If the Noldor can be granted the grace to go to the Undying Lands, there’s hope for anyone. That’s one of the prevailing messages in The Lord of the Rings: the power of forgiveness, mercy, and redemption.

  • silibub

    If Amanda were to get badly hurt, I wonder if Spooky would wind up abandoning his task to heal her, or if he would be able to grit his teeth and stick to the plan because that’s what she wants. Same question applies if Spooky’s the one who gets injured — these two have a connection that was established well before the formation of the team, and they’re still pretty young despite their maturity, so I wonder if they’d be “hard” enough to push forward even if the other was in grave danger. I know they’re very good at what they do, but emotions would be involved here.

    • I would believe Spooky going to Amanda. I don’t think he has the training that she does. Or he would try to get to her as soon as he could, fighting as much as he made his way to her.

    • Malcolm Wright

      You guys should give Spooky more credit, he’s been to hell. He knows better than anyone what’s at stake here.

  • rgleon9986

    She’s a damn fine leader; I’d follow her into battle.

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Me too!

  • Hours Left

    Commander is amazing.

    I’m getting a bit scared. @_@

  • thisboybroken

    So Alex, this question has nothing to do with the page, do you get paid for downloading Artifice to a kindle when Kindle Unlimited is used? I bought it both digitally and in hard copy but noticed when I went to buy it on Amazon for my Kindle it was available to read for free with my Kindle Unlimited subscription. A few of my favorite authors are also available this way… so I wonder do they get paid if I read them that way instead of actually purchasing the book? You are the only author I am actually able to ask in a forum where I can actually get an answer. Inquiring minds and all. However, back to the page AWESOME WORK DONE BY ALL! It makes me happy reading these pages weekly.Thank you!

    • If you read more than 10% of a KU book, then the author gets a percentage of the monthly “KU fund” for your download, or about $1.30. So, at the moment, if you read more than 10% and Amazon figured that out, I’d actually get more than if you bought it at 99 cents! (I get 35 cents for each of those sales.)

      On the other hand, a paid sale helps boost the book in Amazon’s best-seller ratings which can introduce the book to other people. (Which is a big reason I’m running this sale. Right now, thanks to the support of y’all, Artifice is now the #1 Best Seller for all Graphic Novels on Kindle, which is pretty cool.) I’m not sure if KU downloads impact “the charts” the same way.

      But by my lights, if an author makes a book available on KU and you can take advantage of it, have at it. Hard to beat free. 🙂

      Good question, thisboybroken. And thank you very much for your kind words! I’m so glad you’re enjoying The Young Protectors!

  • iamraawr

    Is the Amanda’s last name Shepard by any chance? 😛

    • Klaus

      Charleyboy, most likely.

    • Klaus

      And is she from Kerteminde?

    • DelorgesDee

      Dang, if I hadn’t already played the game so much I’m sick of it, I’d totally start a playtrough with a Commander Amanda Shepard. Wonder how well one could recreate her in the character creation screen…

  • larry

    Well, at least she’s a realist, and I get the feeling s#!t’s about to get real.

  • Saxon_Brenton

    Hi. Back from Saturday gaming. By amazing co-incidence our superhero team just defeated an inter-dimensional invasion by Nazis who had won WW2 and who had built a big inter-dimensional portal much like the one that the Priestess and Annihilator have built.

    • Klaus

      So maybe you could give our heroes a few tips?

      • Saxon_Brenton

        Fraid not. Circumstances were otherwise quite different. Just before the invasion started there was a televised speech by the Fuhrer which we crashed, and exposed a number of unpleasant truths about their superhuman soldier program (the disfiguring effects of the cybernetics, the fact that the supersoldier serum they were using had a high chance of turning the children into maddened monsters rather than giving them powers, etc). Thanks to a bit of prep work this was able to incite the desired revolution – but it’s still touch and go whether we’ve just delayed them, or whether we can neutralise enough of their dimensional tech to keep them confined to their own world.

  • Saxon_Brenton

    Actual relevant post number 1: The paranoid part of me wonders if Alex deliberately set up the
    story so that we would have several pages (across several weeks) of
    reader comments about ‘no plan survives contact with the enemy’ – and then after this page when we’re all feeling proud of ourselves he would pull a whammy on us while we weren’t looking. So: all readers on HIGH ALERT.

  • Saxon_Brenton

    Actual relevant post number 2: The Commander’s comment about burning up luck makes me wonder if she’s being figurative or literal.. Have the Young Protectors actually tried to gauge how fast Fluke burns through his luck, either by rule-of-thumb assessments in the field, or by full-on controlled experiments?

  • It’s is nothing like a game… no it’s sooo not >.>
    I’m happy about Amanda and her realism (even as I’m scared of how this fight will go). The last couple of pages have restored my belief in her. She knows the stakes and knows she can only give a ‘sketck ‘ of a plan – even if she with her elepathy is capable of making it ‘come alibe’.
    *Hangs head in shame because all the comments about how it will all go wrong, no mater what she said, affected it a little*
    And that’s sadly all I have time to say. My internet connection crashed 3 hours ago, and just had it back in time before I now leave the home -_-

  • Samurai Jack

    Everyone, take a bow. These past few pages have all been thoroughly foreshadowed by your comments over the past couple of weeks. Right down to actual dialog and plotting. Well done!

  • Saxon_Brenton

    Because someone has to say it: Yay! Dings!

    • Klaus

      Christmas comes 12 hours early, or so. (In these parts we open the Christmas gifts after dinner on Chritmas eve.)

      • Yes, it will be a great start of x-mas day for us 🙂
        And this year we’ll get the page late on the 30th. That’s going to be easier than last year’s New Year page!

  • AeeDee

    Spooky’s lack of a response in that last panel resonates strongly with me, for some reason. I’m not entirely sure what it means, but it suggests something important.

  • Toli Bera

    Coming back to the line I tossed off before:

    “and if All your friends jumped off a bridge…. we’d just be down to flyboy.”

    Seems much more relevant now. ._.;; #IronicEcho

  • Pikinanou

    Commander for President of Earth! I’d vote for her in a heartbeat!

  • This is actually more frightening than the combat scenes. Of course, it wouldn’t be an Alex W. story without some knife-twisting.

  • john Johnson

    So, what happens to her is she’s linked to someone who gets killed? Or, what happens to those she’s linked with if she gets killed?

    • Klaus

      Let us hope she does not find out!

      • john Johnson

        It would interesting if rendering her unconscious knocked out the whole team. What would the baddies do? If big red is really Kyle’s father.he might not take the death of his son lightly. So PP and Kyle’s ex probably wouldn’t kill him.

  • D. Garrett

    perhaps over time and experience spookys assent is a given to everyone?

  • D. Garrett

    she hasn’t provided exit instructions. and has indicated the mission will not be aborted. I don’t have good feels here…

    • Klaus

      Yeah, right.

      • TheManBehindTheCurtain

        The military always make the best decisions in a disaster. (NOT!)

    • Jakk Anthony Guzman

      If that is the case, no exit strategy because there is no aborting the mission, then there can only be two outcomes. They either win or loose and get captured.

      I don’t see most of them getting killed because the it’s called “The Young Protectors” not the “Old Destroyers”. So one way or another they will eventually succeed.

      • Maus Merryjest

        The Old Destroyers…

        Sounds like a spinoff waiting to happen! 😀

  • Wayne Lunkwitz

    Going into battle expecting to lose……not a good thing!

    • TheManBehindTheCurtain

      But honest. Lets face it, they have no choice but to fight to the last man to stop what’s happening.

  • TheManBehindTheCurtain

    One has to wonder if the government would have the ability to contact all the superhero teams off earth for help. Sure they might be far away, but ususally someone has teleportation abilities, or the government should have kept at least one team on earth for emergencies at home.
    Hmmm, come to think of it, that may be too common sense for any government.

  • Megan Staples

    Ha! Commander said what I said in the first panel! lol

  • Alan Michael Williams

    Kyle’s like, “But he wasn’t violent in bed. He was very gentle. *pouty face*”

  • Adam Irving

    I’m not going to lie, Commander cuts a fine, fine figure in the large left panel (and why is it women’s boots are a lot easier to find than non-cowboy, non-construction-like boots for men?). I like the panel arrangement like that. Thanks for the variation, I think it’s effective.

    • Soirbleu

      Nice stylish boots, yes maybe. But you would not BELIEVE how hard it is to find great boots without a ridiculous amount of heel. I’m a tall woman, and a practical one. I also like walking. I’m not looking for some nonsensical, sexified boots I can’t walk in–I just want something classy, stylish, possibly period-correct (well, maybe male fashion, anyhow) and COMFORTABLE. It’s an amazingly difficult undertaking.

  • science

    I have a bad feeling about Mitch 🙁

  • bronakopdin

    hard words but sure true…

    it’s interesting that Commander only lists the “command” order up to the 18+ years olds ^^ Paul ans Mitch can play rock paper scissors! 😀

    And I reaaaly like the first panel of Amanda! It would make a nice pin-up poster 🙂

    • timemonkey

      If it gets that bad the situation will either be ‘run away as fast and far as possible’ or they’re so screwed they’ll be dead before command matters.

      • bronakopdin

        probably >_<'

        OR she thinks if it's already THAT bad then Kyle falls into a rage storm and totally finishes them off while at it xD

  • WarGoddess

    Agh I don’t think I can take this talk of dying. Please don’t die guys!!!!!!! I love you all!!!!!!!!!!!

  • I hope none of them die…but if one of them does, my money’s on Fluke.

    • D. Garrett

      as far as possible death, my money is on kyle or Amanda. Amanda because her role is so pivotal, and kyle because I wonder if that is why he was born to begin with. how many demons are strolling on the earth procreating with humans? was this his fathers plan from the beginning? anticipating sircea’s actions and providing the required sacrifice for it? it would not be the first time ive read a sinister character create a child for nefarious reasons.

      • Klaus

        Try reading the first paragraph of the kickstarter page.

  • Klaus

    When I see these adds “Superhero, supervillain. It’s complicated.”, I always read it as “It’s super complicated”.

  • staticcc

    I don’t have words for just how happy I am that Commander is a girl. Thank you very much for that character design choice.

    • You’re very welcome, staticcc. I’m glad that makes you happy. 🙂

      Originally, before I had written the first script with The Young Protectors, with this being a “yaoi” story, I had considered making the team an all-boy band, with the leader, just like everyone else, being a guy. But after talking over my plans with my main beta reader, it just became clear that despite the extra “m/m” slashing potential that 6 guys might give you, that having none of the heroes on the team be women just wasn’t in line with the kind of stories I wanted to tell. And that by choosing to have the leader of the team be a woman, I’d have the chance to create a female hero with real agency—something that I wanted to see more of in the world—while also allowing for some more interesting backstory and other juicy dynamics (like why would she choose to make the rest of her team all guys?)

      It’s a decision that continually feels rewarding, both as a writer looking to create interesting character beats and interactions, and as an independent publisher looking to create images that people feel really reflect them, sometimes for the first time. So, I feel very grateful for that conversation I had with my beta. And comments like yours help me feel like I’m doing the right thing by Commander.

      • fusrohdahskryim

        Well I sure appreciate it, its fantastic in Yoai to have a nice strong female and a leader to boot alot of Yaoi writers like to forget about ladies but surely it makes the romance between characters less forced if there are female’s in the verse? Anyway thanks!

        • Keneu

          ^ Even in other medias women are forgotten, so it’s very refreshing seeing a female character like Amanda.

          I remember a talk I attended some years ago in college with Lawrence Schimel, a children and gay literature US author. He remarked that most books repeated the stories of the same type of characters, so he always started thinking up characters that weren’t represented in media. That way those characters’ stories would be more innovative – like, for example, a single mom with all her body covered with tattoos, or a child whose father lived in another country.

          He also said that one of his book for children featured a mom who was a boss at her job and could do well in both her family and her work. It was one that always sold out because mothers would buy it for their kids to read. I think this is related to the reason I like Amanda so much.

          If she were just a token for inclusivity and strong female roles and all she did was messing up at the convenient times for plot and then stay offscreen, I wouldn’t care much about her. Same if Amanda were a good leader but didn’t do much so as to let the boys shine, or whatever . But here comes a character who has authority but doesn’t abuse it, who is a good leader, who takes action only when it’s appropiate to do so and knows what she’s doing… and who happens to be a woman *gasp*. It’s certainly a breath of fresh air.

          • Soirbleu

            Yeah, there really aren’t enough strong, non-stereotyped women characters. As a woman, it’s something I definitely notice: both the lack of, and when one does occur. I really appreciate the latter. Your comment was really well-said, and I’d like to look into that author you mentioned. Thank you.

  • i fully expect alex to off a major character.

    i don’t have much stake in the characters whom we still don’t know much about (at present).
    so, their deaths won’t have much impact on me

    alex needs not waste his time on such a thing as that.

    so.. ..either someone “meaningful” shall die.
    or, no one shall.

  • Sapfo

    Morning!
    New starfighter page is up.

  • Niggle

    Well, I have the worst memory ever! I forgot to buy the e-book on Friday… But I have it now.

    And great page, as usual. I’ve been very distracted lately and not necessarily reading pages the day they update. o.o

    • Thank you, Niggle, for the kind words and for getting a copy of Artifice. 🙂

    • Cydney Sabin

      You and me both!

  • Maus Merryjest

    Why do I get the impression this might be the last time Commander is with the team?

    • Soirbleu

      NOOOOOOO.

  • Firstly, thanks to Alex and team for giving me something extra-special to look forward to on Saturdays and for over 70 weeks Wednesdays too. This page continues the high quality that I’ve come to associate with Alex’ work.

    The full-body shot of Commander strikes me as iconic, like one of those images that excited me in comic books as a kid. I learned to draw by copying my favorite panels and poses. This brings back a lot of good memories.

    I caught something in panel two, at the top of the page that piques my curiosity. Each of the guys has a look of worry or perhaps concern except for Spooky. I followed this to the end and I noticed that the word balloons seemed to point directly at who spoke. I find it interesting that Spooky did not seem to say “understood” or “okay” or “the bagels are warm on Sunday.” His expression in panel two tells me “determination” and his apparent silence in the final panel speaks volumes. If he is silent, why? Does he object to something? Might we see a small sidebar next page where he and Amanda share a telling look or perhaps a word? I could be full of hot air — in fact I am, I ate Mexican tonight. Whoo! — Anyway, I could be completely off-base but these little tells keep me intrigued about what Alex might be weaving off-screen. I am stoked to find out!

    Thanks again to Alex, Adam, and Vero for bringing me back to my love of comics. Until Tsunami sings “Wipeout” on karaoke night! Make mine TYP!

    • Now of course I’m seeing Tsu and the gang on stage singing very badly. But surely one of them can carry a tune.

      I think Spooky is already well aware of all that could and can go wrong in battle. Considering he spent a year in hell. But also considering he’s been working with Amanda since he was 14, I think he knows how she thinks and what she’s saying isn’t unexpected.

      • Admiral!!! I offer zen hugs. Always good to chat with you. You might well be right about Spooky but then, Alex is a sneaky one. We shall learn shortly whether or not something is up between the Spookster and the Commander. As for leaving you with an image of the kids on stage singing badly; YES! My deed is done. What twisted and amusing little ditty can I come up with next? Hmmm…

        • Yes, and I await the answer! Will he, won’t he? Will Spooky speak next page. Will Kyle have more to add? (Of course now I’m hearing the voice over for the old Batman tv show).

          As long as they don’t pull up and Kingston Trio on the karaoke machine, I’ll survive….maybe. If they do pull up the Kingston Trio, the Admiral will not be a happy camper. 😛

  • davefragments

    See you tonight – Right now, I’m going shopping for TURKEY!
    not frozen but fresh. . . TURKEY

  • I may or may not be camping tonight, I have to get the place clean for Thanksgiving and then pack for a stay in Savannah until January to babysit my nephew. Waiting for my sister to call me back hopefully with details on how early I need to be ready.

    • davefragments

      I have to wash all my dishes tomorrow and make chicken stock for gravy and stuffing.

      • Steven K.

        Do you include any of the following in your stuffing?
        Cornbread. Cranberries. Turkey “giblets” (neck, heart, gizzard, liver, etc.). (Just curious.)

        • davefragments

          I make a bread stuffing. Giblets need boiled, minced and then sautéed with diced onions, carrots and celery. Add that to cubed, dried and toasted bread and enough stock to make it moist enough to roast. Then, shove it up the Turkey. Roast and eat the bird.
          . . .
          I”ve never used cranberry. I’m allergic to corn. I’m allergic to sausage. I once put finely sliced mushrooms into the stuffing and that was good.

          I do make my own cranberry sauce although this year I have leftover cranberry sauce from last year. The damn stuff keeps like jelly or jam.

          • D. Garrett

            sliced mushrooms in stuffing sounds good!

          • davefragments

            The family liked it but they liked the same-old-same-old style better. It seems Thanksgiving is nostalgia for what their Mothers made.

    • Steven K.

      Oooh – you get to go somewhere warm! Jealous of that, as I’m shivering here in my drafty house with it being 20 degrees and high winds out tonight.

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Good luck with your preparations, and if you aren’t able to make camping, have a great Thanksgiving!

      • Well, it looks like I am currently not going to Savannah after all, the people I was going to be riding down with (sister’s in -laws) decided they aren’t going . My sister is extremely unhappy at the moment.

        • davefragments

          oh bad news.

          • I was going to be down there to babysit, because my BiL let my nephew escape the house this past Sunday, in the rain, and the neighbors were kind enough to bring him back. This didn’t just happen once, but multiple times.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Oh jeez, that’s awful!

          • DC

            Oh how old is your nephew?

          • The one I would have gone to Savannah to babysit turned 2 this past June.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            JFC, that is horrible parenting on your brother-in-law’s part.

          • Yep, my sister sounded about like she was going to cry if I said no, and now since her in-laws aren’t coming down as they said they would so I have no way to get there to baby-sit until Jan.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Oh dear!

          • DC

            My nephews and nieces are teens now so I am not needed so much anymore. I miss all the babysitting I used to do and when they were small.

        • Boo! 🙁 Sorry that isn’t good news for both of you!

        • stickfigurefairytales

          Oh dear! Well, at least you won’t have to worry about running into any storms while driving.

          • But I like storms….

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Me too, but they’re a lot less nice when you’re trying to get somewhere in a car.

          • I have fond memories of car rides in storms. ^_^ Though that one time we was kind of scary, but that wasn’t really a storm, just a downpour so bad you couldn’t really see anything.

  • Omg! I’ve had so many plans over the last days that I completely forgot it was camp-night until 5mins ago. I was about to go to bed when I remembered that it’s wednesday morning here, and about now is the time I used to set my alarm to get UP for camp /headdesk.

    Hmm, now .. stay up for the page or go for a nap? Unless it’s going to be a late page, I guess it will be best to stay up xD

    • stickfigurefairytales

      I hope it isn’t too late tonight!

      • I think the pages have been fairly early the last couple of weeks, also going by the time the page has been up the two times I couldn’t be around for camp. One thing is when you have to skip it because of an apointment, another is like with last page where my internet connection went dead shortly before the page was up.
        Hope it won’t happen tonight since the reason is maintenance on various equipment which is being worked on during the nights. Connection has been cut for some hours three times during the last 7-8 days.

        • *stretches* my internet came back thankfully, so maybe new page soon? 😉

          • Can hope so, or this night I might actually have to skip out just before the page is up, on purpose. I’m not overly sleepy right now, but could be crashing all the sudden.
            It’s been a while since I’ve been up this late without sleeping, and then I go and do it on a camp night xD

          • stickfigurefairytales

            I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

    • D. Garrett

      yeah im reporting to camp 2 also wrestling against the need 4 sleep. *yawns and stretches…

  • Acintyabedhabedhadasa

    Her headband does not behave like a headband…

  • Ordered an excellent BL comic ‘Acid Monday’ with some sports anime things recently: http://lucidcomics.storenvy.com/collections/53692-all-products/products/4044233-acid-monday-with-sketch thoroughly enjoying reading it so far!

    • stickfigurefairytales

      It looks cool! One character definitely has Cain’s hairstyle.

      • Oh yeah… I noticed that right away too. Guess which random character sketch I ended up getting too? *heh* ^^

  • Okay, I really need to go sweep and mop the dining room be back in 10-15

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Okay, good luck!

      • I got the bathroom cleaned the day before yesterday was going to get the kitchen, living room, and dining room yesterday, but I passed out after diner and no cleaning got done.

        • stickfigurefairytales

          Are you finished with the dining room now?

          • yep, just have to clean the living room tomorrow and start with the baking.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Way to go, you! Good luck with the stuff tomorrow.

  • Sapfo

    Good morning good people!
    Finally a real camping again. How are you all?

    (Runs of to get some caffeine)

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Pretty good – my youngest sister is home for Thanksgiving, so I’m happy about that! How are you?

      • Sapfo

        Thanksgiving now?
        You Americans are so funny, That was in October 😉
        Hope its good to see the family

        • davefragments

          for October we appropriated Oktoberfest from Germany.

        • Agreed! Although I still get Thursday off and 1/2 of Black Friday since we help American customers ^__^

        • stickfigurefairytales

          Actually, we did celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving once! My family regularly hosts guest musicians for this local Baroque orchestra, and two of our regular people are guys from Canada.

          That particular time they were here for a while – like three weeks – and that included when they’d be having Thanksgiving, so we did a big Thanksgiving dinner for them as well as some Canadian people in the orchestra. It was awesome!

          • Sapfo

            That does sound awesome!
            Thanksgiving is not something that is we really do in Sweden. But we do have another feast in the south of Sweden (mårten gås) in the begining of November.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Mmmmm, feasts…

          • Sapfo

            Yes, we eat bloodsoup and geese 😉
            (Oki so in our family we change the bloodsoup to mushroom soup)

          • We have ‘Morten’s aften’ in Denmark as well, where many eat goose (or have changed it to duck) but we don’t eat the blood soup >.>

          • Sapfo

            well the reason why it is mostly just done in the souths of Sweden, is that it was once Danish XD

          • The story behind this tradition is one of the weirder/funnier ones. Do you know it?

          • Sapfo

            Is it not about someone hidding out at a outhouse?

          • Yes. Morten was a humble missionary man, but the church wanted to promote him to bishop. Wanting to live a humble and calm life he didn’t want the promotion and hid in a goose den. The geese, not liking an intruder, made so much noise that he was discovered and given (aka. foced to accept) the promotion anyway.
            To punish the noisy geese, he dictated that on Nov. 11th, the day he became a bishop, people were to eat geese.
            Today many of those who does do something for the day eat duck instead because it’s cheaper, but it’s been a thing for centuries.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            That’s amazing. “Everybody eat a goose on this day, because fuck you, geese.”

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Is it traditional to use the blood of your enemies in making bloodsoup?

          • Sapfo

            I did not know that pigs was the enemies…. maybe? 😉

          • stickfigurefairytales

            If you’ve read Animal Farm, then sure.

          • Sapfo

            Oh gosh! Dont reminde me of that one. horror

        • I believe Thanksgiving used to be in Oct. for the US

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Really? I didn’t know that.

          • Sapfo

            Yes, it was tiger lily and peter pan who change that with giving a turkys to everyone dressed in a white beard 😉

            No it was a harvest festival in the end of fall.

          • I think. I could be wrong. I think it was one of the Roosevelts. Because it makes sense if it was since the end of Oct. is usually the last of the harvests. I mean we’re not harvesting at the end of Nov.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            I guess the harvesting depends a lot on where in the country you live.

            According to Wikipedia, in 1863 Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of Thanksgiving to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November, so it seems to have been in November since that time.

          • I did say say “thinks”. 😐

          • davefragments

            Well, FDR made a big deal of Thanksgiving and brought it to the fore more than it had been.

          • Maybe that’s what stuck in my mind. I thought there was something between FDR and Thanksgiving.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Heck, I wouldn’t have known off the top of my head.

    • Morning~ I almost forgot it was a camp. Sat up reading and was about to go to bed when I remembered 🙂

      • Sapfo

        Bad wolf! 😉

    • Caffeine sounds good… maybe apple cider though instead. *has to finish year-end summary for work & doesn’t want to…*

      • Sapfo

        Oki getting drunk 6 am might not be the best idea. I think I stick to caffeine for now. (But maybe tonight)

      • stickfigurefairytales

        Mmmm, apple cider. (Also, good luck getting that summary done!)

    • Good Morning Ms Sapfo

      • Sapfo

        Good morning Admiral.
        Have the ship been behaving while I was “gone”?

        • It seems to have been.

          Hey everyone. You been behaving while Sapfo was busy?

          • stickfigurefairytales

            …Mostly.

          • Well I think that’ll have to do! 😀

          • Sapfo

            I am so pround of you all, Sticky! 😀

          • I’m sure it was very hard for her. Accolades to Sticky!

    • Morning Sapfo sweet.

      • Sapfo

        Evening Doki! <3

    • *dunks Baileys into coffee & runs away*

      • Sapfo

        WHAT!!! Are you fighting with me Starr…. o_O
        I fight you if you want to…. oh look kittens…. I love *hiccup*….you Starr XD

  • davefragments

    10 minutes into the murder mystery on TV and I just guessed the ending and the plot twist involved in it. I hate myself sometimes.

  • I have been watching this on and off all day. ^_^ http://new.livestream.com/FosterKittenCam/TheSpringfieldKittens

    • Sapfo

      Nonono! You will not make me look at cute….. o___O

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Kittens!!!!! <3

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Ooh, the mother cat got up to go somewhere (maybe to go eat food) and now there’s just the tiny little furry beans wobbling around. ^_^

      • The box thing wasn’t there earlier >:- I You cannot see them as well.

        • stickfigurefairytales

          I’m guessing it was added to help the mother cat feel more safe.

    • You evil temptress. I will not be lured into your trap. I’d just sit and stare for hours :-p
      I will go back to playing games and reading a gay story while camping. Have found online story that is 200+ chapters and ongoing, and I’m reading my way through them 2-8 chaps. a day.

      • stickfigurefairytales

        Nice!

        • I started recently. Have 4 years of chapters to catch up to! Think story might be going towards the end, but I’m still a good deal away from reaching the latest chapters. It follows a guy and his partner + friends all through college and a bit after.

      • can you really resist baby kittens? only a few days old?

        • stickfigurefairytales

          They’re so small I can’t stand it

          • They have been very calming today after yesterday.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Yes, definitely very calming.

        • Shhhhhh! EVIL you are.

          (I’ll probably end up staring at them later today after I’ve slept).

  • Sapfo
  • I’ve recommended this book all over everywhere else, but I thought I would recommend it here. I came across it by accident, but I’m really glad I did. Let’s see how did I describe it…

    Oh right… A bit of urban fantasy wrapped around Norse Mythology with a warm and cozy romance between guys.

    It really is a fun read.

    Liesmith: Book 1 of The Wyrd
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JNQMLFY

    • stickfigurefairytales

      I saw your tumblr post, and it looks really cool! I definitely want to check it out.

      • I’m already re-reading it. 🙂

        • I love a good re-read book. I have books I’ve read several times, but there’s various details I notice more with each read. Some that suddently makes more sense after you’re read it all before.

          • Yes! I wanted to see what I might see once I knew how the book ended. And I am seeing more, since I read it so quickly the first time because I was enjoying it.

          • Exactly! And even more with book series, details/mentions that didn’t seem important at the time can become significant with later plot, even in later books.
            Like, I’ve tried in one series where a conversation – still important for book but not fully answered – became a hint for a whole plot in a book later on.

          • It’s the first in a series, but I’m hoping it continues on.

            I’m just hoping I described the book properly because I really liked it.

          • I’m gonna check it out later when I’m through the short list I have right now. I already wrote the title down before you mentioned it. Saw it recommended elsewhere last week 🙂

          • Yay!

            Edit: I don’t know why I’m so excited to promote this book. But there it is. 😀

          • Klaus

            “My definition of good literature is that which can be read by an educated reader, and reread with increased pleasure.” Gene Wolfe. Who is, BTW, one of my favorite authors and highly recommended.

  • Klaus

    I wonder how many other unaffiliated supers are out there. How many rejects? How many who did not even apply? How many who quit? What are they doing?

    • Can they quit?

    • Saxon_Brenton

      At the start of the YP collected edition (alas, still in e-book format only) there’s a text piece that acts as a journalistic retrospective on the past forty years of public superhuman history – ever since the activities of supervillains made it clear to the public in 1973 that there really were such things.

      According to that article there are estimated 3,000 superhumans in the whole world, proportionately very few of them are villains, and (at least as far as the United States is concerned) those who aren’t interested in serving in government or corporate superteams simply need to register and have minimal government supervision. What the latter ‘supervision’ actually means isn’t specified. However, the gist of the article is that as public comfort with the presence of superhumans has increased over the decades, restrictions on superteams have been loosened from military only, to corporate sponsored teams and indies like the Young Protectors. We could speculate that supervision of private individuals has similarly loosened – but that implies that the supervision may have been onerous in the past.

  • Sapfo

    I do not know why, but every time I think of extreme sports, I think of ballet. Thouse dancers are so hardcore XD

  • Keneu

    So, I’ve read in the Kickstarter campaign that one of the rewards was a story about Duncan and Kyle commiting a crime together. It reminded me immediatly of Bonnie and Clyde, only with superpowers, and chased everywhere in the world.

  • stickfigurefairytales

    Okay, I’ve got to head to bed now. Have fun with the rest of camping, everybody!

    • davefragments

      good night

    • Night, Stick!

    • Night! Me too… time for Zzzz!

      • Sapfo

        NO! You can not give up now. We are so close! We can make it.

        • I’m falling asleep at my desk… cannot go on!

        • Adam Black

          only the cool kids stay up late @Smif: disqus

          • Sapfo

            And you are one of the coolest I know 😀

          • Adam Black

            Maybe I will be after I mainline some espresso and opiates. I just had a long hard days sleep.

      • Night, Ms Star

    • Sapfo

      Night Sticky. sleep well.

    • Night!!

  • Adam Black

    i just got up

  • I am not sure if I am going to make it…so tired from cleaning and stressing.

  • Saxon_Brenton

    Hate to lurk and run, but I’ve got gaming this evening (I’m GMing) and I need to catch the bus. Be back in about 6 or 7 hours. Enjoy your camping.

  • *Yaawn* I’m reaching that point where I entally kick myself for forgetting it was wednesday morning. I need sleep soon-ish.

    .. I’ll give it just a little longer, or till I start dozing off.

  • davefragments

    I’m falling asleep so I am calling it a night.
    See y’all tomorrow.

  • ….and everyone has fallen asleep during camp

    • I’m trying to stay awake. Oh the nap I didn’t get 😉

    • DemureDesire

      Not me. I’m lurking and working on my novel for NaNoWriMo — which would be easier without help from one of my rats.

    • Not yet! 🙂

  • Adam Black
  • Ok, I am out. I cannot stay awake any longer. Good night/day everyone.

  • Klaus
  • DelorgesDee

    Oh, are we still camping? I usually miss it cause I’m still in bed at that time (timezone fun!). Neat.
    Coffee for everyone! Can’t be long now, right?

    • A few of us are still around. 🙂

      • DelorgesDee

        Fighting off sleep while I’m fresh as the new morning! Muahahaha!

        • Ha! Don’t count us sleepy heads out.

          • DelorgesDee

            Oh, I won’t make that mistake. I respect our camping veterans.

  • Wayne Small

    Hey Alex are you going to put the Young Protectors Volume one on amazon kindle

    • SofiaT

      Judging from the fact that Artifice, Alex’s other published graphic novel, is available on Amazon Kindle, I’d say we have very, very good chances TYP Vol 1 will be there too, eventually. 🙂

      But first, I think the Kickstarter backers need to get their printed copies, before Alex can start selling the book in any format, electronic or printed. So, maybe another 6 months or so? *fingers crossed for sooner rather than later*

      [P.S: I’m sure Alex will reply to your question soon, but he’s traveling atm, which is why I butted in. He’ll probably have a more solid timeline in mind than my rough calculations!]

      • He’s traveling today? Damn, had I known that I would have taken that nap earlier.
        Now I’m at that point where I feel between going to bed and stay up because I’ve been up so far and the page has to be near.

        • SofiaT

          He must have just landed, according to my calculations. He confirmed there will be an update tonight, just later than usual.

          I’d say not too long now.

    • Yep, and in fact, I have the same designer who created the Artifice Kindle version working on the The Young Protectors Volume One Kindle e-book. But as Sofia pointed out, I don’t plan to make it available for sale until the Kickstarter backers get their physical books.