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Comics - Page 799 - Ship Sinking - February 2nd, 2016, 10:41 am

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Somewhere, an angry Fix Fic is born
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Author Comments:

Blitzkrieg1701, February 2nd, 2016, 10:47 am

I know, I know, another page that's not only late, but late AND unfinished. No blaming the delay on technical difficulties this time, this one's all on me. With MAGFest coming up, I'm trying to get some new merchandiser ready, and that led to me spending waaaaaaay too much time laying out a new Conventional Wisdom booklet. Thanks to that, I'm pretty much behind schedule for the whole rest of the week.

Don't worry, though, I'll have the fully edited and colored page up later today. Same goes for today's Voting Incentive. There WILL be one, I've already got it drawn and everything. I just won't have it colored in until sometime this evening. Patience, gentle reader!

EDIT: Okay! Voting Incentive is up! Stilez fans rejoice!

Advertisement, November 17th, 2019, 7:21 pm

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User Comments:

Number 6 (Guest), February 2nd, 2016, 11:44 am

This neither proves nor disproves Stilez's (obvious romantic semi-stalkerish) attraction to Ichabod, just that, as is usually the case for Stilez, she doesn't understand the question because she doesn't have any reference frame for normal human relationships. Which is not surprising given that 99.99% of her non-Tax social interaction with people constitutes firing weapons at them.

Blitzkrieg1701, February 2nd, 2016, 4:20 pm

True, but that's not really the issue as far as Layla is concerned. She just doesn't want to face the possibility of witnessing a woman actually expressing a romantic interest in Ichabod.

Seros Senric (Guest), February 2nd, 2016, 5:15 pm

Layla, you better be careful for a while, or someone might think you were attracted to Ichabod and worried about competition.
Which would be a silly thing to think.

Regardless, the only real thing established here is "These people that hang around Ichabod are weird."

Ed8 (Guest), February 2nd, 2016, 9:05 pm

The life of a Nitpicker is a lonely life :(

You know, Layla takes a really excessive amount of pleasure in making Ichabod miserable. One of these days Avatar, who of course has heard every Ichabod story several times, is going see Layla tormenting Ichabod and she'll take her aside and tell her the story about how Ichabod actually saved Layla's dad's life (It's called "The Murderous Space Platform of Lethal Danger" - she probably needs to come up with a better name for it, though) and I hope Layla feels REALLY REALLY guilty for all the torment she has caused that poor man!

Number 6 (Guest), February 3rd, 2016, 12:08 pm

@Blitz - to quote the famous con-artist Layla Natalie Quartment (#581) - "If people want to believe something, they'll go ahead and ignore you no matter what you say ... they'll choose to believe the most outrageous crap you can come up with if it gets them what they want" Therefore, Layala will always dismiss the Ichabod-Stilez romance, and for the same reason I shall always believe in it! :)

@Seros - I think it was well established a long time ago that Ichabod is a powerful Weirdness Magnet, but this does certainly serve to underline it.

@Ed8 - Of course Nitpickers are lonely - would you want to date someone who nitpicks everything you do? Actually, now that I think of it, that does cover most of the women I've dated :(

Blitzkrieg1701, February 3rd, 2016, 7:08 pm

Oh man, there are several things I could say about things other people have said that would be MAJOR spoilers :D

Seros Senric (Guest), February 3rd, 2016, 7:31 pm

Is that... foreshadowing?
I could go to some rather interesting places from the comments on this page :P

I'd love to see how Layla would react to that story. And Avatar would be the most likely to tell it. Although, Sophia might be a likely story-teller for it too.

@Number 6
Pretty sure most women get granted nitpicker powers towards any significant other they may have.

Like many other people, Stilez compares clothes by how well they will cope with normal, everyday situations.
Which, for her, involves lots of explosions.

powercomic (Guest), February 3rd, 2016, 10:21 pm

I choose to believe the most outrageous thing possible,
I am going to take a wildly inaccurate guess and say that the MAJOR spoilers are 1.Layla is actually attracted to Ichabod. 2.there is some pseudo science that actually makes Ichabod a weirdness magnet 3.Layla's dad is actually alive.

these are some of my more improbable guesses that I think have SOME chance of being true however small that may be.

Fellow (Guest), February 3rd, 2016, 11:30 pm

Dang, serves me right for not having read the bloody thing before, I suppose.

Number 6 (Guest), February 4th, 2016, 1:30 am

First of all (and I can't believe I forgot to say this earlier): AMAZONCATGIRLINASUNDRESS!!!!!!!11111. :D If it were in my nature to "Squee" I would do so. I feel like I should send Tabitha a fruit-and-muffin basket or something for this wonderful gift. Although I suppose I really should send it to Bridget as it was her idea.

I was going to disagree with @powercomic's suggestions, but now that I think of it, on the very short list of real-world people who might have cause to fake their own deaths, "underworld crime boss" does rank pretty close to the top, so maybe #3 is not so crazy after all. #1 is impossible, though, because if Blitz were to even try to write that into the plot, Layla would come out of the computer screen to hurt him. It wouldn't be the first time!

Seros Senric (Guest), February 4th, 2016, 1:44 am

@Number 6
Layla coming out of the screen to hurt Blitz if he puts it in the comic that she likes Ichabod is something that would happen regardless of her feelings prior to that event.

Blitzkrieg1701, February 4th, 2016, 4:06 am

If SmackJeeves allowed image comments, this post would be a drawing of me sitting in front of my computer with a big, contented, ever-so-slightly-evil-looking grin.

Seros Senric (Guest), February 4th, 2016, 5:20 am

Damnit Blitz. You are starting to make me move some of my theories out of the "probably unlikely" pile and into the "scarily possible" pile.

Ed8 (Guest), February 4th, 2016, 4:24 pm

@Fellow - Ooops, sorry for the spoiler. I assumed everone had read The Killer Station of Deadly Doom already - it's really the critcal element in understanding the entire comic! *More TKSDD spoilers below*

Folks who just read the comic might think Ichabod is some guy that just hangs around eating apples and testing Xal-gox soda whenever there's trouble, but TKSDD shows that he's really half Macgyver and half John Mclain! (the Bruce Willis character from Die Hard) Ichabod just looks like he's not doing anything these days when there's trouble, but that's because he's a Mastermind who has already put all the pieces in to place to solve the problem before it even started.

Even more critically, without TKSDD, the whole first part of the strip looks like "Nitpicker picks up some random assignment and somehow gets bamboozled into adopting two random kids". Instead, we can now see that obviously ERIC (Layla's Dad) AND ICHABOD SET THE WHOLE THING UP AHEAD OF TIME!. Eric, being a Crime Lord, naturally had nobody outside of his immediate family he could trust - except, thanks to the events of TKSDD, he knew he could trust Ichabod. In the event of his death, it was established that a Nitpicker would be hired. Ichabod made sure he was the one that got the assignment. Some Nitpicking excuse would be made to separate Layla (and Trigger) from the company and spirit them out of town. Eric knew that Layla would never go along with such a thing unless she thought it was her idea, so Ichabod cleverly manipulated her into thinking she was manipulating him into taking her along! Patty, of course, was in on this plan, which explains why she could dump her own daughter out into the world with nothing. IT ALL FITS!

Now, initially, I thought this was just because Eric was afraid that in the event of his actual death, without his influence Layla would be corrupted by the evilness of the business they were in and he wanted to get her out of it. Now I'm not so sure. I'm thinking Eric knew there was danger to his family, faked his death, used Ichabod to get the kids safely out of town and under the protection of the powerful Nitpicker's Guild (nobody messes with them) and Patty stayed behind because someone had to maintain the business and because it would be too suspicious if she disappeared also. Layla had to be completely disgraced from ever being associated with the business so that Eric's enemies would be less likely to go after her.

All this from a little series of vote incentive strips!

Ed8 (Guest), February 4th, 2016, 4:35 pm

@Seros Senric - Layla would probably initially react with complete disbelief to the story because "Ichabod is an Action Hero" would just seem too improbable to her. :)

Seros Senric (Guest), February 4th, 2016, 7:49 pm


Layla likely would react to the story like that initially - partly why I suggested Sophia as a potential story-teller.

Also, I like that wall of text. It fits with what we know quite well.

Also, for people reading this, possible spoiler warning for my comment too.

The only real problem I have with the whole "Layla's dad is still alive" thing is that, from what we've seen of him, I don't think he's want his daughter to go through the trauma of thinking he's dead. So, it just doesn't seem likely to me that he's still around.

That said, setting it up with Ichabod beforehand that he'd look after his daughter if anything were to happen to him seems to fit well with both characters. Eric would want her to stay safe, and Ichabod is someone outside the criminal underworld that he knows can be trusted.

Ichabod has been shown to be unfazed by danger, and awesome at planning, not to mention that he can get the backing of the Nitpicker's Guild, as well as entire empires. He's also not all that easy to actually track down. And, after he first met Eric, he started having Vengeance and Avatar nearby, and Stilez likes him. All three of those could probably be considered The Dreaded. (Although, Avatar has been nice enough to avoid that, with Vengeance people don't even need to know about him to be scared of him, and Stilez possibly has the highest kill-count in the galaxy without being on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge)

All of this builds up to the fact that messing with Ichabod would be a really bad idea, especially if you planned on still being around afterwards.
He can keep people safe, likely even without them realising that they are under his protection.

Ichabod was also a good choice because he already had a ready excuse to collect Layla - it seems pretty much required to hire a Nitpicker whenever a company or organisation changes hands, and it doesn't seem too difficult to ensure that Ichabod is the one that came along to do the nitpicking.

So, if that was tl;dr, I mostly agree with Ed8.

Ed8 (Guest), February 4th, 2016, 8:43 pm

Ichabod: The Universe's Most Interesting Man
@Seros Senric: I feel that you're right that he's probably not alive, if only for plot reasons - it would derail the whole comic. It's probably wishful thinking on my part wanting him to be alive for Layla's sake. Still, it could be justified in that he thought it was for her protection, and protecting her takes priority over not traumatizing her - he knew that if she knew or even guessed he was really alive she would come looking for him which would put her in danger, or something along those lines. Otherwise my initial guess that it was something that he set up "in the event of my death" even if he really is dead still stands. There's any number of reasons he might have wanted her not to be in that business if he wasn't around. So I'm covered either way. :)

Also, in addition to all the other stuff Ichabod has that you mentioned above, apparently he's also Emperor of the Black Hole Invaders and owed a life debt by the Temple of the Spider Sirens, and apparently the Zichelidan Emperium owes him a big favor as well! And that's just the stuff Sophia mentioned, there's probably more. You do NOT want to mess with that guy!

Seros Senric (Guest), February 4th, 2016, 9:13 pm

Yeah, I'm pretty sure at least one person in the FOT universe hasn't met Ichabod, but knows about all this stuff surrounding him and has put him in the same category as the worst threats in the universe.
He could be considered The Dreaded even without being friends with Vengeance and Stilez.

I can also understand that you would want Layla's dad to still be alive for her. I just don't think it'd be the case at all.

...More meta...
I think this page might have the most comments on it. If not, then pretty close to.

Ed8 (Guest), February 4th, 2016, 10:12 pm

Even More Comments ;)
@Seros Senric: Layla's Dad is definitely still alive! (for reference, see previous above comment as to how people will believe anything no matter how unlikely, if they really want it to be true) ;)

Far Out There: What you get when the most adorable sweet cuddly huggable characters in the entire universe meet the most fearsome terrifying intimidating characters in the entire universe.

(Avatar is probably capable of falling into both categories if she really wanted to.)

Seros Senric (Guest), February 5th, 2016, 12:06 am


I like that description of the webcomic.

And with Avatar - she already has some pretty obvious switches between "cute little girl that wants to play" and "mature repository of knowledge". Gaining a new 'switch' to "terrifyingly intimidating" doesn't seem out of the question.

Being indestructable and capable of knowing everything there is to know in the universe means that if she ever had reason to, she could probably intimidate anyone into being absolutely terrified of her.

And there's no reason to think that she can't just connect herself directly to a computer database and download everything again if she needed to, like the mad scientists did to her before, even if it involved having to make some hardware for it (it isn't like she wouldn't know how).

...Now that I think about it, with those two points, she could probably duplicate the abilities of both Alphonse and Bridget...

Thank heaven that Avatar is a nice girl.

Ed8 (Guest), February 5th, 2016, 2:06 pm

@Seros Senric - Everything creepy is 1000x scarier if it's done by an adorable little girl. There's just something absolutely terrifying about the dissonance between the appearance of adorableness and the actual evilness.

Given that Avatar has a memory of every horror movie ever made, every real life atrocity, every method of psychological and physical warfare and combat technique, 50,000 ways to kill someone just by looking at them, is completely unkillable by any means, and (if she weren't so adorable) already has a physical appearance in "uncanny valley" territory, she could probably make even Vengeance want to run and hide under the bed. Oh, and she can do voice modulation too! Imagine a creepy deep Bass Eldritch Abomination voice coming from tiny little Avatar. Yikes!!

That just makes her extra-special because she doesn't do any of that. Anybody can be nice if they don't really have a choice.

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