Comic 203 - Ambush

20th Jan 2012, 11:08 PM in Filling in the Past
Average Rating: 4.8 (5 votes) Rate this comic
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Author Notes:

view 20th Jan 2012, 11:08 PM edit delete
No comic tomorrow.

This comic was difficult to shade. Mud! Mud!


JasperWB 20th Jan 2012, 11:26 PM edit delete reply
Wait...was the broken clock right again? I guess I was right about him but now...what becomes of him?

Flashbacks always seem to be gritty. No matter what the story itself is about.
view 20th Jan 2012, 11:31 PM edit delete reply
If it was a movie with voice acting, I think more people would have picked up on the fact that he outright threatened her a few pages back. Nobody commented on it, so I think they took it as not a threat?
JasperWB 21st Jan 2012, 12:01 AM edit delete reply
Yeah I think I felt it. He's fake and passive aggressive until you really upset him, then we get this "man". But it is damn hard to put subtleties in writing even with comics. You always wind up driving a point like "HEY HE'S THREATENING HER BUT IT'S KINDA SECRET BUT YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO SEE IT. DO YOU SEE IT YET?" Plus he's a character that if you know the personality type you just go "A-ha" and see it right away and if you don't you give him the benefit of the doubt.
JasperWB 21st Jan 2012, 12:28 AM edit delete reply
Don't mean to, uh, type your ear off! I have been trained too well to write long when I write anything. I always had skill with the essays...
duLapel 21st Jan 2012, 1:21 AM edit delete reply
From NMTG 201-Regeneration, frame 6: “Of course, I have to do a lot of delicate work to make sure the deep-scan nanites don’t cause any permanent damage...” said Dr. Babe Face with a lecherous grin in a weak attempt at sexual coercion. Marina bites her tongue knowing Dr. Face can not act on his treat without risking the fame and fortune her recovery promises. -- Boldface added...

“Making words...boldface adds sound and disciplines the reader’s internal ear,” (pg 124, Comics & Sequential Art by Will Eisner, 1985).
cattservant 21st Jan 2012, 1:58 AM edit delete reply
Sir duLapel: A question, if you are willing to consider it; What do you think about the location of NMTG's 'small town' being in the north of the Texas Panhandle. <the Dallhart area> The stated distance from Metropolis <1000 km> is correct from NW Iowa. The rail connections <also from Colorado> meet in the area and the landscape <the Llano Estacado> matches that portrayed in the story. Given your excellent powers of deduction, I was hoping you might have a comment.
duLapel 21st Jan 2012, 3:06 AM edit delete reply
To cattservant: I'm flattered that you think I have a scintilla deductive power. Does the bone bed and the apparent lack of drill-able petroleum fit into your speculation?
cattservant 21st Jan 2012, 3:26 AM edit delete reply
Bones, yes. There is a lake <Lake Rita Blanca> and a national grass land too. Gas and oil could be a problem. There is lots of it in the Texas Panhandle in the 'real & now', but maybe they ran out in the NMTG 'future'. <if you squint at the facts> <Per view; no oil now.>
view 21st Jan 2012, 3:33 AM edit delete reply
XVT breaks down hydrocarbons and doesn't decay.
cattservant 21st Jan 2012, 3:45 AM edit delete reply
XVT, as in spider tank, full of. So no oil. Poor old Texas! <thank you Oh great and enlightening {kami} view!>
cattservant 21st Jan 2012, 12:35 AM edit delete reply
Twice a day, twice a day! <crunched time piece, that is...>
JasperWB 21st Jan 2012, 12:44 AM edit delete reply
cattservant 21st Jan 2012, 12:30 AM edit delete reply
The 'Establishment' doesn't seem to be able to keep the 'Insurgents' down and out of sight.
RandomTroll 21st Jan 2012, 2:13 AM edit delete reply
Smash his weak human cranium into paste!
view 21st Jan 2012, 2:36 AM edit delete reply
Heh heh, you actually guessed it, pretty much.
JasperWB 21st Jan 2012, 3:15 AM edit delete reply
So he does get killed? There is a coverup?
cattservant 21st Jan 2012, 3:50 AM edit delete reply
Might be their ticket out of town. (Also, at least one of them isn't going to make it to 'small town'.) <Master view, does it have a name? Or is that 'deflect-able' info? Oh great Deflector!>
Valatar 21st Jan 2012, 6:07 AM edit delete reply
I'm sensing shenanigans. Jim and Mary in 'present day' don't seem old enough for 10-15 years to have passed since the flashbacks here. If anything, present-day Mary seems younger than flashback punk Mary. Nor does that seem like enough time for the world to be so ominously empty-feeling, with hints of apocalypse around them. Miwa makes reference to 'the accident'.

At what point do we find out that all of the humans are actually in tubes of goo after the robots took over?
view 21st Jan 2012, 6:12 AM edit delete reply
Where did you get so much time passing?

This is basically as destroyed as the world gets. And now they live in the middle of a scrub desert, which is a pretty lonely place to live.

(As for Mary looking younger... she's not really that much older, but I think a lot of that may be that my art style is evolving... :P )
view 21st Jan 2012, 6:21 AM edit delete reply
This sort of feedback is really valuable, because it brings up bits that never occurred to me.

I thought it was fairly obvious that they basically ran away and settled down in Nowheresville, Texas right after this. I'll tweak one of the scenes in the next few pages to make that a bit clearer.
cattservant 21st Jan 2012, 7:00 AM edit delete reply
So they did ride out of town on a rail(s)! The damage to the train on page 004 could be related to their escape, and not just the passage of time. <Ah, there is a name! Nowheresville, Texas. Brilliantly descriptive!> Did they join an existing population, or were they 'pioneers'?
view 21st Jan 2012, 7:16 AM edit delete reply
Those rails were out of service predating this flashback...

You'll see in a few pages, they weren't pioneers.
cattservant 21st Jan 2012, 10:48 AM edit delete reply
Jim did say "ancient railroads". <Just my natural inclination, when I see tracks, to look for trains.> Political refugees then. Good of (and for) Nowheresville to take them in.
siliwili 21st Jan 2012, 12:20 PM edit delete reply
It does seem obvious for the creator. :p I think that the daily comic thing is a slow moving beast. You can't tear through it like a novel. I know that if I get confused at all in a plot it usually resolves itself in 50-100 pages. We just need to give it some time and see what the next few pages bring. There are lots of questions, but I think we'll see answers.
Valatar 22nd Jan 2012, 7:23 PM edit delete reply
I got the time passage from the history of indieVisable ("none of them older than 16 when arrested", then "five years later they were championing robot rights") and from Mary having told Jim "I'm not the same as I was ten years ago". I was taking her statement to mean she wasn't the same as her punky self, which would imply at least a decade passing from this Mary to current Mary. And with the time of arrest being five years before the time of robot championing, if we're seeing the robot rights version of indieVisable on this page, that'd make the time of arrest Mary fifteen years younger than current Mary.

This is of course hinging on assumptions and prone to error. If Mary's "ten years ago" was referring to little kid flashback Mary instead of punk mohawk flashback Mary, the timeline lays out in a completely different fashion.
view 22nd Jan 2012, 7:27 PM edit delete reply
He's not gonna see punk Mary any more naked than this...

Truthfully, they've been arrested lots.
siliwili 21st Jan 2012, 6:22 AM edit delete reply
Definitely chill with the darker lines. Retrospectively it now makes the flash back more flashbacky. Awesome stuff, View. I did not have a problem with the mary age thing. I think her whole anarchist look actually makes her younger and the 'regular' look seems more mature.
JasperWB 21st Jan 2012, 7:47 AM edit delete reply
I'd just like to point out, I did predict all of this a few pages back. Nostradamus don't have shit on The Broken Clock! I demand recognition but I dont foresee it.
view 21st Jan 2012, 3:57 PM edit delete reply
I'll never acknowledge that somebody picked up on my foreshadowing. It's not possible.
JasperWB 21st Jan 2012, 9:08 PM edit delete reply
Either you're mocking me or making a point about the unintended obtuseness of what should be obvious to all. I'd believe both but the latter would be particularly funny since I wound up breaking down the clarification on obtuseness by calling it obtuse.

Archduke 21st Jan 2012, 1:12 PM edit delete reply
This man resembles a primate and deserves to die.
view 21st Jan 2012, 3:56 PM edit delete reply
Technically, everyone more than resembles a primate... but this guy does give off that "still flings poo" feeling.
Archduke 21st Jan 2012, 4:15 PM edit delete reply
Haha, nice one.

Also, a question: Will we be finding out who the two unknown robots of the previous few pages are, or otherwise what happened to them? Maybe they're characters in the main comic which I have failed to recognise?

For the ref, I'm talking about 'off her meds' and 'spinny hat man'.
view 21st Jan 2012, 5:37 PM edit delete reply
One of those two is already identified.

The other one isn't important.
Dave. 21st Jan 2012, 8:14 PM edit delete reply
Ah, that's Esteban's younger body then.
cattservant 21st Jan 2012, 8:20 PM edit delete reply
And he might have gotten an upgrade between page 199 and now.<page 203> (looks bigger) I wonder if they weren't already planning on leaving Metropolis at this point and are just cleaning up loose ends on the way out? The page is titled "Ambush" after all. {look behind you,.. indeed!}
Sheela 21st Jan 2012, 10:48 PM edit delete reply
ruh-roh .. someone's in for a beating !

love that little smile of hers in the last panel. :)
cattservant 22nd Jan 2012, 3:50 AM edit delete reply
Here's to Master view enjoying a well deserved day off!
view 22nd Jan 2012, 3:56 AM edit delete reply
I normally only do 6 comics a week.
cattservant 22nd Jan 2012, 4:07 AM edit delete reply
You said "no comic tomorrow", so I was hoping you were laying about with all four legs in the air resting up your 'art' hand! (Really though, thank you so much for sharing your wonderful and mentally challenging <perhaps stimulating is a better word> story!)
JasperWB 22nd Jan 2012, 4:10 AM edit delete reply
So you're a Jewish deity to all these people. Sundays were passe for rest? Heh
view 22nd Jan 2012, 4:13 AM edit delete reply
No, I take Saturday off because it's the only day with "sitting" in the name. Sat-ur-day.
JasperWB 22nd Jan 2012, 4:16 AM edit delete reply
Ba dum tish. View will be here all week! Except Saturdays. That's reserved for perching on the day. Carpe diem gluteus maximus
cattservant 22nd Jan 2012, 4:23 AM edit delete reply
Originally it was Satyr-day...
cattservant 22nd Jan 2012, 4:21 AM edit delete reply
Sir JasperWB: A question, if you are interested. I noticed you were talking about the word 'obtuse' yesterday. What do you think about the visual similarity and definitional differences of the words 'obvious' and 'oblivious'? <and no, I don't have anything better to do!> {could go back to bed I guess}
JasperWB 22nd Jan 2012, 4:47 AM edit delete reply
Uhh. I'm no knight. I'm not even a peasant. And what do I think? It's a coincidence on the physical level and a sick joke on the metaphorical one.
cattservant 22nd Jan 2012, 4:55 AM edit delete reply
And I can't even spell bourgeois!.. So maybe 'god' really is running a casino. <Thanks for taking the time to respond.>
Ally Haert 23rd Jan 2012, 3:56 AM edit delete reply
Ally Haert
Y'know, now that I'm actually thinking about it, it's fantastically creepy that they knew Doc was gonna rip her shirt open on page 199. What does that imply about that whole situation? Eww.
view 23rd Jan 2012, 4:03 AM edit delete reply
They're not as faultless as you might think, and both sides are very creepy. Obviously, the indieVisible guys come off as heroes because it's told from their perspective, but from the other perspective, they are one step short of criminal masterminds attempting to subvert the world order.

They essentially conned a major medical research company into doing the research they wanted to get done in a way where they could steal it and give it away for free, knowing full well that the director had enough bad habits that they could blackmail him without any trouble.

Of course, Mary was a key player and not terrifically happy or confident about the situation. So she changed her image to stiffen her spine a bit.
JasperWB 23rd Jan 2012, 4:52 AM edit delete reply
Hey what about Carol? I don't think we've seen her here? What was she up to? Something sexy and not criminal? Well ok, gotta have a little criminal.
view 23rd Jan 2012, 4:57 AM edit delete reply
Sorry, she's already in Texas. Also, none of the evil mastermind members of indieVisible made it down south, just the hapless ones.
JasperWB 23rd Jan 2012, 5:05 AM edit delete reply
Oh. I suppose that's for the best. Hopefully they can enjoy life then and not have their past come back to haunt them.

Why do my favorite characters in stories always wind up bring the minor ones? It must be the mystery the reader is left to fill in the blanks for.
view 23rd Jan 2012, 5:10 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, my main characters in this comic are so straightforward...
JasperWB 23rd Jan 2012, 5:16 AM edit delete reply
Maybe but I think that's the way it should be with this story. It's about complex relationships, straightforward characters. If both were complex it'd be one of those neverending webcomics.

Unless there is inflection I'm missing in that statement heh
cattservant 23rd Jan 2012, 7:51 AM edit delete reply
Yes, "went straight<forward> around the corner and never came back!"