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December 1st, 2017

December 1st, 2017 published on 54 Comments on December 1st, 2017

Hey, if you’ve got kids age 6-12 and they’re itching for something fun to read, you should check out the weekly kids’ comic The Phoenix, available online or in Waitrose/WH Smiths in the UK, and on comixology in the US! A subscription is a pretty fab holiday present. The strip I’ve been working on – Claire, Justice Ninja: Ninja of Justice- is starting a new run this Friday, and I’m really proud of the work me and my writer Joe Brady have been doing.

  • I love how Sid and Wolfe are literally right behind them instead of the loooooooooong distance it probably felt like. xD

    • SaberRoy

      Makes me wonder if all four of them were always asleep– it’s just being asleep and falling to Sloth was different.

      • Maria Gerasimova

        I think they all walked all right – only at an another plane, where spirits dwell and where Fairbarn roamed sleepless a whole year, without being noticed by anybody in the reality of Widdershins.

  • Jordan Hiller

    I can just imagine the sensation of finally being able to sleep after being prevented from doing so for so long. It’d probably feel a bit like a massive pillow slamming down on your consciousness, stifling your mind into a soothing calm and darkness.

    • Del

      I started on CPAP therapy a few months ago, after a decade or more of undiagnosed sleep apnea. I know a little bit about how Fairbairn feels.

      Your poetic description is better than anything I have come up with. Beautiful sleep!

      And after a long time deprived of REM sleep, her dreams will be very long and vivid. (And hopefully, just a bit nightmarish.)

  • Yay, Ben!

  • HollowCT

    can’t help but feel sympathetic for Fairbairn, god knows how bad my mood gets if i dont get enough sleep, cant imagine how bad it must have been for, what, months?

    • BaronHaynes

      I mean, I wouldn’t leave her there, but she kinda deserved it, too

    • a_flemish_dude

      I think it feels like one of those days were you went to work feeling a bit flu-y and it just kept on getting worse during the day untill finally you can go home and just crash

    • Having myself reached the point where I can no longer safely walk and my awareness of anything happening around me really only exists in theory after a mere fraction of that time, I’d be willing to consider Mrs. Fairbairn an exceptional case

  • Maria Gerasimova

    I hope she’s sleeping now, not dead.

    Ben’s posture is amazingly magnificient!
    Recalled me a fragment of a poem of E. Evtushenko:
    “Так ты лежал в пустыне, Женька,
    Как победитель, а не жертва,
    И так же, вдаль-наискосок
    Тянулись руки к совершенству,
    Недостижимому блаженству,
    Хватая пальцами песок…”

    The essence of this excerpt is: the one who has fallen (Zheñka), lays as a victor, not a victim.

    • Phlebas

      So you lay in the desert, dear Zhenya,
      As a victor, not a victim,
      Just so, distant
      Hands stretched to perfection,
      Unreachable bliss,
      Clutching the sand with your fingers …

      • Maria Gerasimova

        Thank you!

      • Ocean Burning.

        Beautiful. Thanks for sharing it, Maria and Phlebas.

    • Heylir

      My associations are more trivial, as usual. :) I recall the saying “If you can’t walk to your aim, lie towards it”. Well, this worked there! :)

    • Ocean Burning.

      Meanwhile, Sid is curled up like a cat taking a catnap, I love it XD

  • Winger

    Feeling the urge to nervously poke Fairbairn with a stick, here…we still haven’t had a dead body in this comic, but there’s a first time for everything.

  • Maria Gerasimova

    And Vee has no black circles under her eyes…

    But Mal and Harry are now in the between-space, unprotected from the evil spirit of a Deadly by the circle they had not time to draw… :(
    So Sloth is now free incide the anchor – first of them all?

    • Emily

      >And Vee has no black circles under her eyes…

      It’s hard to tell – maybe she does and we’re just too far away to see. Looks like Ben has finally passed out, though…

      • Maria Gerasimova

        Let him get a little rest at last :)

  • Greenwood Goat

    K.O! Mini-boss defeated! Play end-of-level music, tot up score and time bonus, run cutscene animation of the characters walking in through the factory door, on to the next level!

    Now, Fairbairn would surely have been declared dead by by this time… what would the legal position be on giving her a sly kick as they head into the factory?

    Ben: I’m really not sure… and I can’t be sure it’s worth risking.

    Wolfe: And I think it would be unworthy of us. *open gesture*

    Sid: I’m not really into violence, even at the worst of times. Sorry! *awkward smile*

    Vee: And I would rather not soil my boots! *strides past haughtily*


  • Nonesuch

    R.I.P., Fairbairn…

    • Sanjay Merchant

      More literally than usual, since she seemed to have been denied both for at least a year.

    • That is not dead that can eternal lie…

      …and Ms Fairbairn is a politician, so she should be better at lying than most.

  • Sanjay Merchant

    She’s tagged ad Ms. Fairbairn. Wasn’t her given name established at some point? Margaret or something? Or am I just imagining that?

  • Emily

    I like how you can see the tail of Vee’s braid uncoiling from her bun – nice little realistic detail!

    I wonder what Fairbairn’s face will look like now that they’re back in the real world. A little less nightmarish, hopefully…

  • Del

    You did it, Ben!

    Bravo, Kate! And so much left to look forward to!…

    First, we will wrap up Sloth. That should be good.

    Lei & Macavity are out there.

    Lust has been effortlessly toying with our heroes all day.

    While hiding in plain sight, it seems.

    We can expect a visit from the Island Witch and the Mountain Witch.

    And what, if anything, is behind that shadow door?
    (I hope it’s Chthulu.)

    • Ocean Burning.

      I hope it’s *not* Cthulhu, good heavens. Dealing with Mr. Lux is going to be bad enough.

  • Laurel Brinker-Cole (Ayara012)

    I…just realized…
    …Has this entire thing with the lamp oil and sloth been a pun on “burning the midnight oil”?

  • Tea

    Is it just perspecive or have they only walked about 200 yards?

    • Emily

      I think that’s right – inside the Sloth Mist it felt like they were walking forever, but in real space it was only a short distance.

  • John

    I just realized the party’s done a LOT of travelling today, mostly by walking. It started with a coach ride from Eddie’s farm into town, presumably to the Coach House. Then they walked to Harry’s office, then all the way across town to the Malform Removal office, and then they walked (maybe ran) to Finch Street (which isn’t marked on the map). Then Harry walked to the Hunter Society and back, then they all went to the anchor. Those who didn’t go through Mal’s door then walked to the gaol, the theatre, Hotel Gula, back to the University, and then all the way across town to Lamplight. They still have to walk to the vicinity of the Y intersection between Harry’s office and the central Police station. And then they have to figure out where to go to deal with Luxuria.

    I’m not sure what the scale is for the Widdershins map, but I hope they took the time to eat something substantial today because all that crisscrossing of town has to have burned quite a few calories (in addition to taking a lot of time).

    • Ocean Burning.

      Are you from the U.S., by any chance? : )

    • Heylir

      I was worrying more about “burning of nerves” and thought that some chocolates would be helpful for their emotional states. :)

      Now… well, I think one can measure determination in units called “bens”. Decibens, millibens… all that.

    • Dud

      Probably not very far – I doubt anything important in Widdershins is more than half a mile from the centre so four or five miles at most. Nowhere near enough to burn off the calories from Nora and Florries’ sandwiches.
      OK, they’ve been variously active in between but less than two hours walking is negligable in a nineteenth century context.

  • Oh yikes, these new enforced Disqus ads are extremely ugly! I’m going to start paying for the adless version because I’m not subjecting you guys to this any more. Please feel free to drop a little into the Widdershins Patreon here- or via the donation link to the right of the comic up there, if you can!

    • Ocean Burning.

      But I don’t see ads except if I scroll down to the very bottom of the page? (And I don’t use adblocks.)

      • That’s them! I hate them!

        • Ocean Burning.

          Maybe we can just all avoid scrolling all the way down? XD …In all honesty, I agree with Herr Sturzkampf. (I want creators to be able to make money from their content, it’s the reason I won’t install adblocks.)

    • Do you get any income if we click on one? I’m sure we could do that if it will help.

      • No, none!

        • Well, I for one can live with annoying adverts if it will save you money.

          • Thank you, but in terms of site design, they’re just extremely nasty and I don’t want them here!

    • 2 days later and their upgrade page is still not working! :| I’ll do it as soon as it’ll let me, I promise!

      • Finally done! Goodbye, horrible ads, also $10 per month :P

  • Heylir

    Suddenly about the page before this one. :) O’Malley Cleaners made me recall Wolfe and Mal’s dialogue in the second chapter:

    – You have us work, but what sort is it?
    – Uh, dunno. Something about cleaning.

    • Ocean Burning.

      Spiritual cleaning. Honestly, it’s probably one of the few jobs in which Mal and Ben could work together at all.

  • Kelly McCarthy
  • Sanjay Merchant

    Does the posing of Ben’s and Fairbairn’s collapsed forms remind anyone else of the “dead” sprites from 90’s JRPGs?

  • Rachel McGonagill

    I wonder, was it the snuffing of the lamplight that sent Fairbairn to sleep, or was it the dart? Or was it both? Was the lamplight only responsible for creating the alternate reality where it took hours to walk 100 yards? Could Fairbairn not put it out herself, but require an intermediary to “help” her, instead?

  • This guy

    is dead.
    I LOVE Over the Garden Wall.

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