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  • Stephen Riggs

    This might actually be fun at a party. Sit around with very close friends, enjoy a few drinks, and talk about how lucky you are to be where you are, given some of your own, boneheaded mistakes. :-)

    • TheGorram Batguy

      The winner is the guy who has to add “and I’m lucky to be alive and still have a functioning liver after having drunk this much” at the end of the game. Admittedly, such a system of accumulated bad decisions being built into the game is prone to create runaway successes at the game of failure…
      To keep things fair, the truly pitiful will simply have to play with a handicap.

      • Adam Morris

        The truly pitiful don’t get invited to parties.

  • Jay

    The mirrors are breaking.

    …is that going to be, y’know, healthy for the people in them?

    (Also also, I was worried Ben was getting prideful in his complete uselessness. Good thing Sid’s there to inject some guilt!)

    • TheGorram Batguy

      Maybe the complete lack of pride in these two has created a localized pride vacuum, which nature abhors, and so the pride of the trapped scholars is forcing its way out of the mirrors in an attempt to fill said vacuum. Much like the natural air pressure rushes in to fill a vacuum in space.
      Indeed, one could say that since Ben and Sid here are creating such a powerful vacuum, they really, really suck.

    • Ocean Burning.

      This is where I really wish I could see a higher-resolution version, to see the expressions of the people in the mirrors while they’re breaking… does anyone know, is that a thing we can buy somewhere/sometime?

  • #092f0a

    On the bright side, if this gets Ben trapped with pride, Sid is going to feel REALLY bad about himself!

    • MoeLane

      Nah, Ben’s gonna feel worse, because Sid doesn’t have a degree and he’s *still* this cool oh-dear-what-do-they-call-them?

  • Pride’s sheer horror here is amazing. I’m half-expecting them to start trying to cheer those two up. xD

    • Del

      Abject terror on the face of a Deadly.

      This is better than Gluttony’s about-to-barf face…. and that was awesome!

  • Maria Gerasimova

    It will be cool if they don’t even notice Pride’s disparition, while sorting things out.
    At least Pride’s obviously is sneaking away, I think.
    The last panel – there’s no bright aggressive purple around them, just a bit of it’s tail.

    Well, at least I hope so :)

    • Rolan7

      Ooh, ignoring the manifestation of pride? I don’t think it’d like that…

  • pingo1387

    At this point I’m hoping Ben is consumed by Sloth when that time comes. He needs a nap!

  • Geoff

    Show Pride a game of Never-Have-I-Ever and the commingling of pride and shame would probably pop its head off…

  • Heylir

    Well, it is the moment I’m afraid of all the way to there.

    Now, Ben may become proud of his duff-degree (because the third-class is better than none) or may not (because even with no degree Sid has more magic talent than he). But what I really, really wish to hear is Ben saying to Pride: “And I was so foolish to care about papers one has and what is written in them!” :)

  • They’re about to start insulting each other for real, aren’t they?

    • non_canon

      I worry it’s going to be the opposite. I suspect that Sidney lied about his degree here when he hasn’t before because of the presence of Ben, a fully licensed wizard. I could just see him admitting that, and Ben being so surprised he basically replies with “but you’re so talented, why are you jealous of me!?” and then Sidney replies back complimenting Ben for being so focused or brave or something similar.

      • Rachel McGonagill

        Yeah, exactly. They’re going to have to be careful or they’ll butter each other up so thoroughly that they’ll both be caught in mirrors… if there are any non-broken ones left.

  • Bo Lindbergh

    Anything you can’t do, I’m even worse at…

    • Khlovia

      I’m even worse at whatever you fail.
      No you aren’t!
      Yes I am!
      No you aren’t!
      Yes I am, yes I am!

      • AJ

        I’ve been singing this idly around the house today… What have you done to me?!?!

        • Khlovia

          I’m sorry. (snicker)

  • Ocean Burning.

    I love the expressions on their faces sooooo much. I love how they’re sweating… but just get carried away. I love how Pride opens its mouth, but can’t even get a word in edgewise!
    I JUST. LOVE. THIS. WHOLE THING. SO MUCH. *insert all the heart emojis*

  • Sir_Krackalot

    S A D B O Y S

  • Sal

    Not even one of the deadlies is any match for the raw power of this pity party.

    • It’s not a party until it’s a pity party.

      • AJ

        Ain’t no party like a pity party, ’cause a pity party don’t stop ’til we all break down crying too hard to talk anymore?

  • billydaking

    Poor Pride…absolutely distressed at confronting zero self-esteem personified.

    And Ben’s expression in Panel 5 is marvelous…a quiet desperation underneath the realization that his exaggerations are pretty accurate.

    This is probably my favorite page of the entire story arc. And that’s saying something….

  • Rulebook Lawyer

    They do seem proud of their non-accomplishments.

  • Brother Nightmare

    I have not found myself able to pity any of the other sins we’ve seen thus far, but this one has pulled just a little from me… Actually, everyone on this page has my sympathy right now.

  • AJ

    *leaping air-punch toe-touch somersault* YES!

  • AJ

    Ben looks like he’s somewhere between cracking under the weight of admitting what he thinks of himself, and relieved that he’s finally said it all.

  • Eva Schiffer

    I can not overemphasize how much I love where this confrontation is going. Imposter syndrome for the win! :)

  • M. E. Gibbs

    I am loving this whole scene so much and also someone needs to hug these sad wizards (maybe once Pride is done).

    • Heylir

      I just hope they aren’t going to hug each other… until Pride is done, I mean. :)))

      • M. E. Gibbs

        Pride ships it.

        • Ocean Burning.

          *dying* XD

        • non_canon

          I just wanted you to know that your comment gave me the mental image of Pride attempting to match make with all sincerity, including using it’s wings to do the “now kiss” thing, and I wanted to thank you for the much needed laugh.

  • Ocean Burning.

    Sid, we know you’re a terrible liar and we love you for it.

  • This is amazing.

  • I nearly cut your cousin in half – and I couldn’t even do a simple little thing like that.

  • threadweaver

    Ben and Sid are going to need a hug after this. Perhaps some hot cocoa. Poor lads.

  • Azmodan

    So lying is how you beat pride? I mean, they had almost captured Sid not 5 seconds ago, and are now freaking out that they have absolutely no pride inside them?

    Not to mention Ben still looks pretty pleased with himself while giving this whole spiel.

    • Maria Gerasimova

      Fortunately, last Sid’s words have kicked this pleasence out of him (if there has been some).
      They both have totally forgotten about that silly Pride, they have d’autres chats à fouetter :D

      And, honestly, in the fifth panel Ben’s face is not so pleased, IMHO, I’d say rather near hysterical, a bit desperate.
      And I can’t see where is Ben lying? Or Sid.

      I can’t understand, by the way, are there drops of sweat or shards of mirrors flying around them.

      • Azmodan

        Yeah, lying was a bad word choice. I settled on that, due to the fact it has always seemed like Ben was proud of his education, regardless of him not being a top tier mage.

        I think those marks are just the “exclamation” effect, that are in the other 3 middle panels around them.

        • Maria Gerasimova

          === it has always seemed like Ben was proud of his education ===
          He wasn’t and isn’t.
          He is just maintaining the looks of decency (?)… ermmm… dignity (?). And though, as low as his self-esteem is, he has enough of it to not hide his degree.

    • Heylir

      They aren’t lying in this page, they are telling strict truths, there’s the beauty of it. (Though “I nearly had us all eaten..” has a hint of pride-through-humility attitude. :))

      Sid was almost captured by Pride’s flattering, an “injection of pride” from outside, so to speak. There Pride is puzzled by their lack of inner Pride.

      I got quite a clear impression of Ben’s feelings from this page, but I amn’t sure I can put it in the words adequately. In my opinion, it isn’t pleasure per se, but inspiration and enthusiasm in doing under unusual circumstances the right thing that would be unpleasant and unnatural to do, at other times. These feelings are pleasant in itself, certainly, but they don’t make you feel good about yourself because telling out loud (and reminding yourself about) your failings don’t make this effect. (Can Ben be pleased with memory about Gluttony as, less an hour ago, he said “At least the next one can’t be nearly that humiliating”?)

      And looking at Ben there (especially in the fifth panel) I think about a man rushing and breaking through his inner barriers. Maybe, they are just natural defences of self-esteem almost anyone has, or maybe he is breaking bonds of his… esteem-dependency? We’ll see at the next page, I think.

      • Ocean Burning.

        Yes, and my guess is that Ben has a certain subtly twisted sense of humor — or maybe better to say an appreciation of irony and drama — that fuels him enjoying knowing that he can confidently troll Pride. He’s not pleased with himself, but rather with the whole set-up and situation. But also, like Maria said, as the weight of their self-criticism builds up, they do (both) get a bit hysterical (and sweaty).

      • Azmodan

        Yeah, you are right, lying wasn’t the right word. More just…they don’t really seem that humble, and like you said, he is riding the edge to pride.

        Also, it has always seemed, in the past, like Ben was still proud of his education, even if he isn’t a top tier mage. Which is why I initially called it lying.

        • Heylir

          Well, certainly it isn’t the way the virtue of humility looks in common life. :) But, I think, this process is hurtful for their egos enough to repel Pride off.

          And I got Ben’s words “My entire education was worthless, again!” as a reference to his lines about Gluttony and Verity. I.e., “And all of my education didn’t help me against Gluttony and Envy!” Even if Ben was proud of his education, it just hurts more because of that.

          But I don’t think Ben ever was. He took to heart Mal’s words about “duff-degree” enough to repeat them later, in Sloth’s circle. And his reaction at Sid’s (supposed) degree in Widdershins was quite telling one. It didn’t help that Ben’s siblings graduated Widdershins University, definitely.

          • Ocean Burning.

            “…worthless, again!” — Also, I can’t imagine that it would be very easy for one to get a job working as a wizard in Widdershins without having graduated from Widdershins University. (Wow, lots of W’s.) That’s why he ended up working for Fairbairn. Remember how Fairbairn picked him to fail? Remember how she told him that she picked him to fail?

      • Rachel McGonagill

        It’s almost like schadenfreude, but about himself. Is that even possible?

        • Heylir

          I think one can feel all spectre of emotions towards oneself, in theory. :) Including envy, illogical how it is. :)

          About what Ben and Sid are doing now, I have come up with a few analogies but all of them are not perfect and somewhat uncomfortable to write about. :) One of them is a combo of emotional self-flagellation, playing in the giveaway and cathartic exposing of feelings hidden before. And it is still an only partial analogy. :)

          • Rachel McGonagill

            Oh, I think you can definitely envy yourself, especially, say, earlier versions of yourself and the abilities and options you had available to you at that time. It’s something that comes on, stronger and stronger, the later in life and the farther away from those old abilities and options you grow.

            As for Ben, yeah, they seem to be enjoying the “game” of one-down-manship.

  • tinwatchman

    Huh. You know, I rather expect that all of this might be some sort of bonding experience for these two. Which has some possibilities, as between the two of them they might make a rather competent wizard.

  • JWLM

    Hey, what happened to Lei? She stole the key to the cells from Sid and got out of jail. I assumed she was going to play a role in the Pride arc, but it doesn’t look like she will. Where is she going to show up?

    • Ocean Burning.

      She got a business proposal from Macavity, remember? ( )
      My money (heheh) says she and Macavity will turn up when they go to look for Greed. Mixing it up a little.

      • Heylir

        And I wonder now whether Ben’s siblings work at the Royal Bank. :)

      • Dud

        …and this is still the same day. It’s bound to take a while to set up their Evil Empire.
        Hiring henchmen, finding babies with candy to steal from, selecting appropriate white cat o stroke, Installing and stocking pirhana tank in HQ – finding suitably impressive HQ. All of this takes time.

        They’ll be along rsn.

  • Amy

    I almost feel for Pride here – they’re looking less like a deadly sin right now and more like they just kind of want to offer these two boys a hot drink and as if they’re doing okay.

  • Terragent

    Good thing Invidia’s already been dismissed, hey?

  • Marek

    Dial it back? But they are so natural at it…. :D

  • DataProwler Netizen

    Come one, come all! “Will Sidney Malik break down in tears’ is the question we are all asking! So rally up, and place your bets! Odds are the following!
    1:2 -Sidney breaking down and crying
    1:2 -Sidney not crying and coming to terms
    1:3 -Sidney taking a third option
    2:3 -Two or more of the above

    You may bet any number of virtual kumquats, as long as it does not exceed 3 characters. The betting pool does not take data avocados, so stop trying, Carl.

    • TheGorram Batguy

      I’ll put down 12 incorporeal tangerines on the “third option”, namely, Sidney just doing his nervous sweating thing until Ben does the breaking down.
      Though, neither of them seems like criers to me. Rather, I’d see Ben just kind of collapsing into a silent, non-expressive puddle of despair…
      But I don’t think things will get that bad for him either.

    • if i enter under a fake disqus name, would that be insider virtual fruit trading?

      • TheGorram Batguy

        No, that’s fictional fruit fraud,
        also known as fictitious fructoses berry fourberie.

  • Matt [in Middletown]

    How long until Pride starts screaming “unclean, unclean” at them?

  • Euodiachloris

    Random thought: if finding it hard to feel proud of yourself hurts Pride, what does feeling outright pity for somebody else’s insecurities do? :)