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  • Me-me

    Is it wise to put the least educated and most experimental wizards the closest to the magic-amplifying artifact?

    Well wizards are int-based not wis-based, I guess.

    • Ghostdanser

      Spoken like a veteran D&D player…or as someone who has experienced first hand that most amusing of situations…

      DM: “Your party walks into a 10′ by 20′ room and there are 5 orcs at the far end..what do you do?”
      1st Time Mage Player: “I cast a Fireball at them!”
      *Collective groans and shouts of NO!:*
      DM: “Too Late! Said is done!”

    • Chris Kotthoff

      From what I gathered from earlier stories (and Sid in general) allot of it seems to be natural aptitude.

  • spas

    I don’t know why he’s afraid to admit he got kicked out. It’s not like he’s at the country club, having cocktails with a crowd of uppity ups.

    • Heylir

      Yes, but he *is* in a company of Verity and two strangers-before-this-day, without Harry, and it matters, I think. (With Harry had been here, he certainly would have told the truth, just because Harry knows about it, at least.) And Ben’s question didn’t sound like a bit of small-talk, especially with Mal’s digging at him and Wolfe’s stopping the theme at once. In any case, even if Sid regrets about his lie now, it is more difficult for him to admit the truth after that.

      Though I may suggest that it is more in the story about Sid’s expulsion than he told even Harry. (He definitely didn’t like the idea of his return in the University, in Q&A.) But in this case, it would be very unadvisable of him to conceal it, in this situation.

      As the third option, there was an idea in comments that Sid gave the secret about his expulsion as an offering to Curiosity, and can’t reveal it because of that.

      • John

        I think too many people know about the expulsion for that to be the secret he offered to curiosity.

        • billydaking


          Back when Sid first met Harry (Harry Met Sally? Sid and Nancy?), he explained that his talent for accidentally stealing things was “…sort of why I was expelled in the first place.”

          And here, when Harry asked Sid if it was really was the stealing thing that got him expelled, Sid’s clearly holding something back:

          • spas

            i don’t know. it’s possible in the original admission scene, he was simply embarrassed about telling his parents. the whole thing must be a disgrace for the family or some such.

            • billydaking

              Then why does he visibly hold back from Harry in the second strip? Harry already knows about his talent, but it’s clear from his reaction that’s not the only reason why he was expelled.

          • Heylir

            Possibly he didn’t want to admit that he hadn’t been good on studying or to tell the details of the incident that caused his expulsion.

        • Heylir

          I tend to agree with you, there.

      • non_canon

        I think Ben is the biggest factor, as funny as that is all things considered. Telling the story to non wizards as an amusing tale is one thing, telling it to a fully licensed, professionally practicing wizard is another. Especially since right before that conversation there was the moment where he didn’t know the answer to a magical knowledge question and that wizard had and had given him a “why don’t you” look.

        • Heylir

          Yeah, I agree with Ben being the main factor. Frankly, I’m more concerned about his possible reaction to the revelation of the truth than one of Sid. It might make him proud of himself as he realises that he is the only wizard with the degree in their group.

          About the Deadly Sin circles, I think the reason why Ben knows them is that he has been studying the book “Deadly Sins” all the night, what he pays now with his yawning for. :) I read his look as more pleased with himself than anything else.

        • Heylir

          Now, I suddenly have recalled an exchange between Harry and Sydney, in “Sleight of Hand”:

          – You don’t seem like a wizard. Usually they’re more, well…
          – Professional?
          – I was going to say up their own arses, but that’ll do.


    • billydaking

      ‘Cause it’s a hit to his pride.

      He’s a university-trained wizard, who got kicked out of university, which tells people he failed.

      • Heylir

        Well, it is the simplest answer, no doubt. :)

        I think one can seek reasons beyond that because: a) Sidney usually isn’t susceptible to Pride much (putting aside everything else, he was only one whose feelings didn’t feed Pride in the Anchor); b) it sounds (in his talk with Harry) as he doesn’t care much about wizard’s career, only don’t want to disappoint his parents (OK, it may be sour grapes); c) he always may claim he was kicked out because of his curse and so, it wasn’t his fault.

        • Sir. Orc

          I think a large part of it is personal shame more than his pride. While he doesn’t mind admitting it to Harry, who is unlikely to care, and admits outright contempt for most wizards; admitting it to Ben, who is a proper wizard, or his parents is an entirely different matter. He’s afraid of disappointing people.

          • Azmodan

            And what do you think shame is?

            It is your pride causing you to feel bad for not living up to how/what you believe you should be.

            • Sir. Orc

              Not always. Shame is simply a response to failures and other’s expectations. Harry made it clear she didn’t care about Sid not being a proper wizard, but Sid knows a lot of people do. I always got the impression that he’s more afraid of disappointing the expectations of others than he is about not living up to his own.

              • Heylir

                It is a very good point, in the last sentence, and something I feel but wasn’t able to put in words.

                Ben, on the other hand, is afraid of disappointing people, too, but he cares about his own self-esteem much more than Sidney does.

      • spas

        WRONG. it tells people the university failed. sid’s got some kind of curse that causes him to pickpocket things magically and somehow be unaware he even did it, at times. the university should have sorted that out.

        this is like saying illiterate people who graduate high school are failures. insane! clearly, the system failed them. as it failed sid.

        • Ocean Burning.

          However, it seems that the university took his stealing to be something he was doing on purpose, rather than a curse he couldn’t control.

          • spas

            indeed. what an OUTRAGEOUS failure of his teachers, mentors, even the top administration, who couldn’t see something that they should have been trained to detect, or suss out over time. and they certainly should have been suspicious upon questioning sid if he answered that he often didn’t even know how things came to be in his possession. a place of pride indeed – pride in what? being so arrogant that you overlook the obvious? that you fail your students to whom you are pledged to raise up? pathetic. hopefully they are outed for what they are by the end of this putting down pride business…in FACT, maybe THIS end result is foreshadowed by sid playing along to have completed his studies there, thus THIS is the reason this is coming up again now? haHA!

            • Ocean Burning.

              Sorry, I still don’t understand how it’s the teachers’ or administration’s fault? If Sid said he didn’t know how something got to be in his possession, wouldn’t they just assume he was lying? How could they necessarily tell the difference between magic being used to steal on purpose and magic used to steal by accident?

            • billydaking

              Of course, that letter starts off with “….but his only consistency is his utter and total failure to apply himself. He is unavoidably distracted throughout lectures, and has so far succeed in not handing every single essay on time.” Sounds like a student well on the slippery slope of bombing out, doesn’t it?

              I don’t think the stealing was as major as a factor, because it’s almost mentioned almost as an aside and follows with: “while not entirely…..disruptive to other students.” Could very well be that the university knew what was going on, and was trying to give him guidance. But I think Sid simply flunked out, and there are clues strewn throughout the story that that’s actually what happened.

              • spas

                possibly. i don’t discount your reasoning. but it truly IS the faculty’s job to be fully invested in these students. with regular first degree (BA, BS, whatever you call it in your country) students, almost nobody cares who drops out. with an institution like this one, as with graduate school, that is almost certainly not the case. say what you like, but widdershins u smells fishier than the fish market to me.

                • billydaking

                  I would say that the letter sounds like they were invested, but that Sid was not.

          • Heylir

            I don’t know, considering “Second Year Report” on Sidney ( ), with the word “stealing” in it. Did they know about that, think he was doing that on purpose and still keep him in the university? Maybe, the last incident with Sid’s curse was too “disruptive” (the word from the “expulsion letter”) to be tolerated or even made them think that in this case it was done on purpose.

          • Heylir

            Now I have recalled that Sidney told Harriet about his “condition” at the first time: “If I could stop this I would, I really would… Look, they can confirm that at the university! It’s… sort of… why I got expelled in the first place…”

            It sounds like they did know that his stealing wasn’t on purpose. And “sort of” might suggest it was something else added to the situation. (And I don’t think Sid lied then, given his reference to the university.)

            • Ocean Burning.

              Oh, good catch. That might be about it. Inability to get the stealing under control was just the last straw, so to speak.

        • billydaking

          I’m not speaking for myself; I’m speaking for Sid’s perspective and, especially, the general perception that he thinks people will have.

          When you are talking about the perceptions that people will have, there is no either/or answer (or black-and-white right or WRONG). We are dealing with human beings, after all. And when you’re talking about a story and characters’ reactions, you have to put yourself in their shoes, based on what you know of their personality and experiences. Because every story turns on how a character processes their own successes and failures, which in turn propels their action and the conflict that follows.

          Oh, and speaking from my own perspective, that of a son of teacher and friends with several teachers and the odd college professor…not it’s not always the “system’s” fault. Reality is much messier than we’d like to believe, ’cause there be people living in it. And people–all people–make mistakes in their lives. And there’ll be big ones in there.

          Sid may have been kicked out solely because of his uncontrolled pickpocket talent, but I doubt it. And considering they’re entering a confrontation with Pride, I think we’re going to find out exactly what it was, and why he’s been hiding it from everybody, and why he was so distraught when we first met him at the beginning of the story (’cause I doubt his parents would not know about the pickpocket condition).

          • spas

            with all due respect, i really don’t think you CAN speak from sid’s perspective, unless you’re an alternate user id for kate. it seemed clear to me that sid messed up with unintended thefts, and possible incompetence, or what he perceived as incompetence on his part. it seemed to ME. and i’m lucky to have had professors who helped me along my journey in academia, and who didn’t allow me to fall down the precipice when i stumbled. in an institution that prides itself on its stellar reputation, one would certainly hope that the faculty was up to that, at least. indeed, having been through academia, i can tell you – that is NOT too much to expect. after completing my coursework, somewhere mid-dissertation, i decided to drop out. couldn’t complete it. and that is SO common. among other identity crises i suffered in grad school. don’t get me wrong – i am grateful to those who helped me through. but sid should have had that too, unless his institution was third rate, third world. period.

            • billydaking

              Yeah, I can, because I’m a reader. That’s the whole point of reading. To experience another life that is not your own, and understand someone who is not you and see the world from their eyes. That’s a major part of fiction writing. And Kate’s a damn fine writer as well as artist, and all damn fine writers know how to bring you to that.

              The rest of it…that’s obviously your own personal perspective, but it’s not the journey or choice everyone makes. You made the choice to get the help. I’ve known far too many friends who refused the help, no matter how much that help was offered or given. It was done out of disinterest, cynicism, bad choices, and, yes, pride. And it happens far, far, too often.

              Helped cannot be forced. It has to be taken. Otherwise, it is not help.

    • Sir. Orc

      Are you kidding me? He’s traveling with Dud Wizard and Hobo(s) Inc(tm)! If he admits that he lied about having a degree, Wolfe would be so paternally disappointed in him.
      In some ways that’s worse, at least with the country club types he could always go into show business like Tim did! He already has a cool costume and everything!

  • Odo

    hmm… Mysterious image in the window. What could it be foreshadowing?

    • AJ

      Is everyone just going to be showing off to their reflections here?

  • Rulebook Lawyer

    A time to look into the mirror dear friend…

  • Greenwood Goat

    Sid: Well, here it is: Widdershins University! Apparently Pride’s in here! ……Perhaps you should stay outside, Ver-

    Vee: Certainly not! What are you implying, little man?

    Ben: I agree. With Mr. Malik, that is. You’re going to be exceptionally susceptible-

    Vee: Oh be quiet, Benji! I’m more than capable of protecting myself against outside influences!

    Wolfe: No, I must concur with the others – your pride sticks out a mile.

    Vee: And what would you know about it, you leaden Kraut? I am the greatest!! Nothing can touch my abilities! Certainly not any of you!!! And not you either!!

    Superbia: I would beg to differ, miss!!! Bask in my splendour for a moment, and you’ll see-

    Vee: HA!!!! As if!!! I am not so easily impressed!

    Superbia: *!!!!* Easy or hard, you WILL be impressed, for I am the most impressive there is!!!! *struts, fans tail*

    Vee: HA HA HAAAAA!!!! *deprecating gesture*

    Ben & Sid: *quietly get to work*


    • Chris Rice

      There is no way that anybody is going to top your comment for this page! LOL

    • Phil

      Well that is literally how they defeated Pride last time, I suspect we may be in store for some Vee overconfidence based on the previous adventure!

  • Darkoneko Hellsing

    Looks like Sid will have to face his lie…

    Most of the building is underground ! I wonder where everyone is~

    • Heylir

      Maybe they are fighting in magic duels for the the-most-powerful-wizardship. Likewise, who scores more summonned spirits in the defined time period. :)

      • Sir. Orc

        They are all attempting to magically conjure the most impressive fan of plumage to outshine their peers.

        • Heylir

          It definitely makes more sense than my version. :)

          • Sir. Orc

            I know, that was just silly ;)

            • Heylir

              Well, it raises a really interesting question about what Pride would more appeal to, “real qualities” like magic talents, competence, intellect and such, or just appearance of superiority? Now Sidney, for example, makes the pretence of having the degree he hasn’t as if it is more important than his talents and achievements.

              And your words made me recall Chesterton’s words about Satan “elaborately arming the rebel angels with peacocks’ feathers” and that “they are not very effective weapons”. :)

              • Sir. Orc

                Heh, and here I was just trying to make a stupid joke.

                It is a good question raised though; I think Pride would work on both real and perceived superiority. Remember after all how Wrath and Envy were flexible enough to work on simple insecurity and irritation. If Pride isn’t limited to just the arrogant, they may all be vulnerable to it’s influence.

  • I do hope that Ms Cunningham has not forgotten she insulted Pride personally, because I’m sure he hasn’t forgotten her.

    • Tikatu

      Yeah, I pointed that out the other day, especially since the Pride arc is at GoComics right now.

      • Sorry, I’m clearly not been keeping up with the literature. I suspect Ms Cunningham is used to people she knows wanting to kill her. It’s just most of them don’t have a six foot long beak.

  • non_canon

    I see what you did there with that caption, and it makes me worry about the upcoming encounter with Sloth.

    • *someone* pulled an all-nighter before this chapter began..

      • Emily

        I’d forgotten Ben was short on sleep. So that was a genuine yawn, not just part of his ostentatiously pretending to be unimpressed by the University…

        • Ocean Burning.

          I actually count three of the people we’ve been following having pulled an all-nighter before the chapter began… Harry and Sid as well as Ben… am I forgetting anyone?

          • non_canon

            I was under the impression Sid and Harry got some sleep during the time they were off screen but I could be wrong.

            • Ocean Burning.

              Yeah, I’m not totally sure about that myself… seemed to me like Grandad and Gran Barber’s story took a long time to tell, but I’m not sure if it was all-night long or not, since we mostly got to see it in flashback form…

              • Heylir

                On the last page of the sixth chapter we see stars in the night sky, and there is an early morning on the first page of “Curtain Call”. So, Sidney and Harriet could take a nap between chapters. :)

      • AJ

        I hope you’re not pulling these all-nighters on a regular basis. Comic-ing while sleep deprived is just as dangerous as comic-ing drunk, you know! Stay safe!

        • haha, it was the characters this time, not me!

  • Ocean Burning.

    First thought after opening the page: That is the most ominous-looking pastel sky I have ever seen.
    But wow. The university is a really beautifully-drawn building, and the purple glow in the window makes it look really striking. Beautiful.

    • Thank you! The building is mostly based on the Theatre Royal in York, with Durham’s Palace Green out front.

      • You’ve come a long way since Three Spires.

        • JWLM

          I should ask for a drawing of Komi for my next Kickstarter bonus…

  • Shannon

    I feel like university degrees are a source of great pride for many… how early did the author plan this, to have Pride let loose there?

  • MoeLane

    Geez, Verity. When you see, out of the corner of your eye, a person looking out the window at you, only s/he’s gone when you take a better look: you STOP in your tracks, you CALL the rest of your team over, and you TELL them what you saw. Didn’t they cover this in class, right after ‘Don’t split the party’ and ‘Never eat an energy source larger than your head?’

    • Maria Gerasimova

      She will, I hope :) The next page is ahead.

  • McFrugal

    Those windows look unusual… and Vee’s reflection isn’t visible. I bet Pride has gotten the university mages stuck in a mirror world of some sort. Lost in their own reflections, how prideful!

    • John

      I’m remembering how at the end of “Witches Abroad” Granny Weatherwax and her sister have very different reactions when trapped at the center of a maze of mirrors and told that “all you have to do to get out is find the real you”.

  • I was going to comment on what an impressive feat of engineering that would be, especially for the time period, and then I remembered that they’re literally wizards.

  • Nealend86

    So did all the students get trapped in reflections or something?

    • Maria Gerasimova

      It’s not a reflection, just somebody peeks through the window from outside.
      Looks like he was hidind in the bushes under the wall or followed our team walked innoticed.
      .Now he is near the lattice window under the roof of the porch.

      Сan not he be Maccavity?

  • Astral Pidgeon

    I can’t believe I caught up to the most recent page! I’m so psyched, and also sad because now I need to wait in suspense for the next page. I wonder what Pride has in store for everyone? The second to last panel doesn’t bode well….

  • JohnInCA

    Going to confront Pride, and Mal lies to protect his pride…

    Yeah, that’s going to come back and bite him.

  • Halkade

    Binged in a few days… I absolutely love it but now I´ll have to wait for updates… might force me to learn but still..

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