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March 14th, 2017

March 14th, 2017 published on 79 Comments on March 14th, 2017

Gonna be doing character Q&As on the week of the 20th March while I take some time to catch up on non-Widdershins work stuff and maybe even.. take a day off?! So if you have a question for a character, ask in the comments below or via my Tumblr ask box here.

  • Jeff Eppenbach

    And, why, Mister Wolfe, are you so relieved that Florrie ISN’T preggers? Hm? Was there more “dancing” we didn’t see?

    • Tsapki

      Perhaps it’s a tad scandalous to dance with a pregnant woman? I’m not up to speed on my various English era codes of conduc.t

      • Why shouldn’t Mrs de Monfort be pregnant? People are more likely to be asking ‘why doesn’t she have any children yet?’

    • Odo

      It could be something as simple as Florrie being pregnant would mean that he couldn’t court her. But I don’t think so.

    • maeverin

      Married to a guy she’s never around makes her slightly more attainable than married to a guy she’s never around but has his child. Even if it’s only entertained in a fantasy.

      • Ocean Burning.

        Even if that’s all, it’s still really not proper for him to be so visibly relieved.

        • Asterai

          Yeah. But people’s feelings don’t always match up with their own ideals, much less society’s. It isn’t “proper”, but he’s relieved all the same.

          • Ocean Burning.

            Don’t you care about their reputation, though?

            • Heylir

              Well, we readers can see Wolfe’s reaction, but I amn’t sure the rest of the party can.

              • Sir. Orc

                In the third panel, I think Ben’s noticed

        • Oh! I initially thought the ‘phew’ was like a ‘woah’ preceding his ‘that is many Barbers!’ statement?

    • JWLM

      Perhaps it’s because he genuinely cares about Ms. Florrie and doesn’t want her to be at risk while they attack gluttony? (Hey, somebody’s got to come up with a wildly improbable story which might cover the facts. Might as well be me…)

      • Tyfariel

        But then, wouldn’t he be worried about Nora? She -was- the one to help banish Gluttony in the first place, with her courage. If Gluttony went after anyone in revenge, it would surely be the one still in the current time!

    • TheGorram Batguy

      Let us suppose it’s been long enough since her husband left on his current business trip such that any pregnancy now indicates undeniable funny business. Her being pregnant would therefore constitute a dreadful scandal, and Wolfe is such a sweetheart he can’t bear the thought of her enduring such shame.
      And if he’s the cad potentially responsible for such a pregnancy, well…his character as depicted to date would never allow me to even entertain the notion, but that expression in panel four!

      • billydaking

        Besides, there wasn’t time for “more than dancing”, FYI. They danced, then Voss showed up:

        Now, there’s no telling what has happened in between stories; we haven’t seen Wolfe and Florrie together since the end of the Envy story.

        And we’ve never seen the husband, have we? I wonder if that’s important…..

        • Heylir

          And there were several days between the end of “The Green-Eyed Monster” and the beginning of “Curtain Call”, as we know.

        • Rachel McGonagill

          I’ve personally wondered if Florrie’s husband wasn’t Luxuria, using a disguise while he still had the necklace. That way he could keep an eye on the Barbers. If that’s the case, Mr. de Montfort won’t ever be returning.

  • I wonder how Nora feels about her title. :P

    • Emily

      She’s probably used to being overshadowed by her sisters, so it might not bother her much.

  • Alectric

    My question for Wolfe is what is his greatest weakness (besides Florrie if that would have been his answer).

    • Shihchuan

      My guess would be lust.

    • I’m thinking it might be gluttony. He spent some time as an itinerant busker and would often have been hungry. That’s an experience that makes you appreciate food.

    • eoforyth

      I get the implication on Florrie, but it really seems that Wolfe is quite moderate in everything except the way he cares for people, which is why Mal can bear to be around him so much, what with his ‘witchy problem’ and all :D

    • TheGorram Batguy

      I’d have to guess that were he somehow tempted with a Stradivarius violin imbued with the power to bring joy to even the heaviest of hearts, in some scenario where taking it would be bad, it would be a temptation he’d have a very hard time resisting. Shall we regard that one as lust?
      If that “whew” means what we all think it means, I’d have to assume lust in its more common connotation is indeed his greatest weakness.

    • Haven

      Green-Eyed Monster indicates his greatest weakness is definitely being too trusting. It’s also a strength of his, but believing Voss led to being imprisoned after all.

  • Nonesuch

    Waaaaaaiiit a minute. o_o
    Wolfe? What did you do?
    Don’t look away from me!

    • TachyonCode

      *laughs hysterically*

    • This guy


  • Francis V.

    Edie and Gladys Shaw, care to share your favorite drinks and how to make ’em? Any recommendations with regard to absinthe?

    Alexa King, what is a great recipe my significant other and I can make together?


  • maeverin

    Question for Sidney: Now that you understand know where your condition comes from, are you going to try to finish university?

    • catgrabber


  • Del

    I am troubled by this chink in Galahad’s armor.

    As well as the awful anachronism of that awful “Ms.”

    • Ocean Burning.

      In this case, wouldn’t people have said, “Mrs.” plus first name, right? (Not like the language in this comic has ever attempted to be period language, though.)

      • John

        You’re right that this strip has not attempted truly authentic period language. That’s probably just as well. I suspect that while the majority of the language has not changed much the idioms have shifted enough that most of us (myself included) would need to do substantial research to figure out what was meant with truly authentic language, especially from the characters whose speech would tend to be less formal.

        • Couple of things about “authentic” period language, and I say all of this as Kate Ashwin, BA (hons) in English Language and Linguistics, so understand that it is not for lack of interest:

          – To a modern audience, ie. you guys, it is much more likely to alienate than endear, and endearing is what I am all about. I want you guys to connect with this band of idiots, and linguistic barriers are extremely strong, even if they’re small.
          – As such, I prioritise the notion of character voice every time. You should be able to tell, without looking at the art, if it’s Sid or Harry behind each speech bubble. I have a lot of tiny tricks employed to make this work- the most notable is exclamation marks, Harry has never used a single one in the entire comic- and if I’m spending time on researching Victorian phrases, that’s gonna make voice much more difficult, and it’s much too vital to drop.
          – As you say, frankly, we don’t actually have good linguistic resources for what a middle-class Yorkshire woman sounded like in 1830s. There’s text, but that’s incredibly, INCREDIBLY different to spoken, much more formalised and if it’s recorded by another, it goes through their filter first, then an editor, etc etc etc. I honestly hate how clipped and reserved everyone sounds in period dramas, in all settings at all times, like no human ever does.

          So yeah, authenticity can go hang :) What’s important to me is storytelling, and all you need for that is internal consistency.

          • Del

            Please keep doing exactly what you are doing. It’s excellent, and we love it.

            don’t pay much attention to the frivolous comments in comboxes. As you have noted, I’m not much for progressivism…. not that this matters a twit.

            And pipe smokers have never been big on exclamation points…. Sherlock Holmes, for one. Harriet Barber. Me.

            I prefer to abuse ellipses, in both writing and speech. Especially as I am smoking….

          • Ocean Burning.

            This is all awesome. Not just because I love the thought behind all the stylistic choices you make, but as a fellow language nerd, I really enjoy all the information here.
            Your first point is definitely the most important. I think people forget that linguistic changes over hundreds of years are underpinned by changes in cultural attitudes, as well. Flip open to any random dialogue page in Dickens, and you can see that it’s not just the turns of phrase and vocabulary choices and popular slang, etc. etc. etc., that are different, but the cultural thought processes reflected by the types of things that people choose to say, as well. Certainly would make your characters much less easily-relatable.
            As for 200-year-old Yorkshire dialect? I would really love to hear it if you were able to reconstruct it, but I don’t think I would understand it at all. As someone who read lots of Shakespeare and 19th-century literature as a kid, the most incomprehensible thing I can remember trying to read was the representation of Yorkshire dialect in ‘The Secret Garden’ (1911).

    • Jeff Eppenbach

      He’s a bard, not a knight.

      • Ocean Burning.

        He’s a German violinist. : )

    • Emily

      Kate’s been using “Ms.” for both married and unmarried women all the way through. I kind of like it – it fits with the way this world is more progressive about a lot of things than the real 19th-century England.

      • Ocean Burning.

        I always find it amusing that people think of “Ms.” as progressive, while where I’m from (the southern U.S.), Ms. plus first name is a very traditional means of address (for married or unmarried women) conveying respect and familiarity. For example, growing up I referred to my school teachers as “Mrs. [last name]”, but my friends’ mothers were “Ms. [first name]”.

        • MoeLane

          I just assume that the presence of magic users – who don’t LOOK like magic users until you anger one sufficiently – has encouraged a certain amount of politeness and general disinclination to cause too much trouble. You never know when acting nasty might turn around and bite you on the rear.

      • Euodiachloris

        Ms is older than you think. In fact, the whole “Miss/ Mrs/ Ms” thing is fairly recent: they were all used as abbreviations for the general “Mistress” from very early on with little distinction between them until “miss/ missy” got generally reserved for “unmarried” sometime in the C18th. Leaving Mrs/Ms duking it out for married women. *shrugs*

        Blame Edwardian sensibilities for deciding on the definitive Mrs and relegating Ms to “too awkward to use”. Because, it weren’t the Victorians. :)

    • billydaking

      And if you don’t like, you can always just take it as an accent. :-)

      • Del

        I’ll go with this.

        Progressivism is so intolerant to most people.

    • John

      Ms. as a title for a woman regardless of marital status dates back to the 17th century. As far as I can tell it would not have been common at this time in the real world, but I personally wouldn’t classify it as an anachronism especially given the fact that Widdershins in general seems to be more progressive than one would expect from real world history.

  • threadweaver

    Time travel?

    Please tell me Sidney goes to the future Please Tell Me Sidney Goes To The Future PLEASE TELL ME SIDNEY GOES TO THE FUTURE


    • TheGorram Batguy

      Sidney goes to the future.
      He is delighted to discover the quality of 21st century tea cosies, and then returns to his present time satisfied, with an infuriating lack of curiosity about the future that leaves the rest of us flabbergasted.

      • I suppose it is kinda difficult to geek out about that which you were previously incapable of even conceiving, but then again, this is Sid. He’ll find a way.

      • JWLM

        While there, his magpie steals one and carries it back to 1834, causing an uncontrolled temporal paradox, causing the universe to collapse.

        This is why we live in a universe with no magic.

  • Ocean Burning.

    *Reading second panel*: Oh NO, they *can’t* be prepared because Nora told them pretty much nothing about what happened at Hotel Gula!
    *Reading last panel*: You poor, poor boys.

  • Darkoneko Hellsing

    Ha. 2nd reading, just noticed Wolfe’s “phew” about Florrie.
    hahahahaha :D

  • Tikatu

    And here Sid hasn’t mentioned Eddie…

    Why is Vee so snarky/angry about Harry having three sisters? Did she have a run-in with Nicola at some point? Or Florrie? Or is she merely peeved at Sid’s roundabout ways?

    I think that, even had Sid asked, he would not have gotten much of Nora’s story beyond what she told them. Besides, will Hotel Gula be back in its pocket universe? There’s no preparation for that!

    • billydaking

      Vee don’t like Harry much. Water hasn’t arrived at bridge yet. So, for her, one Barber is one too many.

      • Tikatu

        It’s not Harry she doesn’t like–she was fine having Harry for a partner once upon a time. She doesn’t like the fact that Harry left her to strike out on her own as a rival, nor does she like Sid, Harry’s new partner. If she has a problem with Harry having too many sisters, then that’s rather petty of her.

        I think she can’t stand Sid or anything to do with him–especially that he has met the other family members while perhaps Vee has not.

  • Percabeth_trash

    Question for Sam the Baking Agent: Was your role in the Gula incident more a case of “Here’s our best agent, let’s teach him to bake”, or “well, he’s only a rookie, but he’s a damn fine baker, so let’s just train him up a bit”.

    Question for Alexa: That was totally you at the cafe where Ethan was meeting his husband, right? Fess up.

    Also yes, my questions are all about Piece of Cake because I’ve been rereading it.

    • MoeLane

      …Wait, what?


      Hm. Maybe it’s her.

    • TheGorram Batguy

      “Question for Sam the Baking Agent: Was your role in the Gula incident more a case of “Here’s our best agent, let’s teach him to bake”, or “well, he’s only a rookie, but he’s a damn fine baker, so let’s just train him up a bit”.”
      Ha ha! Yes, I’ve been wondering this ever since then! Ha!

    • fireflower201

      I think it’s the former, because he said “you can’t train a man to bake and expect him to not react to a baking legend”

      • Percabeth_trash

        Yeah, but maybe someone else taught him to bake, like a parent or something.

  • Ganurath

    Luxuria: Why the tacky beard?

  • Amy

    *looks at that ‘whew’*

    … I do not think that, were Florrie in fact pregnant, Wolfe would be in any way, shape or form a suspect, but the places his mind jumps here do not in any way make me less sold on my thought that Wolfe is going to be the one here who’s most vulnerable to Lust.

    • Amy

      *looks at that ‘phew’, my bad for scrolling down without referencing.

  • Matthew Wilson

    Is time travel common enough that students of Widdershins can speak of it without shock and awe?

    • It’s not so much that it’s common, so much that if you’ve lived in Widdershins long enough, that sort of thing doesn’t phase you anymore. It’s like New York City, but for the supernatural. Or, ya know, like Sunnydale.

  • Alétheia

    Question for Mal: If someone were to bake you something (say, a pie) out of friendship, would you accept it?

  • auronblidook

    Hey Sidney what spirit do you find most pleasant to interact with? Actually I’d like to hear what Ben and Mal have to say on the matter too.

  • Blandin Blendin

    I have a question for Sydney, since things with Harry seem to be getting a little more serious, do you have any date ideas planned?

  • Johannes Hjortshøj

    I have a question for Harry; what’s it been like having Sid for a partner thus far?

  • Tyfariel

    Question for Wolfe: Do you like dogs? I think that you and Gren should have an adventure!

  • Emily

    That last panel is another illustration of the difference between Ben and Sid. Ben would have demanded all the technical details, even if it wasn’t information they were going to need later.

  • Stephen Masticola

    Verity, why are you wearing an open-end wrench in your hair bun? It looks like about 10mm.

  • Margot

    Question for Wolfe: “phew”?

  • Sleepygenes

    It’s only been ONE DAY since the family meeting? It feels like months, maybe even… 13?
    ( )

    • Ocean Burning.

      Less than a day; the family meeting was last night. : D

  • Ike

    I want to ask: what the Purple Hippo of Happiness and Sidney’s Magpie have been up to lately since they haven’t gotten any screen time.

    • John

      Well, the Purple Hippo of Happiness ran away in this comic and from the context I don’t expect it to return until after all of the deadlies are banished.

      I assume the magpie is still following Sidney looking for an appropriate opportunity to steal something.

  • Afrodiseum

    Sidney has a gift for understatement.

  • MoeLane

    Oh, dear.

    …Have any of these characters been alone since the shut-down-the-Deadlies project started?