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  • Sanjay Merchant

    You can tell I’ve been playing too many video games when, upon seeing the last panel, my first thought was this:

  • KWill

    “…because he’s not here right now.”

    • awhorl

      How’s your memory Florrie? Did you even tell him you were going out? Wrath got an invite to this party too, I believe.

  • THis explains the very neat and unique dress design! And see, Florrie’s an honest flirt, it’s cool. But seriously Wolfe now might not be the time, you’re on a bit of a schedule here.

    • Rolan7

      Yeah I like that she was honest, and Wolfe’s (lack of) reaction. They’re both so cool and fun.

      • Stephen E Wilson Jr.

        Wolfe’s such a nice guy I’m not sure Florrie’s husband has anything to worry about. But then again sometimes when it comes to ladies we all have weaknesses.

  • You can take a cop to the dance… but you can’t take away the cop!
    Go get’em!

    • Talewinds

      Cop a dance, dance with a cop.

    • Shadow’s Masquerade

      There is only one significant disadvantage to the bad-assery…. Arent the bad guys trying to summon WRATH…?

  • Someone Else

    And then Nicola gets a face full of sleeping gas.

    • Rolan7

      Yeah… But she’s going down in (combat) style, and probably gets some swings in first.

      • Someone Else

        My guess is that she’ll cop it straight off and get her fight scene later, or get saved by Florrie. Which would be awesome.

        • David Argall

          It does look likely Nicola is going to end up 2nd best here. That is the way the plots have been running here, but the lass often gets in some good swings first, so she might put down 2 of the 3 before she is down for the count.

  • Istas


    • AJ

      I don’t want the dress, I just want the part underneath! (And I like dresses!)

  • Rolan7

    I like everything happening in this page! A lot!
    Wolfe and Florrie can dance and have a good time without any impropriety, they are just that classy and happy.
    Officer Barber is never caught with her pants down.
    O’Malley will be forced to do stupid heroic things, complaining the whole time.

  • DaggerPen

    1. Wow. This will be *fun*

    2. Poster watch! The “Do you believe?” one from the previous page seems to be a reference to the fourth anchor of much legend, so I’m guessing that’ll be part of the next storyline. Plus the circus again – traveling to the area, perhaps?

  • Istas

    I think that the circus posters are a blind. Arget Investigators with low rates is where it’s at.

  • Real-life Roberts sometimes throw their batons to skim along the ground and entangle the Bad Guys’ ankles…

    Interesting that she has a modern-type police baton, incidentally.

    • Disloyal Subject

      Throwing sticks are designed for stunning or killing outright small game like rabbits and fowl, and they certainly hurt when they hit your ankles. Makes sense that a baton would serve the same purpose adequately, though I wonder how much the side handle would help entangle – I’m betting that good ol’ fashioned pain causes the tripping, though a tonfa/nightstick does have some defensive advantages over a simple club.

      • Real bobbies’ batons of of the period (maybe still, i don’t know) didn’t have the secondary grip. That’s something that’s just come into police use in the last fifty or so years.

        The classic bobbie’s truncheon was/is a straight baton, carried in a special long pocket along the outside of the trouser leg.

        • Morgothy

          How come there’s multiple people who are so informed about British police batons/truncheons? If I were writing a comic, particularly one obviously not set in our reality, I would not expect anyone to know this much less point it out! I say ‘multiple’ because I noticed Kate already had a back and forth exchange on a previous occasion about the design of Nicola’s (eta: I always get the Barber sisters’ names mixed up, sorry) truncheon from someone claiming it was ‘anachronistic’. Seek out the August the 22nd 2012 update for more baton/truncheon talk. (And no I didn’t just trawl the whole archives for that or remember it off by heart, I found it using google by searching for ‘widdershins police baton’, which is a good way to find it).

          • To be perfectly straight with you, Nicola uses a tonfa because we have one in the house and I can use it for reference! I’m probably going to get a flintlock replica at some point for that very reason too.

            • …and Ms Ashwin uses her tonfa to beat people who point out anachronisms in Widdershins…

          • I pointed out that it was anachronistic because someone questioned if the side handle would help or hinder the ankle-catching-throw maneuver which is definitely NOT anachronistic.

            And, actually, if you’re writing a fantasy, it’s good to explain how details vary from our world, and to stick to reality where you don’t do so.

            (I caught flack from Faithful Readers of a generally-badly-written series for an Amazon review where i pointed out a number of problems with the writing. But the most grief i got was for pointing out that the Big Reveal – that the villains had discovered diamonds in a played out Appalachian coal mine – was 100% impossible.)

            • I can take minor anachronisms in Widdershins because it is an alternative reality so things are a bit different – mechanical clockwork men, animal-controlling flutes, sloth-imbued lamp oil). However, if it gets beyond the realm of possibility, for instance in a recent Steampunk novel I read where three gentlemen were wearing their top hats in the drawing room (shudder), why then I will be forced to speak out. :-)

              • Okay. One more time. I only mentioned the anachronism because someone else did, and i was actually talking about the Real World, not Widdershins – that is, we’ve seen no sign that the bobbies use the throw-the-baton technique at all, so something that might have been a problem in the Real World most likely wouldn’t be, there.

                • No disrepect intended, Sir / Madam, and apologies for any offence. I’m only stating my position on limits of credibility while trying to avoid getting hit by a Tonfa.

                  • Not annoyed – just wanted to be sure i got it across.

                    Definitely not “madam”, BTW.

              • You think that’s bad – how about a Corvette in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with rusted-out bodywork?

            • Morgothy

              Widdershins is clearly not meant to be strictly historically accurate, and thus doesn’t need to be 100% perfect in terms of fitting every detail, it just needs to be true to the rules and level of technology it has established. In the case of the police baton there is no reason to suspect that an alternate police baton with this design could not have been developed for the time- it’s not like it’s made of materials that don’t fit the Widdershins universe or something. Its design is only anachronistic in *our* reality. I don’t think that really counts as a detail that needs explaining. Obviously you feel differently.

              • Nope. Not at all. Simply by clearly showing it, it’s established here.

                I was (as i just said to another comment) trying to answer the question raised in regard to the actual Real World use i had mentioned.

                Actually, that design is (apparently) derived from an Okinawan weapon called a “tonfa“. Given how far the weapon goes back, it could easily have been established in England by this time.

                Picture here

                (I see that The Esteemed Artist has explained why there is a weapon like that in the comic. Perfectly reasonable.)

                In our reality (at least in the US) the police version has some sort of pseudo-military designator that i can’t immediately recall

                • JaneB

                  On a completely different note, are you a fan of fairport convention or an entirely different fairport?

                  • Oh, yeah. When i was younger (1990 and 92) i managed to get Over There for their Cropredy Festival, and i have been known to drive ten hours to see them here in the US, since they’ve only once come south of DC in the last forty years, and that time – 2004, at Charlotte NC – was disaster with only seventy-five tickets sold, likely never will again.

                    • JaneB

                      Neat! I’ve never made it to Cropredy, but they played the local theatre a time or two and I could hardly miss that – and my Dad is a great fan of Sandy Denny so their early works were part of the musical backdrop when I was growing up, along with Steeleye Span (he is also very keen on Maddy Prior), and now the more recent stuff continues to fill up my itunes. Clearly people in Charlotte needed some musical education…

                    • …or just a right clip ’round the old earhole.

                    • JaneB

                      I fully agree with the sentiment, but… wouldn’t it make listening to the concert less pleasant?? :-p

          • Wyvern

            You don’t need to be an expert on the history of British police equipment to pick up on this. The billy club is a part of the iconic image of the British bobby, as seen in a multitude of books, movies and TV shows, in settings ranging from the Victorian era to the 1980s. Conversely, the first time I ever saw a side-handled baton, IIRC, was in the asylum scenes in Terminator 2. That said, Widdershins is alternate history, and I have no problem with Ms. Ashwin choosing to portray characters using weapons that would be anachronistic in straight historical fiction (I doubt they had gas guns in the Victorian era either!) — provided it’s an *informed* decision.

  • Jer

    The only thing I can say : awesome :)

  • Lleyn

    Oh Wolfe, you and your predilection for redheads.

  • Rulebook Lawyer

    And now we get to see the Victorian version of Pepper Spray, Mace or Tear Gas… well, some sort of chem which makes one’s face not too pleasant.

    • Apvogt

      Or he will fire and all that comes out is flour.
      Henchman: “… I was sure I changed canisters.*starts getting beat up by flour’d Nicole*

    • AJ

      Straight pepper or mace would work pretty well, actually, as long as he got it moving quickly enough to beat her eyelids to her eyeballs. (Which was a complicated way of saying faster than blinking.)

  • I just love the juxtaposition between the bottom panels. Two very different sisters and two very different dances :)

  • We can dance if we want to. We can leave our friends behind.

    • LordDan

      Best song of the 80’s!

  • EmilyS

    Ho damn! Love the whole, “rip off dress to reveal trousers” thing!

  • Steve Stevens the 27th

    Well, i hope protecting herself and her sister doesn’t cause her to be wrathful…

  • Del

    Florrie’s face. Nicola’s fighting stance. Lovely details and likely foreshadowing, such as the circus bills and the gutter pipe.

    Excellent story, Kate! Masterwork!

  • MoeLane

    “Shall we dance?”

    :obscure sci-fi reference:

    You’re supposed to stick out your tongue first, so that people can see your genetically marked slave tattoo.

    :/obscure sci-fi reference:

  • rainycity1

    Sigh. Nicola, we’re going to have to introduce you to the concept of velcro…

  • Serzha

    -giggles madly- Harriet is so awesome!

  • Michael Brewer

    Time to dance.

  • Michael Brewer

    Harry needs a dress like that. For formal occasions.

  • We all need rip-away dresses . . .

  • Brainwright

    I never understood the tearing of the skirt.

    Doesn’t a loose skirt provide more maneuverability than the overcoats the bad fellows are wearing?

    • Loose skirts tangle around your legs! Trousers are more preferable.

  • Graham Garrett

    Don’t put words in your husband’s mouth, Florrie!

  • Instant pants: just add cheap thread!

  • I think I like Nicola… even if she is a copper.

  • Scottygroundhog

    tear away dress for the win

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