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October 20th, 2015

October 20th, 2015 published on 61 Comments on October 20th, 2015

Gonna be at MCM London this weekend, come along and say hi!

Hey, we over at Countershot Press are putting together the most awesome calendar of webcomic ladies you can imagine!

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It’s full of gorgeous and classy art from some awesome creators:

Ariel Ries (Witchy) – Kathleen Jacques (Band vs. Band) – Allison Shabet (Dead Winter) – Amanda Lafrenais (Love Me Nice) – Amy King (The Muse Mentor) – Cami Woodruff (Doomsday, My Dear) – G.C. Houle (H&J) – Kate Ashwin (Widdershins) – Lily Hoyda (Bad Reputation) – Miranda Chamberlain (Riverside Extras) – Robin Hoelzemann (Curia Regis) – Rosa Lee Marnie (Mythos)

There’s an exclusive print of Harry and Vee in there! Preorder one today!

  • Bo Lindbergh

    Apparently, lighthouses were built earlier here than in our timeline.

    • Rory

      Not really… At least Wikipedia seems to think modern lighthouses started being built around 1700. Based on the Barber family tree, it looks like this story is being told in 1834, so I’d guess it happened somewhere around 60 years before that?

      • Sanjay Merchant

        I was figuring 40 (presuming the Barber grandparents are approximately 60 when telling the story in 1834 and approximately 20 in these strips. So roughly 1790-something.

        Plus, I think Bo means that these specific lighthouses are older in the Widdershins-verse, since a cursory Google search shows the North one dates from 1897 in real-world history. :-P

    • billydaking

      Huh? Modern lighthouses have been around since the 1700s…

      • I believe you mean Two-Hundred-and-Something BC

        • billydaking

          “Modern lighthouses”

          Unless, of course, you’re a Scottish Egyptian spending centuries charmin’ the ladies. Then “modern” is relative.

          • The Lighthouse of Alexandria may not have been built in the modern era, but it’s still very much the same sort of lighthouse as its modern counterparts.

            Am I wrong in assuming that when you say “modern lighthouses” you mean lighthouses of the variety most commonly seen today, and not merely any lighthouse built after 1500?

    • Columbine

      Are they lighthouses? That stretch of coast line has uh been using and abusing various guiding lights for a long long time.

    • Gondo

      Along with racial tolerance, uniformed police and gender equality (or at least bigger steps towards it). Just roll with it, I say.

      • MoeLane

        …Wait. Why aren’t the wizards all making outboard motors for His Majesty’s fleets?

        • Gondo

          Probably hasn’t crossed their minds – why bother when you can just bung an air elemental in the sails?

          I wonder if those treasonous transatlantic colonials fared worse in Widdershins world? After all, they don’t have an Anchor….

          • MoeLane

            Two words: landing craft. Because Napoleon’s gonna be thinking about it, even if the British themselves don’t. :)

            As to the timeline: I generally assume, absent Word Of Kate, that things largely went the same way in the Widdershins timeline as they did in ours. Certainly Rosie from 1957 comes across as a standard General American.

            • Gondo

              Hopefully it follows the rest of the Widdershins trend and all got sorted out more reasonably and sensibly!

              I imagine Widdershins Napoleon would be a fairly ordinary Corsican lad who accidentally summoned a spirit of ambition…

          • Z

            Says who? There are anchors all over the Widdershins world, as we saw with Voss’s journey in the Himalayas. It’s quite possible North America would have one.

            • Gondo

              Fair point – I’d rather assumed there was only an Eastern and a Western one. There can’t be that many, or why would the Prussians send Voss all the way to Tibet.

              Mind you, if there is a North American one, it could be in the hands of some shamanic Native Americans or powered by Aztec sacrifices or something. I’m itching to find out what an Anchor actually is!

              • Embarrassingly enough, it’s in Salt Lake City.

      • Uniformed nothing. There weren’t any police until 1829, just soldiers and roving gangs of vigilantes, and even then it was a few years before anyone thought of having the police force be trained and regulated instead of just big dumb brutes who’d hit you until you confessed, and then hit you some more on account of you having confessed, and a few more years before anyone thought that maybe the police should actually investigate crimes before declaring the verdict and sentencing some poor bloke to hang.

        • Columbine

          Eh……they did trials back then and the concept of evidence etc even if they didn’t have police and catching people/investigating mostly depended on how much effort you could put into doing it yourself. Brother Cadfael books?

          • Yeah, but the investigation didn’t take place until the trial, by which point much of the evidence had long since been lost or destroyed simply because no effort had been made to preserve it and the public’s minds had already been made up by the sensationalist papers and opportunistic penny bloods (believe me, today’s tabloids media are downright fair and balanced by Victorian standards)

            The Invention of Murder, Judith Flanders (non-fiction)

            • Columbine

              Yeah I can believe that. To be honest I was thinking even older than Victorian and I’m not about to argue that trials back then were fair or anywhere near modern standards of evidence. But procedures, however flawed, did exist. The past’s another country but people weren’t necessarily stupid there.

              • Not stupid, no. Just inexperienced. Can’t rightly expect them to get everything right on what was effectively mankind’s first rodeo.

                • MoeLane

                  The trick is to *write stuff down*.

                  • Well yeah, we know that now.

                    While procedures technically did exist in some form (even if they hadn’t yet been applied to police-work), they were a lot cruder and a lot of the important bits we take for granted nowadays (such as the entire field of forensic science) simply didn’t exist yet, and even some that did weren’t yet well enough understood to be reliable.

                    Also, at first, investigating crimes simply wasn’t considered the police’s job. That was for the courts (which, for the record, at first relied primarily on witness testimonies, and by “witness” I mean “character witness”, since again, forensics didn’t exist yet, and even autopsies were still in their infancy and highly unreliable). The police were just there to arrest (alleged) criminals. It took a few years, but eventually they figured out that system was bass-ackwards, and a primitive form of forensics was eventually introduced before the Victorian Era drew to a close. And to be fair, early coppers only took a couple decades to get their proverbial shit together. Some other professions, like doctors, took centuries.

                    As for writing stuff down… well, literacy wasn’t anywhere near as widespread in those days as it is today, and wasn’t initially a requirement for joining the police force.

          • Euodiachloris

            … Nice, but not right. Beadles existed, but… it’s not like they were particularly well trained in the whole chain of evidence thing. :P

            • Columbine

              Hey I didn’t say they did it *well*, just that the concept of evidence and trials still existed then. The base concept is present in a lot of societies. Whether the verdicts have anything to do with facts is another matter…

  • Escalators temporarily stairs. Sorry for the convenience.

  • Columbine

    Their boat works on WATER?! What madness is this?

    • Sir. Orc

      Sorcery!

    • DatComment

      until that hole in the bottom sinks that ship like fan OTP.

      • Columbine

        Leading to everyone’s favourite OT3: Henry/Isabelle/Large Body of Water

      • Odo

        A bullet hole will take a long time to sink a boat that size. Plenty of time to do a little bailing or carve a plug for it.
        I’m not actually convinced that the bullet went through, it might just have hit and buried itself in the wood.

        • Liz

          Unless, of course, this bullet hole was made by a plot-bullet, which sinks the boat as fast as the writer wants it to sink.

          • Odo

            Absolutely true. Usually it sinks just as the heroic couple makes it to the (rocks/shore), but sometimes it sinks in the midst of the strait, in order to introduce a new secondary character who will rescue them (for a price), setting them on a side-quest good for at least another chapter. I doubt the latter, however, since this is a single chapter. *strikes a pose, then dances around a bit*

            • Dud

              It’s made of wood – it won’t sink it’ll waterlog (in a few hours if they don’t bail). You still drown of course but you get something to cling to desperately until the overfalls rip your hands free…

          • JWLM

            All plot bullets are properly fired randomly, by a character making a plot shot.

    • Darth Fez

      I know, right? This comic has jumped the shark.

    • Sanjay Merchant

      The boat floats in water! It’s a witch!

    • Tsapki

      Sorcery!

  • Gondo

    I really am tempted to just stop reading now so I can come back in a few months and read through…or I would be if it wasn’t so darn compelling.

    Plus, the Seven Deadlies are fantastic. If things don’t work out in this reality, I’m sure a certain recently-elevated Archfiend and his Drow minion could find them a job… *crosses fingers for best crossover ever*

  • Darkoneko Hellsing

    Yes, very very soggy. I’m afraid you’ll have to keep him warm so he doesn’t catch a cold.

  • Panel 5: Yay for sarcasm!

    • Sanjay Merchant

      Oh yeah, sarcasm’s great.

      (Now you just have to figure out whether or not the above statement is sarcastic.)

  • Shee Soon Theng

    Just an observation, but it appears that Henry completely detached the broken port wing spar and they’ve left it and the wing sail behind.

  • Nightsbridge

    Sloth is a troll and I love it.

    • Del

      I often do that same stretching-back-cracking adjustment, too.

  • Haven

    Acedia is so great.

    I don’t know why Ira keeps expecting her to do things, though.

    • Wizardblizzard

      Yep. I didn’t get the Superbia thing at all, but Acedia just makes me grin every time she appears. Each to his/her own.

      Seems kind of chirpy for someone who’s supposed to be the human embodiment of sloth, though… all this constant stream of clever remarks… but then… I’ve spent most of today myself making clever remarks on the Internet and *not getting a single darn thing done at all*. So it makes a lot more sense than it seems at first sight… fooling around is easy, let’s fool around instead of doing fiddly spells. Well done Kate once again.

  • Necris Omega

    I know she’s an antagonist and representation for deadly sin (and not one of the sexy ones), but I still like the cut of Ms Acedia’s jib.

  • John

    So far the flying boat is actually holding up better than I expected, although I realize there’s still time for things to get worse.

  • EnnBee

    Doesn’t work over water? Does this reflect the old “witches, wizards, the devil etc not being able to cross running water” thing?
    My copy of Green-Eyed Monster came today! I may have done a little happy dance in my front yard and immediately put my Envy pin on…

    • You know that’s the real reason why cities have all this underground plumbing infrastructure. Not having to shit in a hole and bury it is just a useful side-effect.

    • Xanthipe

      Of course witches can’t cross running water, they’d sink…

      • Firedog

        Actually, witches float. It’s scientifically proven. That’s why in the old times rulers travelling by sea were accompanied by adepts of arcane arts.

        • No, no. Witches just appear to float, when in fact they’re repelled by water which causes them to hover an imperceptibly small distance above the surface. This is also more or less the same reason they can’t cross running water without being hurled in against their will.

    • Euodiachloris

      Nah: it’s more practical. You try reliably teleporting to (and landing accurately on) a constantly moving surface without splitting into 15 pieces…

    • Pyre

      Yeah, I suspect that’s a hint or a reference to a weakness. Whether the weakness has to do with water or teleportation not being that precise is something we’ll find out..

    • noerartnoe

      There’s a rather common idea, in reference to magic, where running water “grounds”/disperses the magical energies.

  • kuku

    Oh wow, has this all been the same very eventful day?

  • Ooh, high-speed sailboat chase!

  • Dud

    That’s a twist. I hadn’t imagined the pursuers would be insane enough to attempt to follow on water.

    Now when Henry gets rid of the top hamper and the last of the light leaves the sky they will be invisible as they make for shore while the followers are extremely likely to get into serious trouble allowing Henry and Issy plenty of time to hire a skipper with a boat capable of making a hundred mile round trip to the island in the second strongest tideway in the world.

    With the moon where it is they have a vastly better chance of spotting the followers than they have of being seen themselves.

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