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  • Tech Mage

    As blessing-and-curse as it seems, I’m pretty intensely jealous of witchsight.

    • #092f0a

      Not after a childhood of being the odd one, I’d think. If only you could turn it on and off at will! :P

  • THE PLOT THICKENS! O_O

  • BaronHaynes

    Haha even Acedia’s magic aura is lazy

  • Ey

    I feel like whatever she does might have more to do with his distaste for wizards than them just being hard on the eyes.

    • Ocean Burning.

      Finally occurred to me to wonder, too, if this also is the reason behind his reaction to being called a witch.

  • SaberRoy

    Hmm… still not sure if Mal knows Harry is there or not, he’s not reacting to her yet, but her comment could imply he has off panel, or could just be her figuring it out, he also has a slightly greyed out outline like everyone but Harry… I’m thinking probably not?

    • Emily

      Oh, good catch on the outline – I hadn’t noticed that even Adult Mal looks a little faded while Harry is in sharp focus. I suppose because we’re seeing this through her eyes. I think she’s just working things out out loud, and Mal can’t hear her.

      • Almost reminds me of that scene in ff7 when tifa is in clouds memories XD… maybe a little less of a mind melted experience though!

    • Didn’t notice the greyed lines either. Now that I do, I also note they’re slightly blue. Fitting for Mal.

      • Emily

        Fitting for Sloth, too.

  • reynard61

    Kate, you have an unmatched talent for drawing unbearably cute children.

    • Del

      And increasingly curious cats.

      • John

        Yeah, I saw the cat’s aura change from a contented green in panel 1 to a curious orange in panel 4.

  • Alexander

    God damn it, tiny O’Malley is far too adorable.

  • Phil

    So as this is Mal’s flashback and both us and Harry are seeing everything through his eyes, can Harry see the Auras around the orphanage owners and Acadia too? Both her and Mal are the only things in colour.

    • Yep.

    • Margot

      We’re seeing through Harry’s eyes, who is seeing through Mal’s eyes, right?
      So Harry sees herself and Mal directly, in colour, and everything else through Mal’s eyes, in black and white. But little Mal is in colour – does that mean she’s seeing through little Mal’s eyes, or is Big Mal seeing little Mal in colour?

      • Emily

        Little Mal is probably in color because that’s how it would have been when this originally happened – just like in the usual Mal-vision panels, he would have been in color himself while seeing Acedia and the others in black and white. I’m not sure whether or not Adult Mal is seeing him that way.

      • Mal is seeing through Mal’s eyes

  • bluestarsurfer

    Five panels into his existence, tiny Mal already Cannot Believe This S***

  • Winger

    There he IS. Highfives to all the conspiracy theorists from back when, some of y’all were dead on the money.

  • TheGorram Batguy

    The most industrious lazy person in history, ladies and gentlemen.

    • Stephen E Wilson Jr.

      lazy smart people, move the earth to create less work for themselves.

      • MoeLane

        Yup. Do a job correctly, and it doesn’t have to be redone again later.

        • Stephen Riggs

          I keep telling myself that, every time I mow the lawn.

          • Dud

            So do the job correctly – buy a sheep.

            • Euodiachloris

              And not a goat; looking after a sandpit is not easy, either. ;P

              • AJ

                My understanding was that horses destroy the roots but goats only inhibit the top from continuing to grow. And… not to be “that person” but my pasture is pretty green despite the twenty goats in it…?

          • Sir. Orc

            Do the job correctly – burn the lawn and buy some succulents

            • Overkillengine

              Best kept lawn I ever saw was packed gravel and sand.

      • “Progress isn’t made by early risers. It’s made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.”
        — Heinlein

        Incidentally, according to classical Christian demonology, Belphegor, the foremost demon representing Sloth uses the suggestion of ideas for ingenious inventions as his primary method of tempting mortals.

        • Maria Gerasimova

          Yeah, but Sloth is not just Laziness. It’s Laziness plus Apathy (plus sometimes passive Despaire), which last two don’t allow Laziness make its inventions :)

          • BaronHaynes

            I think it becomes sort of unconscious with Sloth – Acedia is so used to a level of comfort and privilege that she finds her standard of living intolerable at anything less than that. It’s like how your body reflexively moves to get out of freezing water or how you’d give anything for just 10 more minutes in bed, but about everything. The comfortable apathy of sloth is only possible at a certain level of material well-being.

            • Maria Gerasimova

              That’s why it’s named Deadly. In its real extreme it brings its bearer to death.

        • Alex Hollins

          Lord Baden-Powell (founder of the Scouting movement) said much the same, and a lot of his woodlore and camp staples were categorized as time savers to be lazy.

  • Nonesuch

    OH, FFFF—–lapjacks! 0.0;

    • Maria Gerasimova

      Don’t you see the man isn’t mean at all? Unlike his, ermm… spouse, a real hag!
      He’s afraid, anxious, perhaps a bit tightish with money (but he’s not rich, as an excuse).
      He’s even patting the boy on the head soothingly (in the last panel).

      • Maria Gerasimova

        And I think, wee Mal had to have good people as well as mean before his eyes then, to learn to distinguish one from the other.

        • Nonesuch

          Yeah, I know the guy isn’t mean.
          My exclamation was more a polite way to utter a sentiment usually expressed by a four-letter word that begins with the letter ‘F’ when I saw Accedia. ^^;

  • Isn’t it heartwarming that this kind lady is willing to take the poor disturbed child under her wing? I mean, she’s almost a Saint.

    • John

      The only person I can think of who is referred to by the capitalized word Saint without a name attached is Simon Templar, who would definitely NOT approve of Acedia or her plans.

      • Maria Gerasimova

        It was iron irony, I suspect :)

      • reynard61

        Actually, having read a number of the books when I was younger, he might have approved of — or at least respected the thought put into — the “mechanics” of her plan; but, no, he would not have approved of the results.

    • Sir. Orc

      Acedia:
      “Those poor unfortunate souls
      So sad, so true
      They come flocking to my Parlor
      Crying, “Spells, Acedia, please!”
      And eh, you know the rest…”

      • Sanjay Merchant

        Note that this isn’t Sir. Orc giving up on the parody; Acedia just couldn’t be bothered to sing the whole song.

        • Sir. Orc

          That is the case indeed

    • BaronHaynes

      It’s interesting how she spent Chapter 6 as kind of this passive, almost comic-relief character compared to someone genuinely murderous like Ira, but after the seal was put back, she ended up becoming the most evil of that group (so far as we know, anyway).

      The way the sins manifest and affect people is often not how you’d expect – Wrath seems the most dangerous at first blush, but it’s ultimately short-sighted and reactionary, and the others can cause just as much damage in different, subtler ways.

      • AJ

        *cough* Maybe that’s why they’re all deadly? *cough* <3

    • reynard61

      Yes, in the same way that the Witch in Hansel and Gretel is a “Saint” for “rescuing” all those lost children from the Forest…

  • Anne-US

    Interestingly, Mal still can’t see his own aura. I suppose that makes sense, since he couldn’t see it at the time either. I wonder if this will give them clues on how to defeat Sloth.

  • Emily

    Oh, look, little Mal’s hair already does the thing with one lock hanging in front of each ear! No white streaks yet, obviously…

  • Euodiachloris

    I think Mr Anxious should have gone with his gut, here. :/

  • Emily

    Harry, you’re about to learn some things about Mal that I suspect he’s never even told his best friend. Be very careful how you use the knowledge.

  • theophenes

    Oh boy. This is gonna be some kinda ride, ain’t it?

  • Haven

    Oh nooo. I think we’re about to see why he freaked out a little when he saw the door to her lair before…

  • mjl

    Oohh… No wonder Mal is going to be the weak point in dismissing Sloth. If Acedia was relatively kind to Mal, helped him, he’s be … I guess sort of tainted (?)… by that Deadly. We’ve already seen that Mal is somewhat given to slacking off if given the chance, and childhood lessons are hard to unlearn. Depending on what Acedia did to “help” Mal…. This looks like it could be a BIG problem. I look forward to seeing how this unfolds. ^_^

    Go, Mal! You can beat this. We believe in you.

    • Maria Gerasimova

      === If Acedia was relatively kind to Ma ===
      Never! I think she could forget to give him food, just of her laziness and heartless indifference.
      It is no coincidence Mal was so terrified when recognized the door of her lair.

      • Maria Gerasimova

        But as for his inclination to “slacking off if given the chance”, as you named it very truly… It’s indisputable, yes :)
        And I think perhaps Mal’s liking of blue is not a coincidence too?

      • Sir. Orc

        Also remember when she mentioned that she “had a maid once” two decades ago…

      • Heylir

        I think he was terrified of her summoning a Deadly, because of memories about the time she tried to do that using himself, unsuccessfully.

        I don’t want to think about what she could do with little Mal when she realised her plan wasn’t going to work (with no Barbers), but didn’t understand why.

      • mjl

        Key word being “relatively”. Orphanages in Victorian England (which seems to be approxiamtely the right real-world cultural time frame) were often horrible places. Acedia may certainly be guilty of what is sometimes called “benign neglect”, but since he seems to be part of furthering her plan, I doubt she’d actually abuse him, and suspect she’d see that he had basic necessities. Even if she sometimes forgot to formally feed him, if food was available and he didn’t get beaten for helping himself to a little, he’d see it as kindness – “she’s not starving me”. So… relative kindness. If he’s coming from an abusive situation – which seems quite possible given what we know of his personality and now of his background – benign neglect would be a step up.

        • Maria Gerasimova

          Look ar her smile!
          Look at her manner of taking him away.
          Do you see there something benign?
          I don’t think she abused him – she just didn’t bother. It takes so much efforts to beat a brat, really. No, she wouldn’t.
          But he was just a thing for her. Not a person – not to mention a little lonely frightened helpless child.

          As for the orphanage – I know. But I’m afraid it was a shift from bad to worse….

  • Ghostdanser

    Is it just me, or is the mans aura in panel 4 reminiscent of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream”, which actually says a lot about Mal.

  • What time is it? It’s TRAGIC BACKSTORY TIME!
    I have definitely been waiting for this. *munches popcorn with a box of tissues on hand for the inevitable tears*

  • Kaunisenkeli

    She’s awfully active in this part of the story for the physical conduit for Sloth.

  • HerculesTRockefeller

    I’m here for Cowboy Bean Bowl.

    • my truest masterpiece

  • Ocean Burning.

    How old is Mal here?? Seems like he is younger than I expected somehow. Less than ten years old? : (

  • Shee Soon Theng

    It seems the man is where O’Malley picked up his accent from, the woman isn’t speaking the same way. Maybe he spent more time with him; his posturing alone indicates that wants to do what’s right for Mal even if it can’t be him to do it.

    One thing I’m confused about is “can’t take him all the way to Widdershins…” Are they not already in Widdershins? Was there some sort of boundary difference back then?

    • No, they were not in Widdershins then.

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