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  • Darkoneko Hellsing

    I kinda want the purple thing of happiness to greet Mal on the other side.

    • JWLM

      I wanted the door to have a cute Purple Hippo of Happiness sticker on it.

      • Mal will put one, for sure.

        • Alétheia

          Or maybe he can get the Purple Hippo of Happiness to be a sentry by it. Far better than a sticker, yes? XD

    • Del

      Kate is disciplined… She’s not going to give us too much of what we love.

      But I’m totally ready for more PHoH.

  • ThisCat

    I’m not sure quite what’s up with Mal here, if only because there is so much. If I had to guess, it’s all a mix of a long, groaning ‘whyyyy’, a vague form of relief at the unfamiliar familiarity of this, resignedness stemming from the fact that he knows what to do now, and he might still not like it very much, and he might also be annoyed by not having tried this earlier, and also he’s probably quite distracted by whatever it is he gets from this door.
    I don’t know for sure what’s up, but I do know I like it.

    Oh, and who’s willing to bet whatever happens beyond this is the reason Harry is famous in he future?

    And another thing, that door is very… door-like. Modern style. Not exactly what you expect from a gateway to Limbo.

    • I suspect that the portal takes whatever form the witch seeing/using it is most comfortable with.

      • ThisCat

        Yeah, that’s what I assumed. It suits him.

      • Haven

        Which is probably why it’s blue, too.

  • MoeLane

    “It took 6 books and nearly an in-comic year for him to sort himself out by walking half a mile down the road to a tourist attraction.”

    Don’t forget the Map of Reverse Psychology you sneakily gave the PCs.

  • non_canon

    So it appears the image from the title page was more literal than we thought.

    Also, I am probably very late to the party but I just realized that Verity has a spanner in her hair and you referred to her as the spanner in the works and that amuses me far more than it probably should.

  • Sir. Orc

    According to this, Mal’s heading to the magic kingdom

    • Basil Sage


    • Darkening

      My first thought was that you were referencing the one from Erfworld, heh.

  • rainycity1

    By ‘you?’, Sid really means ‘us?’…

  • Pangaea

    Looks like we found where Lust is hiding.

  • falco

    I am way too unreasonably excited about this. GO MAL!

  • Basil Sage

    So, assuming the cover doesn’t lie and Harry isn’t planning on Sid going in as well… this arrangement breaks apart every pre-established significant relationship between characters. Even Wolfe and Thackerey, who have canonically worked and lived together for a year, haven’t been seen communicating enough to really establish a dynamic, and Verity and Sid have talked, but not really about anything other than her saltiness about him working with Harriet. What I’m saying is, from a purely in-world social dynamic perspective, eeeeeee this is going to be fun.

    • :3

    • Chris the Blue

      Oh wow, so this is what happens when you’re good at writing.

    • non_canon

      I’d be really interested in seeing Wolfe and Ben have more screen time together considering that so far that trio’s dynamic has really played up contrasts, either in duets or in two of the trio contrasted to the other, and since Wolfe and Ben have a lot in common it’ll be interesting to see how they interact without that foil.

      I’m also really looking forward to more snarky cousins.

      • Basil Sage

        I have a vague suspicion the cousins will receive a surprise visit from their grandpa Vic at some point. Probably at the most awkward, inopportune moment, because that’s how they roll in the Cunningham clan.

        • non_canon

          On reading that comment I got this vision of him showing up after everything is over, running into Henry and Isabelle, and grumbling about coming to visit his grandchildren, finding chaos, and how Of Course he would find the Barber family in the middle of it. Henry and Isabelle notice the plural, question it, and then in walks Ben grumbling about not having a clean shirt to wear or something similar and they wonder how they missed the resemblance till this moment.

          Verity takes this opportunity to gush about how proud she is that little Benji is all grown up and having his own adventures. Ben puts his face in his hands and begs the universe not to let any more of his family members show up.

          (Also, spell check insists that Benji isn’t right and that I probably mean Benjamin. I had a bit of a chuckle at that.)

          • Basil Sage

            Idk Idk, being an inventor and a wizard, grandpa Vic could have more in him than that.

            Sidenote: I’m kinda sorry Benjamin and Harriet haven’t and probably won’t interact much, because I think they are alike in some fundamental ways. They’re both very ambitious and driven, with concern for doing things right and maintaining a sense of dignity and autonomy, but the more either of them tries to be dignified, the more slapstick, giraffes, hedges and embarrassing relatives the universe sends their way.
            In fact, this explains why they don’t interact: the comic is more centered on playing off contrasting/complementary personalities against each other than similar ones.

  • Basil Sage

    Also, I really want to understand: is whatever it is behind the door where spirits go when they are ‘returned home’?

    I gather that the possible states of a spirit are 1) ‘home’, 2) ‘out in the world free’, and 3) ‘out in the world not free’. What are the exact conditions for each of the states to happen?

  • Columbine

    His posture and the way he’s looking through that door it’s- Like he’s wondering if he’d ever want to come back once he stepped through.

    • JWLM

      Mal looks like someone in the grips of a religious experience. I don’t suppose that’s surprising: he’s had a “come to the anchor” moment. (The Widdershins equivalent of Luke’s “Come to Dagobah moment,” don’t you know.)

    • Pyre

      I have a feeling that this is going to end in me saying “Poor Wolfe”

      • Columbine


  • Columbine

    Oh btw Kate it has been confirmed that ‘people I know on tumblr’ would help steal the crown jewels and introduce sheep eating parrots to Wales in exchange for meeting the Purple Hippo of Happiness. Thought you should know. (Is not carrying a bird, no definitely not. This parrot? Pining for the fyords)

  • Call me a Geek, but I’m absurdly excited by this development. Forget the plot and character development; we are going to find out how the World actually works!

    • Sapphire altera

      Or all three at once! (Again, brava Kate!!)

  • Del

    America desperately needs an expression like “to sort [himself] out.”

    A great many young Americans are in dire need of a good sorting out.

    • Thorin Schmidt

      We have an expression for that here… or at least we do in the midwest…
      “What that child needs is a good @$$-whuppin'”
      and yes, there are a lot them in dire need of one.

  • Robbie Disbrow

    Harry’s gonna have to either K.O. or kiss Sid to keep him from following them through. And I know which one I want

    • Sapphire altera

      I dunno, she just out-bossed Nicola. Sidney seems small potatoes in comparison :P

  • I suspect that Mr Thackerey’s problems with socialising arise from having spent much of his formative years in close proximity to Ms Cunningham.

    • JWLM

      Well, I’m not so sure about that — he seems to have had a stick up hi… nevermind, let’s just say that she may have exacerbated his already established misanthropy.

  • Sanjay Merchant

    He steps through and on the other side is a pink-haired woman with a cat, scribbling furiously.

  • John

    Love how Verity gets another little dig in at Benji.

    • Basil Sage

      She’s already called him Benji, grabbed him, reminded him of the haircut he was forced to get at a low point of his life, and made fun of his degree. Does that cover all of the poor guy’s insecurities, or merely almost all?

      • Euodiachloris

        She missed out when he fell into the mud at age six, but… hey. ;P

        • John

          She’s got about 160 more pages this chapter, I’m sure she has plenty of time to get around to bringing up some old childhood embarrassment…

  • Diana Schiefelbein

    Really loving the look of wonder on Mal’s face in panel five. It’s good to see.

  • Dan

    Oh, I just realized that he’s actually put his hand into the portal. I didn’t notice at first. So I guess it didn’t just suck him in, and it’s confirmed we can’t see what’s behind it.

    • we don’t see his fingers though, in the two last panels.

  • Sleepy Soul

    Finally, we get to see the true form of Mal’s “Stand” Power. =D

  • AJ

    “There’s that degree hard at work!”
    She still sounds like Ms. Frizzle.

  • tali

    “It took 6 books and nearly an in-comic year for him to sort himself out by walking half a mile down the road to a tourist attraction.”
    Yeah, but if he had gone to the anchor before, we wouldn’t have all those wonderful stories :)

  • Ilmari

    I didn’t really like Mal much, until these last few pages. His final resignation to actually trying to do good – without that irritating “scoundrel-hero” vibe anymore – has raised him immemsely in my esteem.

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