Soli is a woman, but I doubt very much that she is a lady…

Last posted page of the year :B See you in 2011!

PS Facebook incentive nonsense of 2010 uploaded if you’d like a trip down voting memory lane.


  • a.a

    The look on his face when he sees she’s a ‘lady’ is hilarious.
    Oh, Happy New Year! :D

  • Beata

    woah, that is one painful bruise ;-)

    • Farmer John

      We saw how fast he was moving, and the ladies have been oohing and ahhing over his muscles since he showed up in the comic. It’s nice to see they’re for more than show.

      Knocked the bandanna right off her face.

  • Someone’s going to get it … I bet he won’t be having children in the near future. :3

    • Martini

      You said what we’re all thinking :O

    • Flamma Man

      Pretty much my first thoughts after seeing that last panel.

  • Macbeth

    Soli looks so happy there!

  • Benedek

    I don’t normally leave comments, but, OH NO HE DIDN’T!

  • Kate

    For some reason in panel 5 he reminds me of Gene Kelly.

    Happy new year!!!!

  • watchergryph


    I love how intense you make Soli’s eye(s).

  • FoxPhantom

    Woah, that was pretty clever, I thought Soli was a guy. XD

  • “Sir, you’re under arrest for assaulting a lady.”

    Then BAM, right to his face.


    • GraveEclipse

      Yeah Soli…go beat up the officer doing his job because you were completely justified in holding a defenseless old man at gun point.

      • Team Soli all the way. <3

      • Marion

        Heck, she probably killed the old guy. If you whack someone in the head with a heavy blunt object and he is out cold for more than a few minutes, he probably has such braindamage that he won’t wake up (or else be a vegetable).

        • Obviously physical assault is never a good thing. But for the purpose of this comic, old guy will be fine (his body, at least)

          • Sivartis

            Yes, you can tell he’s still alive because he’s moaning on page 18.

    • Farmer John

      I doubt that Soli can kick Amen’s butt, he’s much stronger and apparently trained in hand to hand combat. Soli may be a tough customer, but her build doesn’t support physical attacks the way his does. Unless she can surprise him with her other gun I’d say this round goes to Amen.

      • Jac

        Even IF she surprises him with another gun, I still think he would be able to subdue her.

        I think her best chance is to use her wits to get away. Considering how dumb that last move of hers was, that may be a while. ^^;

        • Somebody

          Wow you two are being kind of sexist, showing a lot of ignorance. Fighting isn’t about build or who’s stronger. You can use various feints and outmaneuver the person. Physical strength doesn’t make you agile, nor does it increase reaction time. In most actual combat styles are more about technique and physics than brute strength.

          She could easily sweep his feet out from under him and then punch him in the nose as he falls. He just got lucky.

  • loli think most of us knew this already otherwise we’d all be like

    “ZOMG! the voice i was imagining for him-er, her was manly!”

    great page though XD

    also, the bruise on the face is a bit rough don’t you think, compared to everything else?

  • i can’t say if you’re a good writer , mainly becouse the main way i have to tell how good someone is is how they end a story

    but i do like what i read up to now :D!

  • Looks like she’s more pissed at being called a lady than getting bashed in the head XD

    • She’d think of it in the same way you’d think of being called a “sissy” :B

      • Jac

        So getting Scout vibes, from To Kill a Mockingbird. :3

  • Lillian

    He figured out Soli’s gender faster than 80% of Meek readers.

    • Latia

      You win forever.

    • I must agree with Latia XD

    • Fleece

      lol :D

    • Sven

      Hahaha XD

    • THIS

  • I feel so much better about not realizing Soli was a woman at first either. XD

  • jamikakish

    she’s a lady! woah, woah, woah, she’s a lady

    okay, karaoke time is over
    kick his ass Soli!!! >:D

    • Doozigitis

      Guess I’m not the only one who thought of the Tom Jones song. XD

      • Puppy

        Nope, I did too xD

        You guys ain’t alone on that one! :P

  • DracMonster

    “Lady” being a relative term in this case.

  • Jane

    Funny how a few pages back, when Soli whacked the old man in the head and the readers went, “OOOH NO, NOW I NO LIKE HER!” But when Amen whacked her across the face, the readers went, “YEAH, SOLI, KICK HIS ASS!”

    Just thought it was so amusing. As for myself, I think Amen is justified in hitting her – after all, she IS a criminal and was approaching him with a gun in the first place. (Although he probably won’t hit her had he known she was a lady, lol.)

    • High five, brother. I haven’t been able to identify with anything she’s done so far.

  • earthsprite

    Ahh, my suspicions were correct. Something about the Ellen Degeneres look of androgyny, maybe. This is most excellent.

  • Gatcha

    ahahhah!! that made me happy in 3 different ways! XDDD thank youuuu!!!

  • I don’t know why, but Amen’s face when he elbows her makes me laugh. “TAKE THAAAAAAT – INTENSE ELBOW PUUUUNCH!”

    But of course now he’s going to be like “Awcrap I hit a woman. I’m going to hell.” isn’t he? XD

  • Kattei

    when the page was loading i thought soli’s ponytail was gonna whit Amen across the face XDD
    seriously it looks like it could kill a person… how long is it anyways??

    • Midway down her thighs, I think! Pretty long.

  • Maelstrom

    Assault? What assault? >:O
    Unless the old guy was a royal officer.

    • Sven

      Uh she threatened him with a gun.

      • Farmer John

        In technical legal terms assault is threatening to hurt someone whereas battery is actually doing it. Attempted battery typically classifies as assault is the intended victim is aware of the attempt as it happens.

        • Maelstrom

          Oh, hey, cool. I always thought that that just went under threat of assault, not actual assault.

          • Somebody

            That is really stupid. And if you look in a dictionary, the first definition is “a violent physical or verbal attack”. I’m not sure about the verbal part, but there you go.

      • Farmer John

        So, ditto what Sven said.

    • Yeah, she was just trying to ambush him with a gun two seconds ago.

      • Maelstrom

        And here I thought she was trying to invite him to a nice dinner.
        This comic is confuzzling me!

  • Ikaru

    I’m seriously surprised at how many people are surprised. I mean how many comics and games and anime are there out there with androgenous people? You learn to be able to tell. I mean, she has no adams apple, huge give away that she’s not a dude. She also has small hands, ect. I knew Soli was a woman right from the first page. Um, and not just because I read the character page. XD I actually could of figured it out from the pages themselves. It’s not like she goes out of her way…..*blinks* well, she binds her breasts, but that’s realistic really….I would too. XD But you can tell she’s a woman if you actually look for it in the earlier pages. Some of her manerizims and stuff. And also…Amen hit her so hard her head covering and bandana fell off?! Holy crap! O_O

    BTW I totally love Soli and don’t have any issue with what she is doing because she is obviously working towards a bigger goal and the way that her face looked when the old man was saying she obviously never cared for anyone more then herself ect, she lookd in so much pain, she must have lost someone before and be possibly traumitized. And I just like her personality in general. And it’s not like she killed the old man either, and not likely she would have.

    And wouldn’t a normal comment be, “Good Lord, you’re a woman?” Not ‘Lady’? That just seems to flow oddly, but I suppose it’s his mannerizms….

    Anyways, lovely page as always, and SOLI KICK HIS ASS! XD Although for some reason the ‘ship’ bells are going off in my head like crazy. I may be insane. XD

    • Marion

      You don’t mind if I rob you of all that you hold dear, then, do you”? I’m working for a greater good. I won’t explain what this greater good is, and I will use violence instead of reason, but hey, I can’t hold responsible for giving you headtrauma (which might possibly kill you), because I’m heavily traumatized by the betrayal of my boyfriend. Now, you’re not my boyfriend. I don’t know you from Adam, but this does not matter. My emotional pain absolves me from any responsibility for my actions. Go me! Sucks to be you.


      Did I just whack Ikaru round the head with a gun? Guess I did. That’s why people love me.

      • Mani

        Readers are going to cheer on the protagonist – kind of a truism.

        Soli’s attempted crime here is still in-progress. So far she hasn’t actually destroyed the dude’s life work, since Alamand wasn’t carrying anything and she’s currently under Amen’s boot.

        It’s cool if you don’t dig what she’s been doing. I’m not even saying “It’s all probably justified, you’ll see” – just offering some context.

    • Agree with everything you wrote. Also, this is a fictional character, can we all calm down? Just because we love Soli and how badass she is doesn’t mean we’re advocating elder abuse.

      And yeah, hats are flying off of everyone!! XD

      • Er, I agree with Ikaru, that is.

    • Loral

      I’d have a big problem with Soli’s actions….. if she were a real person. But she’s a super badass fictional character! She’s a jerk who’s doing mean, unnecessary things. So what? Everyone knows that antiheros are the coolest.

      • Marion

        You should’ve seen the comments in chapter two, when Luca grabbed Phe and ranted about how the Carissi murdered millions of his people and tortured and maimed him. He had had a traumatic past (a holocaust and torture will do that for you), and Phe insisted that he shouldn’t live in the past and forgive and forget, and he was sorry and apologised for his actions, but that didn’t matter to the readers. He was deemed a wifebeater, a thug and a cad. But see what happens when a WOMAN breaks and enters an old man’s house, steals his life work and knocks him unconscious (and possibly dead) with a metal blunt object without a shred of remorse and hey presto! She’s a cool bad-ass chick whose actions are probably totally understandable and certainly forgivable.

        Somebody should tell Luca. If he cross-dressed and called himself Lucilla he could exterminate every Carrissi on the planet and the readers would cheer him on.

        • Cheri


        • ashleyw

          to be fair, we don’t know anything about soli’s past at this point. wait until the end of the chapter if you want to try and compare her to luca on the sympathetic character thing.

        • Emperial

          ‘Cause none of your replies are reflecting it: you’re quite right there. Although, to be fair, I am among the few who a) did not immediately dismiss Luca’s violent outburst as reprehensible and b) have found Soli’s actions regarding that old guy to be somewhat reprehensible so far.

          But yeah. I remember all the outcry when Luca got angry at Phe (someone with whom he has a very long history and thus a lot of baggage) and haven’t seen it so much for dear Soli jumping Mr. Old Radio Guy (someone she has never met before). Although, frankly, so many people don’t seem to have realized Soli’s female…

          It would be worth seeing what would happen if Luca were Lucilla. We could call it… The Keem!

        • Personally, I feel like I’m giving Soli the benefit of the doubt because of the Luca precedent. The Phe scene just played like good drama, and somewhere in the whole thing I feel for the poor devil. Now, seeing Soli wail on a little old man was more striking. But the look in her eyes clearly intimated that he hit a heck of a nerve. So I wouldn’t excuse her so much as think she’d been through something big. Worry about what could fuel that reaction.

          At any rate, she’s our lead this chapter. I’m nominally on her side. I’m gonna follow her and hope she has some good reasons. Plus, it’s her young sidekick that softens her more than anything.

          Man! Right in the face! I’m such a violent pacifist.

    • The Pink Ninja

      Everyone have Adam’s apples and many men have non-prominent ones while many female have prominent ones.

  • Great twists! I say I was not expecting in the least. It got me to go back and re-read the pages with them in it again. Keep up the great work love you comic.

  • You can’t win, Amen. I promise.

  • Tashka

    I did NOT see that one comming lol!!

  • erin

    he just punched a woman. IN TROUBLE. XD hahaha i regret already knowing soli was a woman. :[

  • haley

    awsome job!
    Amen is gonna get his ass kicked by a ‘lady’ now!

  • Amen, you’re awesome. But I still want Soli to kick your ass <3

  • Kishaz

    Ohhh, haha.
    Damn, she’s hot.

    • Jac

      Ditto. :3

    • rikkaruohimus

      I´m a straight woman, yet, I agree.

  • Fleece

    I have a feeling that, at the same time, offscreen we have Amen´s partner overpowered by an unarmed twelwe-year-old.

    • Marbles

      I hope that’s true. I really do.

  • Sven

    “Soli is a woman, but I doubt very much that she is a lady…”

    Yeah I agree with that.

  • Farmer John

    Wouldn’t Amen want to leave her face down so he could safely bind her hands and pat her down for weapons before proceeding?

    • jecomdmoy

      Agreed! Out of all the officers, I’d think Amen would’ve been the most likely to have memorized the border patrol SOPs during training.

      Maybe he’s just distracted thinking of the use-of-force form he’s going to have to file later.

      • Jac

        Maybe he’s about to do that, was confused by Soli’s… um. Physical features?

    • Jay

      I think this is where the tvtropes Rule of Cool comes into play.

  • awol360

    By the look of savage hate alone, nothing good awaits Amen for crossing Soli. I’m constantly left wondering what will happen next. Which is a good sign of the comic’s quality really.

    Anyway, Happy New Year Der-Shing

  • P-chan

    YAY New Year’s Eve! YAY new comic update! xD
    Amen didn’t know… I’m a happy camper now. GO SOLI KICK HIS ASS NOW!

    And just for that, my Soli x Amen side went up to eleven.

  • Fisherman

    You can tell when it’s a woman because they have boobies.

    • Jac

      So I’ve heard, anyway.

  • Jay

    I’m kind of curious what Soli’s voice sounds like that they would mistake her for a man even after they’ve heard her speak.

    • She has a low pitched voice, so it is an easy mistake to make (especially if you are expecting a man to be speaking).

      • DoggySpew

        I’m thinking, Annie Lennox. Scratch that, Soli IS Annie Lennox.

  • Jac

    I just love how Soli’s hair swooshes. It makes her cool, even when she’s getting punched in the face. =D

  • Jac


  • This page is fly.

    These comments make for great reading too.

  • Hmmm, she didn’t take the hit or the comment too well.

  • sawbones

    I know there is a lot to appreciate in this page, but AMEN’S BOOTS, DUDE

    You know how I am about this kind of thing. Those boots are strong work. I approve so hard.

    • I am glad. I had to do boot research to make sure they were riding appropriate. You know how much I hate to do boot research.

      • Marbles

        “And one of these days these boots are gonna, walk all ov- WAIT, IT’S A GIRL?!?!”

        Amen’s thoughts in panel two.

  • ally

    Now why would Amen suspect a man threatening him specifically? Sexist…

  • FUCK FINALLY! [excuse the expression]
    I am so awkwardly happy to see Soli get her ass handed to her! ;w;

  • Man, this is the third webcomic in the past couple months to have introduced a main character to be, in fact, a reverse-trap. Hilarity.

  • The Pink Ninja

    Ah Soli, what an impressive assassin : /

  • Zan'Graxee

    there is no wrath like a women skorned, and you just hit one.

  • sweet_gardenia

    Am I terrible for hearing ” You’re a lady? ” spoken in a Jerry Lewis voice?

    I’m waiting to see what happens. I’m not really rooting for one or the other personally because I think they each see their actions as justifiable. Amen though probably has the higher ground ethically speaking. But HEY that’s just what a good story is about. Characters who each have their own reasons or motivations for their actions and then having those motivations conflict with one another.

    however cough I do have to say it’s nice to see Amen exploring badassery…even without his Segway snerk

    • LOL I know, it is hard to be an effective officer without the segway. It’s the embodiment of authority!

  • Good lord, she’s a lady???

    I thought she was a he. XD Very well done – she looks very subtly like a woman, so you don’t notice it until you actually know what you’re looking for.

  • Ha! I suppose I would have known Soli was a girl if I had read that cast page more closely. Great page!

  • MitchelM.

    Are we to presume that Soli has a masculine voice, or that Amen is just bad at noticing things?

    • Yes, she has a deeper voice for a female. She’s kind of masculine and awkward-looking in general: tall and gangly, long face, dresses for practicality and not fashion etc. Also Amen was expecting a robber/ assailant to be a male so his brain probably filled in the rest for him :)

      • Oversized long coats are not practical :v

        • The coat itself is practical for keeping the dust/ rain off, and as a blanket etc. As for the size, it isn’t technically hers so… haha

          • I assumed it wasn’t hers. Well they are practical as they also keep your legs warm, and I certainly learned that this winter X’D

      • In that close up, it also looks like her breasts are bound, but…maybe I’ve lived in SF too long.

  • Nes

    Get up and whup him, Soli!

  • Engelen


    I NEVER KNEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111 ONE

  • Oi, that has got to sting… Something tells me Soli isn’t going to take that lying down.

    • katy

      That’s what SHE said

      hurr hurr hurr

  • Muddkipz

    It’s funny that he calls Soli a Lady and not just a woman or something. Makes me think he’s sexist or something, maybe he thinks all women are more… Ladylike?

    • Yeah, he has some traditional ideas of what women should be like. He’d think it kind of rude/ clinical to use the word “woman.” Kind of like saying “this is a man I know” vs “this is a fellow/ dude/ guy I know”

    • MitchelM.

      Remember, this story takes place in era that mirrors the 20th Century technologically, so your going to see alot of cultural stereotypes and mannerisms similar to that era.

      • Nentuaby

        Assuming the parallel holds, there’d be some classism involved too.

        There’s a famous example of that in a particular military etiquette guide. When inviting a mixed-rank crowd and their significant others, one invited:

        The senior officers and their ladies.
        The junior officers and their wives.
        The enlisted and their women.

  • …. This chapter is going to be so awesome to read-through when it is over xD

  • A purrrrdy lady C8

  • BentKatana

    Uh oh, he gun get it now D: (no pun intended)

  • Emperial

    Soli + Amen


    • PT


    • katy


  • Ailynne

    I really love this page and I don’t know why.
    Something about it is just awesome.

  • kittengrl39

    I am suddenly so afraid for Amen. You have shown us that you have no problem with killing off interesting, unique, look-to-be-important characters, so anything could happen at this point.

  • kinianka

    Is Soli Santri or Carissi?

    • Soli is as Carissi as they get! She’s from the east though, so she’s considered kind of uh low class XD

  • Christy O!

    Fantastic use of split panel (or whatever it’s called)! You can follow his eyes down to her chest. Brilliant and funny.

  • AK

    Amen, shame on you, you supposedly pious man xD

  • amadre

    As a fellow woman who can and is easily mistaken for being a man…I will approve of any crotch-kicking Soli, my comradess-in-arms, performs in the near future.

    • Nicky

      Amen! I was actually kalled a ‘man’ by a couple kids while I was at work today.

      • Nicky


  • PT

    Still not rooting for Soli after she decked the old man lol.

  • NeverfilledVoid


    • Marbles

      He hit her so hard they got launched off her face! D:

      • Mai

        Oh God, your comment just reminded me of Scott Pilgrim. xD

        You punched the freckles off her face.


        Herp a derp derp

        • BrainBlow

          Or like in the Scott Pilgrim.
          “She punched out her hair dye!?”

      • ahahaha

  • I can already tell that I like Amen. I get vibes that he’s the ‘good cop’ sort with a strong moral compass. Generally one of those good sort of guys.

  • Mai

    No, Amen. No she is not. D:

    I have to say although I really liked the sketch pages of this, I’m really enjoying the much more action-y Amen.

  • Essie

    Soli reminds me a lot of the main character from the movie The Ballad of Little Jo.


    It’s a fantastic movie.

  • Even having not looked at the character page I assumed that Soli was female the whole time. There was something about her gestures that made me think that. I thought you did a very nice job of giving her unique body language.

    Of course, as I say this I realize that I’m wearing pretty much the same outfit, but without a gun and with a short jacket. As a matter of fact someone did call me “sir” as I walked into office depot earlier…

    =_= Unlike Soli, I apparently don’t need chest bindings.

    • Jessi

      Lol, I wouldn’t worry about that too much… I used to have my hair really short, And I got “sir”ed a lot. Even as a C cup. It happens. All depends on how your walking. One of em was a little old lady who was door greeter at a supermarket…she was mortified. I felt kinda bad about that.

  • Girl

    I was starting to get a little bored with the comic, I think it was because it starts a new story with new characters every chapter and it takes so long to update (although it’s high quality so I guess I shouldn’t complain) but after seeing this magnificence I am re-hooked.

    • Haha, that’s the tough part about doing the comic, knowing that the first part is inevitably going to be boring while I set up the plot and characters. I think the real interesting part hits in around halfway, and then again on the reread when you go back and pick up on the clues I left. Anyhow, thanks for sticking around so far XD

  • Sigh. Totally read your Twitter wrong a while back, thinking Alamand was a girl—not Soli. Silly me.

    Also forgot there are other pages on the comic on the site that help clarify things like that. I blame my habits from reading Megatokyo for that—a whole decade and still Gallagher hasn’t made a Characters page.

  • Bear

    Reverse traps you say?

  • cedarwolf22

    Oh Amen, by the look in Soli’s face you are not in a good position! DON’T JUST STAND THERE GAWKING >8(
    All this time I am imagining what Alamand is up to… He’ll probably be walking back with Jon hogtied.

  • Pneumonica

    Soli: “Opportunity knocks. And I’m gonna knock back, ’cause that FREAKING HURT.”

  • Awesome last page of the year. :) (OMG, Amen’s face in the first panel! Should be a “YOU BETTER FOCUS, OR ELSE…!” -poster to hang on the wall at workdesk)

    Good luck in the year to come! Love the new pages, Der-Shing! (I have been away so I had some to catch up on! Yay!)
    Can’t wait to see how this unfolds!

  • After seeing the second panel I think I have a little crush on mister clean and wholesome (Amen).

  • Interestingly, this is the first time Soli seemed remotely feminine to me. Is that weird, that she only seemed feminine to me after she’d been belted by a cop?


    • Nate

      A lot of her visible masculinity is in the way she acts and carries herself. It’s hard to act or carry anything when you take an elbow to the face.

  • Talfox

    I reckon Soli wuld sound like Ellen Degenerous, just sayin’!

  • kawaiidesukitty

    Is it just me or is the art quality starting to drop? That was one of the things that attracted me to this comic and I’m hoping losing it isn’t going to be a permanent thing.

    • Originally I wasn’t going to respond to your comment. It is a little bit rude. Then I thought about it some more and decided that maybe you aren’t aware of the time and effort that goes into every page. So for the record:

      Each of these Chapter 3 pages takes me far longer to make than pages from either of the previous chapters. This means about 20 hours from start to finish. Mostly this is due to there being so many elements to draw in these pages that I am not very good at drawing (horses, guns, various technical items). There are a few pages in this chapter that I’d like to recolor when I have time (especially the exterior shots), and possibly a few things that I might redraw. I’m not sure what your expectation of me is, but I do have artistic weaknesses and don’t get things right on the first try. But in general I think most of the art in this chapter is on par with what I’ve been putting out.

      Also if you’ll look a few comments back, you’ll see that I was also feeling dissatisfied with some of the coloring and am currently trying some new things. That might account for some of the style changes in the last 4 pages that weren’t there earlier.

      As a word of advice for the future, you may want to find ways of rephrasing your harsh comments a bit more constructively. Most artists will take it very badly and/or personally, despite your arguably good intentions.

      • Emperial

        Honestly, I wouldn’t worry too hard, I think at least part of this must be the difference between amazing palatial architecture and lush jungles, and the barren desert-like worn-down emptiness of the middle of nowhere. The backgrounds don’t have the same amount of stuff to look at as the previous two chapters.

        Take any of the angles on this page for example. Looking up in chapter one we’d see giant tree branches strewn with vines, in chapter two tall columns and ceiling… stuff. What do you see up above at the middle of nowhere radio tower post? The sky. Looking downward, in chapter one there’d be knarled, twisted roots and leaves and grass. In chapter two, maybe some fancy tiled floors. In chapter three, it’s dirt.

        Maybe you could find some stuff to fill the backgrounds a bit more before you go to print, like more radio tower wires/structures or circling vultures or something, but actually, even though I’ve seen some artistic adjustments and hurdles this chapter, the past three pages have really picked up in my opinion and this page I immediately loved. I actually kind of like the way the emptiness focuses in on Soli and Amen, kind of heightens the in-your-faceness of the exchange. It’s like, our attention is totally focused on them, just how they’re totally focused on each other.

        • I might be the only one to say this, but I actually LIKE the cel-shaded look you’ve taken lately. I know it hasn’t been as satisfying to you as the more “painterly” pages, but I feel it reads faster and more cleanly, rather more like a European comic like Tintin or Valérian et Laureline. And frankly, when you’ve talked about your work “slipping” (or others have) I simply don’t see it. Maybe that makes me a tiro, but it all looks super to me.


          • Jac

            I’m with you on this, Mr. Average. I like the pace of chapter 3, and I really, really LOVE how much Der-Shing is going out of hir element here and trying a lot of new things.

            Anyway, to say that the work is “slipping” or its “quality is dropping” is a highly subjective statement, and it doesn’t take into account all of the many contextual factors that come into play. Sure, chapter 3 isn’t like chapters 1 or 2 – that’s part of what makes this chapter so unique.

        • Tiuni

          If you ask me, adding superfluous elements like wires wouldn’t really help the story at all. The shack and radio tower is obviously in an isolated area; to put in connecting wires would insinuate that the tower is connected to another post. But it isn’t, the tower is by itself. The old man is secluded and alone, and it helps to exaggerate that with the barren landscape.

          People have to realize that the most important thing is clarity within the storytelling, and Der-Shing obviously knows this. What’s the point of adding extra things if they’re not needed? These pages tell the story perfectly. It’s not always about a pretty picture.

      • Pneumonica

        A lot of times, the artistic simplifications that I’ve seen in the more recent comments are useful for bringing out important elements from noisy backgrounds or just to underscore what you’re supposed to be focusing on in the panel. This, in turn, allows the artist to focus on those important elements and not on parts of the scene that have no real reason for being there except that everybody knows it should be there. But, if everybody knows they should be there, really how important is it to make them so goddamned detailed?

        Personally, I’ve been fine with the artistry so far. Stylistic shift? Yes. Then again, you’ve also got a different “voice” to follow, what with a different main character for this “issue”. Frankly, it might not be to everybody’s liking, but nothing really is, and it is good storytelling style.

        • Pneumonica

          And I just noticed an error. First like of what I said, “comments” should be “pages”. Stupid dyslexia, keeping me up all morning. ^^

      • kawaiidesukitty

        Harsh comment? A harsh comment would’ve been something along the lines of “dude this art sucks wtf” or “learn2photoshop, noob”. I don’t think my comment was particularly offensive in the least, but whatever. I was just curious as to why your art was gradually getting less beautifully rendered. I guess two chapters of extremely high quality art have spoiled me.

        • E. T.

          Actually, those types of comment aren’t harsh so much as ridiculous and immature (and easy to just ignore). “Your comic used to have good art, now it sucks, maybe you can improve (but maybe not)” is harsh. Even if you try to make it look prettier with a few turns of phrase, it’s still harsh. Please remember this is the Internet, nobody will read your sentences in a cutesy or apologetic voice unless you append enough emotes to convey such pleasantries.

          Is this comment harsh? It probably reads that way. That’s the sad reality of textual communication. You either have to make your tone abundantly clear or accept that you’re going to come off as harsh due to the fact all comments on the Internet are perceived by others as being spoken in a mental monotone.

          Unless you use emotes and exclamation points!! :) :) :)

        • speearr

          learn2comment, noob

        • You think your comment wasn`t harsh, but it got picked up that way. So what you could say instead is: I didn`t MEAN to be harsh. That`s a whole different thing.

          Keep in mind that you`re not just giving your opinion but you`re also talking to the creator of this comic who spends hours and hours working on these pages (and I believe with the best effort) so imagine you made such a page, and you receive a short sentence with: `the quality dropped and I don`t like it` while you spend hours working on it…..yeah, I can see why that can come across as harsh.
          While a page maybe doesn`t speak to you like other pages have done, this can have various reasons. For one: the environments that are mentioned. This is a very dry, dusty, barren place and the pages feel that way. It`s a whole other place than the previous chapters, but If you want to see some beautiful rendering, just look at the folds and shading in the clothing, and at the shadows in the faces, it`s still awesome painting.

        • Hillary

          You know, I have a really hard time taking someone who uses ‘kawaiidesukitty’ as a username seriously. Maybe it’s just me.

          • Avise

            No, I feel the same way. :3 They could have at least used “Nyanko” instead of kitty, geez, what a n00b. :D

      • makani

        If I were you, I wouldn’t worry too much about the artistic tastes of someone named “kawaiidesukitty”.

        Just for the record I haven’t noticed any kind of change, comic is still leaving me artistically jealous and obsessively F5ing for more.

        Wait, I do have some criticism: you need more manly perspective shots of Amen pls thx

        • makani

          goddam hillary stop copying my comments before i post them

        • Yes, but what if they’re using the name ironically

          And thank you ;3; I will endeavor to show Amen ripping trees in half with his bare hands and eating uncooked steaks from as many angles as possible.

          • TLL

            If I do not see this magnificent picture at some point in the near future, I will weep.


          • I want that picture as the next wallpaper! 8D

  • twidget

    TOTAL TWIST. My eyes were literally –> O_O
    Having a real hard time wrapping my brain around this. (Don’t worry, that’s a good thing!)

  • SirReginaldo

    This is my fav page. Oh, she is going to show him just how wrong his prior statement is! Mwhahahaha!

  • Moo

    …Um… I thought you pointed out at some point that Soli is a woman? This just popped into my head after reading all the shocked comments :D Well, either it’s that or I’m just surprisingly smart, since I’ve been aware of it for some time now.
    I hope Soli kicks his ass! Or at least gets revenge of some sort :D

  • Blue

    This is a little late, but I just wanted to say that I REALLY love the art on this page. I’m loving the little lines on Amen’s face, seeing properly placed cheekbones is SUCH a relief after the comics I’ve been reading, haha. I like the shading on this one a lot, too–it seems to me like a mix of cell and painted shading, and the result is pretty friggin’ cool!

    Soli’s face at the bottom is my favorite though. There’s so little we see, but you can still feel her strength with just that still face and one eye.

    And 20 hours for a page?! Holy dang, that is some dedication. Especially considering that you seem to be painstakingly teaching yourself to draw a lot of difficult subjects. The fact that you’re researching the riding practicality of the boots, too! The more I learn about how much work you put into this comic, the more I respect you as an artist. Good Job, you should be proud of yourself!

  • Carol

    You think you’re surprised now, Amen? Wait ’til you see a 12-year-old with Adobart’s gun.

    And I like how you draw dirt. And horses…

  • Jac

    I think the way you broke up her torso into two panels was really clever! It really carries your eye down to her chest and the inevitable “duwaaaahhh” :D

  • Wolfi3

    My artsy verbiage is kind of unrefined, and I’m fairly new to graphic novels in general. I don’t know all the elements you’ve used, because I’ve got an untrained eye, so to speak. Despite all that, I gotta say, you’re artwork is beautiful and inspiring. Each character seems fleshed out, and I can identify with several of them. I’ll be waiting, impatiently, for the next update; meanwhile, I’ve got my fingers crossed, hoping it’ll be soon.

    =D Thanks for sharing your work!

  • Pickles

    Damn. She got served.

  • Dragonrazor

    In all honesty, she looks like the kind of woman who takes a great deal of offense to being called a lady.

  • WeirdPinkPiLL

    Oop. And he has her gun.

    Der-shing you are an art god. I can’t stop staring at the shading on Amen’s face, and the way these two pages flow together is gorgeous. <3

  • vecktoreeah

    She’s a lady! Woh~oh~oh she’s a laaaaady.

    • Ailynne

      You, good sir, win one free interwebz.

  • ally

    Why do people keep saying “Der-Shing” in their comments? What does it mean??

    -An Ignoramus

    • Hillary

      It’s the artist/writer’s name. Der-Shing Helmer.

  • ally

    Sorry, nevermind my last comment. I didn’t know it was your name! Sorry!

  • laurel

    man I am in love with your work! It’s freaking radtacular- in an aesthetically pleasing way <3 keep up it up! Aha and when I first started reading this chapter, I totally forgot Soli was a woman by how masculine she was, I love your character depth :D they're all so unique :) and I like the humour too, and maybe I'm kissing too much arse… I wonder if Alamand is related to Soli somehow…? I'm getting the younger sibling vibe ^_^

  • laurel

    keep up it up… -_- man I hate typos

  • Lisa

    Uh oh, Amen is in deep trouble. I hope she doesn’t trash him too bad.

  • I noticed this just now. Soli’s hairstyle really does set her apart from other characters, since it’s a fair bit different from the more traditional styles the other characters adopt.
    What I mean mostly is that it stands out. A lot. Gives her an aura of differentness. That is not a word, no. This is by no means a negative comment, though. Yeah, I kind of failed to expose what I had wanted to say.

  • Rieska

    Thank you for the brilliant page! Althought, to balance some other comments I have to say I completely missed the advantage of a splitted panel. I think it happened like this: reading the second panel, I lower my sight down the panel, and then head straight to Soli’s face at the third panel. On the way I already skimmed through the fourth panel, and then stopped to look them both together. Because of this, I didn’t get how Amen figured Soli’s gender, until I looked more carefully at it. So what I’m saying is, the composition of the panels could have been better. Although I don’t know how to correct that line of sight. Never mind, I shouldn’t write comments in the middle of the night.

    • I’ll agree it isn’t perfect (mostly because the boobs aren’t the most prominent part) but hopefully going back to read it a second time makes it clear. This chapter is weird in that you could probably have figured out Soli was a woman from the start based on whatever cues. Hopefully in this case the eye skip reflects Amen’s thought process more than the viewers (although some viewers did find it appropriate). Either way, there’s always room to improve :B Thanks for the comment!

    • speearr

      I’ll have to disagree. Even if you’ve skimmed through panel 4 on the way to the third panel, panel sequence dictates that you look at panel 4 again. Putting her chest in a panel of its own then directs the reader to focus on that panel. Even if the boobs aren’t prominent, Amen’s statement in panel 5 will help clarify things, namely that he figured she’s a woman based on her body shape rather than her facial structure or long hair. It’s all very well thought out, Der-Shing.

      • Haha, well I’m glad you think so. I’m still not 100% happy, but sometimes you just have to move on.

  • Lady? Not on your life!

  • Shindel

    Nooooo! But he (well she now) was so sexy and manly! D: I have been fooled!

    • trix

      Maybe you should read the character profiles next time.

      • Bowee the Cat

        If that soldier guy had read the character profiles, he would have known Soli was a chick from the start.

        • A big oversight on his part!


  • Ailynne

    On a non-comic related note, I said “I wish Der-Shing (Don’t ask why I didn’t just say ‘The Meek’) would update” in class today. My teacher said she didn’t like that word- as in your name.

    I lol’d.

    (And once again, I have to say that I love this page. The colors and the shading is just figgen amazing.)

    • lol nuuuuuuuuu not my name

      my beautiful beautiful name


      • Pneumonica

        Now I have an image of you painted green, cackling “Oh, WHAT A WORLD, what a world…”

        Not that I actually have an image of you, but work with me here. ^^

  • Sophie

    I see the next page :’3

    She opens her eyes and kicks him in the…[ you know where :D ]
    He falls down while screaming like hell.
    She gets up and sais : “dear god, you’re a guy !”.

    { nahahahahaa }

    sorry I had to say this 8D

  • Canisa

    I’m surprised by the number of people who are surprised by Soli’s gender. It’s been on the cast page for a while now.

    I guess not many people read that sort of thing?

    • M

      I don’t get those people. When I find a comic I like, I stalk the crap out of it.

  • b

    Shirley your not a woman

    I am a woman but don’t call me shieley

  • Jill

    Geez, Amen. Can’t you tell the difference between a lady and a BAMF?

    • Ailynne

      I lol’d.

    • tahrey

      Izzat Bad-Ass Mo’Fo, or Big and Muscular/Masculine Female? :D

  • Hoheh

    It would be unwise to lower his guard. She’s mad now.

    • Alyssa

      Hasn’t he heard of PMS?

  • Morgan

    . . .

    “GASP! He punched the highlights out of her hair!”

  • sarah

    Ooooooooooommmmmmmmgggggggg I LOVE this page. The only thing is……. WHEN are you going to UPDATE. I’m dying to see what happens next DYING! Please update Soon!

  • Chicken

    It’s funny how a lot of women can relate to Soli’s gender confusion ( along w/ me ).

    • tahrey

      could be she’s not specifically disguising herself as a man … just if you’re in this line of work, it can be highly beneficial to sport short hair, trousers, an immobilised bosom and good musculature ;)
      plus make-up is something of a waste

  • Sile

    dhjgbhfgvnsb Every time this page takes a while to load, I always think it’s the next page and then I see the whole thing and I go “Nuuuuuuuuuuuu!” and sit there with my forehead on the screen and my cursor on the refresh button. ._______.
    Every time i see this page, I go “Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?!” and sit there with my forehead on the screen and my cursor on the refresh button. o________o

    I want to see the hurting that Amen feels in the next page. The horribly painful hurting.

  • Lys

    Hm, I have the impression that her body, her neck aren’t in the same position in the last image than in the 2nd/third ones. Like if her body is on the side and not on the back.

    • It seems to me that he’s rolling her over. Hense the little ” lines in the second panel.

  • shara

    wow did not see that one coming :P

  • Talfox

    what a gentleman!

  • *Romance!*

  • wow did not see that one coming :P

  • Kyn

    Oh no. He said the ‘L’ word. SHE GONNA KILL HIM DEAD!!!!!!

  • Paups

    No! Not a lady! He was so frickin hot! D:

  • M

    OooOoooOoo, does the lack of the filler page mean that we’re gonna get an update soon?? :D

  • Elka

    I miss the filler paaaaaage…

  • Alyssa

    “There’s a boob under my boot!”

  • Mike

    dude, dont stop smacking her. she pistol whips old people… let her have it.

  • Bree o'hara


    That was so epic! :D I did not expect that at all!

  • Goat Pirate

    Really shouldn’t have paused Amen…..

    I’m wondering, did his punch knock off her head covering as well? I can see the mask flying off, but I’m not sure when the other thing flew off.

  • Soli’s hair is all flippy in the first panel…. <3

  • Sabrina

    Gosh darn it! And this whole time I’ve been giving her a man voice. I:

  • Ashley

    Ho’ CRAP! And to think I was attract to him(her…)!

  • androgynous female (if she even does identify as such) characters make me so happy :DDDD

  • Asterai

    I like that Amen says “lady”. It’s so obviously inaccurate that it’s a huge giveaway of his character. I’ll bet he compulsively opens doors, too, even if he’s startled and has to trip over himself to do it.

  • Somebody

    The way most people use “lady” is just a way to insult women who aren’t all proper. I just use it to mean any woman, and only sometimes use the word.

  • Thisguy

    Oh man, I thought the other one was a girl!
    I guess shes a mother.

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