One page, but two people being thrown in the deep end

The background notes, plus the process sketch page are up now! Again, secret club gets to see the sketches, inks, or whatever seems cool as well as shoptalk process and worldbuilding info for every new page. All of this, plus 1.5+ years archive of tutorials and other content are available only at the Patreon.

(I’ve been listening to a lot of public radio lately and I feel like I’ve become one with the pledge drive cadence, god help me)

Speaking of tutorials, the next one is on the way for reals this now… and for those of you who have been patiently waiting for Mars crab story to continue, new page of Mare Internum will be up over the weekend. Thanks for reading!


  • TorgueRND

    Dad joke level: executive

    • Spark


      • Anton Kooistra


  • DukeBG

    I just spend more than 20 minutes in the bathroom thinking if i’ll throw up or not (ate something bad today i guess), and now i check internet for this. Coincidence

    • Nothing to do with the page, but after I got some food poisoning I found out that it actually takes at least 24 hours for symptoms like nausea/ vomiting/ etc to show up! So maybe you ate it yesterday~~
      not that this info actually helps you tho… hope you feel better

      • Is that always, though? Because once I ate some very funky tasting tuna and two hours later I was in the bathroom, where I stayed the rest of the afternoon.

        I dunno if it might have anything to do with metabolism, because mine’s very high and I digest food quickly.

        • Well, from what I’ve read, you literally can’t pass food that fast through your system (like within a few hours), it would damage your organs. I can attest that the body has other ways of passing it out if necessary, from both ends, and sometimes simultaneously, aaa

          • Anton Kooistra

            Prfrfrfrt, splatter, buerk.

          • larry putnam

            Well, you start to digest food within ten minutes and it gets in to your system that fast, but it takes up to eighteen hours to completely pass through the digestive tract.

        • Reign of Crows

          You’re both right. When it comes to food poisoning, there’s a faster-acting mechanism and a slower-acting one. If food has spoiled and the type of bacteria that spoiled it produced certain toxins, then you’ll feel the effect within hours. If you’re eating food that has bad bacterial contimination but is relatively free of toxins, then you won’t feel the effects for some time, because the bacteria have to get into your system and start doing their stuff. There are certain types of foods that are stereotypically associated with one or the other (a classic medicine test question for toxins, for example, is about a group of people getting sick within hours of a picnic at which a mayonnaise-based potato salad was served), and different “potencies” of bacteria (some only need to slip a small number by your stomach to cause problems).

        • David

          Expedited shipping…

  • Darcy

    If that’s Rana and not some new character entering the scene, I’m trying to decide if she is made of sterner stuff than Suda or simply can’t imagine witnessing such an event because she’s always(?) lived safely behind palace walls. Either way, the person laughing is not being very nice. :(

  • Alice

    Poor Suda…he seems distressed, maybe even traumatized, and Rana laughs at him. I like Rana, but she’s being a bit harsh, but perhaps she’s trying to deflect from what’s truly disturbing about the story or wants to deny that their father was wrong, so I feel for her too. Anyways, I really love the muted color scheme that’s been used for these past few pages. It really sets the atmosphere. And as always, the writing is amazing.

  • Like you wouldn’t throw up, kid.

  • BB

    So did you mean an actual rip current or an UNDERTOW?
    Also, fun wikipedia quote
    “Contrary to popular belief, neither rip nor undertow can pull a person down and hold them under the water. A rip simply carries floating objects, including people, out beyond the zone of the breaking waves.”
    So it would probably help him if anything. Maybe we’ll even see him again.

    • BB

      Basically, rip currents are deadly if you’re trying to get back to the beach, and you panic.

    • spoiler: we are probably not going to see him again XD

      • zellgato

        Therefor.. we must assume he made it safely and will spend the rest of his natural life running a bad but stable resturant named the Salty Swimmer.

      • David

        Am I reading it right that the emperor is giving him a (small) chance? He wants it to look like an execution, but if there’s no rip current, perhaps the captain could swim to safety when the audience is gone. Or is Luca simply being his usual merciless self?

        Also, what’s a Tovat?

        • Nah, it’s just a lazy execution. And, tovat.

          • Darcy

            Plot-twist: captain is a selkie

          • David

            Ahh, okay. He totally is a tovat.

          • David

            Actually, sea captains grow their beards to use as a personal flotation device X-D

  • strannik

    Eloquent face you drew there in panel 3, Miss Helmer.

  • metaceryn

    The color in Suda’s face leaving as his lunch returns: perfect.

  • Luces

    Nobodys parents are perfect; but to recognize your father has gone crazy and turned into a monster is certainly a reason to loose your lunch.
    I love the undercurrent of blackest humor in this episode: Luca stays cool and perfectly reasonable – the kind of logic where 2 plus 2 gives 5 – with just a spare hunch of giving in to the other side, while the sane witness gets all emotional,
    showing himself week, not to be trusted.
    This episode illustrates far to perfectly how an entire group of people is first made responsible for the deeds (or perceived deeds) of individuals, and then gets denied any humanity at all.
    I really wish it would be just fiction!

  • I don’t understand what the means.

    • Angle brackets
      (They got picked up as HTML and removed from the last post)

    • Oh, it’s meant to show they’re talking in a different language, with the translation between the brackets for reader convenience. Last showed up here.

  • Lilian

    War is hell.

    • Andrew

      War *is* hell. But this seems less about war, which affects concepts of morality on either side, and more about a once tortured (now coldly apathetic) despot getting revenge, any way he can. People who interfere, beware.

      • Andrew

        Bah… But I guess he still *is* tortured, which might be the point. Anyways, I’m sure his background (and how he was before/after) will be explored later. No need to jump the gun.

        Very excited to see this story unfold :-)

        • Lilian

          I think the adoration Meek’s fans have for Luca is interesting. He is a beloved character in spite of (because of?) his downward spiral and his questionable actions.

          People love a brooding, tortured soul in story. Myself included.

          In reality, however, they are extremely difficult and painful humans to be around. Never mind the added pressure and impact of influence.

    • Esc


      I think Luca is justified in executing this man, but even I am appalled at the wanton cruelty and sadism of forcing him naked into the freezing sea.

      • Spark

        To be fair, Luca did give him the option of a bullet.

        • Lilian

          I respect the Captain’s decision. I wouldn’t want to give Luca the satisfaction of having me shot naked on the beach.

          Luca’s been through all sorts of terrible things, is prone to wild swings of intensity, and has lost a great stabilizing influence in his life.

          But he’s been making destructive and evil choices with all of it, and he’s still going. I care for him, but I can’t join in on the love some readers have for him. He’s dangerous and destructive, and he needs a whole lot more than a hug.

          Insanity/moral corruption have a way of building gradually, layer by layer. The man Luca is now has been long in coming.

          • Lilian

            As for the concerns regarding authoritarianism in our own country, this situation has also been long in coming. The persistence of The bipartisan system helped. A long trend of people just loving to hand over undue lower to politicians *they* like, while freaking when the next election comes along and the other party ends up with the *exact same level of power* – that helped. The Donald, immoral and egotistical buffoon that he is, didn’t appear in a vacuum of racism and hillbilly evil.

            At least part of the reason the election turned out the way it did was reactionary. A loud minority of the “progressive left” has become less genuinely liberal and more authoritarian and collectivist – redefining words, disinviting speakers they don’t like, judging people on the basis of sex and race, launching attacks on people that don’t tow the ideological line, and policing both thought and word.

            This is the same collectivist, authoritarian stuff that so many fear from Trump and the dregs of the alt- right. And, like the Marxism of the early 20 th century, this wonky “liberalism” has found itself reacting against a mirroring collectivism.

            Collectivism *will* act at the expense of individual rights – it’s intrinsic to the principle. Some people find this acceptable if they believe it for the sake of social justice.

            Some people absolutely do not. They feel that the only ethical way to social justice is via individual justice. I’m inclined to agree wholeheartedly, and dislike tyrants both Marxist and Fascist.

  • Anon3000

    C’mon Suda.

    You haven’t fallen to the Dark Side…erm…yet.

    Here’s hoping for a Team Angora alliance in the future

    • Strangeshapes

      I’m pretty sure this is the exact moment Suda realizes that Luca has fallen to the dark side, and the first inkling of Suda and Rana beginning to oppose him. Luca belongs to the Tiger now, and Angora and her Grandfather are enemies that Suda and Rana would have to join.

  • Spongegirl Circleskirt

    Rana is going to keep “throwing” that “up” in Suda’s face, isn’t she?

  • Nat

    Suda is too sweet. I’m worried for him. Do we know how old he’s supposed to be?

    • He is 17 (everyone’s age is noted here, given the current year is 754)

      • Nat

        Thanks :)

        I was guessing he was a little older than that!

  • apgeek

    “I disremember” — this is said by one of the officers in the background who is not a native speaker of Basori, right?

  • Jordan179

    Well, I see he’s making the Stations of the Mad Tyrant run … not EXACTLY the same one as Hitler or Stalin, though I see some similarities with both. But … yeah … he’s gone insane with his loss.

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