ohhh kaaay, Nudge was the original Librarian. Didn’t see that one coming. also don’t see any of the comments that were here a few seconds ago. anyway Now I’m wondering why Nudge was pushing M to bring Amanda to the bibliothiki?
Hey, mine went too, and for once I did not make like a grammar nazi. Not once did I allude to elude!
A librarian is always for people going to the library. 😉
As a replacement, of course.
Nudge wasn’t specifically pushing Monica to take Amanda to the library, just to take her with her wherever she went. Monica had indicated that the library was a possibility, not a certainty. Nudge didn’t say anything that indicated that she was thinking about the library, specifically.
Now we get to the heart of the matter!
Glad that Phix wasn’t going to kill Nudge, though I’m not sure she realizes all of the consequences, or even all of the details.
… and BAM! Another twist excellently delivered by the master.
Que plot twist music … Dun Dun DUNNNNNNN!!!
THAT was so going to be my post!!LOL I LOVE IT!
See? This is why you have to stay up for the update. Ya snooze, ya lose.
Paul, you’re a genius. This is a ninety-degree bend in the story that I never saw coming. And it’s only Wednesday!
OK, Tina seems to be well, Phix powered down to smaller scale, and solicitous of her, so the force of that punch went where it would do the most good. I would guess that Nudge is down for the count, and out cold.
Phix’s wording implies involuntary servitude. This raises so many questions I don’t even know where to start.
Was Phix Nudge’s jailer? Assistant? What?
Was Phix forced to take her place for all those years?
How the heck did Nudge elude capture for so long. She has no clue when to shut that big mouth of hers. She had a good thing going with the Tina demons and blew it by talking. Even reveling herself to Monica.
Will she now shape shift into her true form … a sphinx?
Opps, that should have gone with Fatuncle’s comment, above.
Hell, maybe this whole thing is about nothing more than a really long term contract that Nudge couldn’t get out of! I can see her now; “I’ve been at this bleeding job for 250,000 cycles, and I’m going to have to stay here another 1,300,613² at least — screw this! You let these oversize housecats turn their back for two seconds and I am gone.”
The form she came out with looked like a Satyress, since most Satyr folk are portrayed as sniveling and sneaky critters, that could be definite propaganda via the Library.
Or maybe Nudge got lucky.
If Nudge were the “original” Librarian, that would make her older than the Shinxes and trapped there by an even more ancient deity.
I guess it depends on what original refers to here. The original for that particular branch, or the original for the entire library system.
Is there a system?
Yes, and with that many books, they are certainly all connected in L-space.
Yes, She was trapped there by a deity named “Paul”.
By the exposition given by another demon, all of them are older than our universe. So by extension Phix is at least tens of billions of years old.
Not necessarily. The demons have been around that long, but the sphinxes may have simply been doing their thing on a generational basis, the younger taking over from the old/dying. They obvioulsy live a very long time, but perhaps not that long.
Also, all we can say about Nudge is she has been around at least as long as the library (branch or whatever) has existed. How long before that, who knows. The “Library” may not have always existed either. It could be the result of some sort of conflict between the demons and some beings. The beings decided to bring order to what may have been continunal chaos with the demons running wild in species after species for untold ages. It could be the demons picked on the wrong species (sphinxes or whatever) at some point and got their collective patooties kicked.
You do come up with the most interesting ideas …
This Library hasn’t existed that long, comparatively speaking.I have gathered that what we think of as The Library is itself a local, specialized collection, concerning itself with the writings of humanity. There may be something much, much bigger just the other side of a poit.
True, but I didn’t say the library was around that long or that Phix always was its librarian (obviously she was not.) But Sphinxes has been around long enough to make demons instinctively afraid of them, and it has been implied that demons are immortal. So if demons don’t die, then why should sphinxes?
Countless generations of sphinxes could have been hunting demons for a very long time. It’s not that the demons in Tina were afraid of Phix per se, but sphinxes in general. Thus, they need not be immortal to be instinctivly feared by demons.
Maybe one (or more) of the Great Old Ones? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Old_One
Sphinxes! I hate it when I misspell and only notice it when I hit post!
That’s how the typo demons work: they hide until taht millisecond before hitting “Post Comment”
Is taht so?
Yes, of cousre it is! 😉
Holy sweet jeebus!! Now THAT’S a twist.
Aww, but I’m so glad to see Phix comforting Tina. Poor girl’s been through a lot.
I notice Tina isn’t saying, “oh, that’s Ok.” I think Phix can expect a little something “extra” in her coffee for a while.
Tina may now be without her motivating force – although, I think Phix would know that, and wouldn’t attempt casual plot exposition.
I’ll bet when she got her ‘false positive’ (Thanks to Nudge) it precipitated her crisis of consience, prompting her to volunteer for Library duty, freeing Nudge of her responsibility.
Tina said she tricked the sphinxes (plural). I think there is more to it than that.
@SoWhyMe: Phix drinks tea. Maybe she’ll give her coffee to brew the tea with instead of hot water, though.
I don’t think you want to do that with tea and coffee.
You duplicated my link. Did you mean to link to something else?
I figure she (and I mean the whole group) is still rather stunned. She’ll shake it off.
But I’m not sure she’d get really upset anyway. She was trying to defend Phix’s actions for the cut on her chin a few pages ago. Of course this was a little more fightening than the chin-cut, but I still doubt Tina will be that upset. Even if she is she probably wouldn’t show it. She’s still fears Phix.
Monica on the other hand will probably be a little less collected.
I think you’re right. Tina will be fine, and will likely forgive Phix for scaring the heck out of her since it performed a service. Don’t forget, The Collective has already confronted Nudge in a “who are you and why are you here” kind of way. It almost sounded like they wanted her out waaaay back then.
I don’t agree with the theories about Nudge’s removal being the end of a functioning Tina. Afterall, Nudge was the impetous to get them moving, but she’s not been in control of Tina the whole time. To me, the confrontation in Tina’s home between Nudge and Collective suggested that they would be perfectly capable of functioning on their own.
Monica, OTOH, will probably need MUCH more explanation before she’s “okay” with what just happened.
All of that said, it does make me concerned for Tina that she didn’t turn to look at Monica the way Phix did. She must be in some incredible state of shock…
im gonna ignore the million and twenty-two questions this gives me and just enjoy the ride 🙂
Wait , what ?
uuuh …. …
… umm …
…….. ummmmmmm …
I’ll go with the “my mistake that she got away, I’ll take care of the Library ’till she is found and brought back” guess on Phix.
And now the tag you are it makes a lot more sence xD
HA! I’d already forgotten that line. You’re totally right! 😀
How about, “Heh, if only?” 🙂
BTW, Tina better be OK for her cat’s sake.
Tina has had swirly eyes before…these look more like she stepped in the ring with Tyson and got her bell rung, not like she is now “vacant” of any animating force. At least I hope this makes the “real” Tina surface — maybe she really didn’t die, but her soul/psyche was so damaged/traumatized the demons were able to take over…
Wait, I’m lost. Who the F is Nudge? Link to first/significant appearance?
http://wapsisquare.com/comic/change-things-up/. The rest of Tina’s demons were talking to Nudge earlier on April 7, but Nudge hadn’t been named at that point. Beyond that, whenever Tina talks in gray text, which started very early on, that means a demon is talking without going through the committee, but I don’t think Nudge is the only one that does that. I’m also not sure that Nudge is really a personal demon.
Nudge is not likely to be a personal demon if she was the original Librarian.
Well, I assumed she was a demon librarian, and thus concluded she was the one who might have wanted to keep a record of all humanity’s writing…for some reason…and how/why the Sphinxes came to take it over would be a very interesting plot arc, if it is indeed the case…
I think it’s possible that demons are responsible for humans being able to write in the first place. On October 21, Nudge says that the demons discovered that humans were “intelligent enough,” but she doesn’t indicate for what. She indicated that humans developed the ability to write afterward. It seemed as if Monica couldn’t do anything without her demons, so could any other humans have done anything without theirs? OTOH, the way Nudge worded things, it was as if the library wasn’t expecting humans to start writing.
Paul implied in a comment that Nudge was a demon when he said that Tina’s gray text meant a demon was speaking before going through the filter of the committee. It could be that Nudge hadn’t said anything before that point or that Paul was simplifying things, though.
That could be, eschmenk. Perhaps it is the ability to write (bestowed by the demons) that alerts the Library to the existance of demons someplace new in the universe, since they get a copy for the first time then. That way the sphinxes don’t have to track them down.
@eschmenk – I didn’t say she wasn’t a demon of some sort. 🙂 Just that it’s not likely she’s a “personal demon” such as we’ve seen before. It would be hard to be someone’s personal demon if you’re running a library…at least it would be for me…
At this point, I’m not even sure she is a demon.
Perhaps we have been using the wrong definition for “demon” all along … maybe it doesn’t mean the same thing in this mythology as in, say, Christianity …
That’s pretty much as I see it, Fatuncle. The religious definition is a gross distortion of what demons actually do (as presented in this story, that is). No fire pits of endless torture, just demons providing traits intelligent creatures need to move above simple creatures. All within limits as determined by the giver/enforcer of the laws, whoever/whatever that may be.
Probably you have been, fatuncle . . . I don’t believe Nudge is a demon. Rather, I think zie’s a daimon, which is another kettle of marine beings altogether.
(For an interesting take on Daimons and what they do and what they’re for, see Robertson Davies’s What’s Bred in the Bone.)
hmmm just wait… I’m betting there is another angle to this that won’t come out for a good three years or so.
Now, now, be nice.
I didn’t take Taz’s comment as a complaint.
Well? At two panels a comic, it’s gonna take a long time to develop the story without huge dialog balloons. Taz’s comment may not have been nice, but it does reflect the past story arcs and the apparent pace of this one.
That being said, I would NOT want Paul the hurry the story along in any way. I don’t want him to leave out a single detail, no matter how long that takes. I’m settled in for the long haul in any event and, as we all know, it’s all about me.
Yeah….what Monica said…
Wow, I have been trying to make sense of yesterdays images….wow. You guarenteed yesterday that the first thing i did this morning is pull up the site for the next installment. LOL
Time to update the “Moment of Awesome” list!
Who’s keeping that, anyways? (Lemme guess, TVT?)
Actually, I kind of liked ‘alluding’. It suggested Wapsi Square style weirdness… Anyway, since my previous comment disappeared, I repeat I’m glad to see Tina remains among the Not Dead and continues to possess a head. And I really think someone should be watching Nudge, to make sure she doesn’t get up and get away unexpectedly. Also, I note Phix’s really nice black dress went from giant to normal size along with her without bagging or creasing. Obviously, a wizard did it. ^_^
“And I really think someone should be watching Nudge, to make sure she doesn’t get up and get away unexpectedly …”
That occurred to me about 0400 this morning — this being Wednesday. A nice Friday cliffhanger would be everyone looking around to see Nudge has vanished.
I believe “one size fits all, has been taken to new extremes by the Sphinxes to accomodate their size variation capabilities.
I also think, once physically in the library, she is trapped there, period. She is already locked up with nowhere to run. Besides, it may take a week or so to wake up from that punch.
You know, I hadn’t thought of that. Could Nudge be physically trapped in the Library unless she is riding a host? A human, that abused access? that permitted Nudge to ride him/her out the door? Is that how she got out?
I think Nudge may have been the one who sent the sphinxes out to kill the rogue demons and their hosts. Nudge said that the rogues caught the attention of the library and sphixes were sent out. She avoided saying who actually decided to do that (not surprising if it were her), but since she was the librarian, and if the sphinxes worked for the library, it probably would have been here. At the very least, she probably alerted whoever decided to send the sphinxes that humans existed and were being infested with personal demons.
I still don’t know what Phix meant by “Blame that on Nudge!” Blame what on Nudge? It’s clearer that it could mean Phix banishing herself to the library, but it might also include the sphinxes killing humans in the first place. I wonder if Nudge provided the answer to the riddle to a human or the riddle itself to the sphinxes (unlikely) or went AWOL or provided incorrect information instead of helping Phix when Phix was stumped by the answer.
Well, I guess that explains why nudge was making all of those suggestions; it was part of her old job description.
Well…I wanted to know yesterday what Monica’s reaction would be when she got past the “Uh…buh?” stage…and she’s not much more coherent than that today. 🙂 Then again, it is pretty obvious she’s not so happy about what just went down.
Is it cruel of me to enjoy seeing her have reality turned on its head over and over again?
No, because if you didn’t enjoy it, you wouldn’t be here reading the comic. 😉
It had to happen eventually. She hasn’t yet seen the worst of it either. The real predator-prey (sphinx-demon) thing is likely very messy and mind damaging unpleasant. I would imagine there are things in the demon world that would cause Monica to go off the deep end for life. Things no mere mortal is prepared to witness. Not even a glyph reader.
It’s when you enjoy seeing her get her guts ripped out and wound around her head that we might worry about you. That’s more like something I would enjoy.
@jwhouk – Thanks. 😛
@SoWhyMe – I don’t know…while that is generally gross and potentially disturbing, I have a tendency to make things like that ridiculous and harmless in my mind (if still a trifle disturbing).
Take the variation you proffered. My brain immediately took that and turned it into her tying her own guts around her head like a bandana à la the original Karate Kid movie…then staring down whoever tore the guts out in the first place as if to say “Bring it on, @$$hole!”
Besides…what you suggested is the kind of thing that rakes in big bucks at the box office these days.
Ok, I can buy that. I forgot to mention I only enjoy it when it happens to female characters. That’s what makes it “harmless” in my mind.
Well, dang…my posts from last night have been removed. And I had so much insight to offer…tell you what, I’ll repeat my comment here:
Aha! now I understan—wait, what?? ummmm…….huh?
Hey, thanks for that! That sort of fills in the blanks for me!
That’s funny, the last time a sphinx punched a demon out of me it was in a library! I mean, what are the odds!
Two good ones in a row, sco3tt, you were on a roll!
Hmm. I think I’d rather have a sphinx as a librarian than a demon. If it’s OK with you…
Are those my only choices?
Well, if Nudge is placed in durance vile, and Phix doesn’t want to continue with the job, perhaps Tina will take the position.
I hope not, she’s great as the looney barista.
Of course: Sphinx or demon. Or, possibly, a demonic sphinx. Or even, just perhaps, a sphinxish demon.
Heh. And I’ll bet the original Tree of Knowledge was pulped to make the first book after the “apple” fell. And I’m thinking a “Satire” is as good as any for a librarian.
That actually makes some sense. More than the library does right now.
What I wonder is why is everything in the form of books or scrolls? Even we, the backwards little creatures we are, have made strides to contain our books in much denser form, like disks. Are the Sphinxes not more advanced? Would not they have found even better ways to compress that information into smaller spaces? What about books that exist only on disks? Books never printed out. Does the Library have disk copies of those as well? What they get is not the original, so trying to preserve it in it’s original form makes little sense. I suppose the library we see could be is just a virtual thing, with the actual data stored elsewhere. Whatever is held in one’s hand as a book could be a virtual, extra dimensional, creation for the convenience of the borrower. That would explain the disintegration of the book in certain circumstances. It’s really only a copy made from something held together by some controlling device(s) (sort of like holo-solid things in Star Trek’s holodeck). The book is connected to the controller/generator and can be “turned off” when it reports improper activity going on. Still, we do possess disk technology, so it would have been better for Monica to get a disk which would have been searchable than a book. Easier to keep away from grabby hands like Shelly’s too.
Or maybe the Sphinxes are juat hard core traditionalists.
I hope they’re traditionalists. It’ll be a sad day in this world when the words-on-paper book is gone for good. I, for one, damn sure wouldn’t wanna live in it.
I don’t know. As things are going now, books in their current form may only be a quaint couriosity in a hundred years. Look at vinal records, hand written mail, and film pictures and super-8 home movies. Then there is the internet. I think most advanced civilizations eventually go the digital route and abandon books as a publishing tool. It takes new generations to grow up with the new tech and consider it the new norm, but it will happen. You only feel as you do because you are part of the chain of history that has grown up with the current book format. They won’t be all that special to future genarations.
Bah! Books should not be replaced just because other technology exists (says the hardcore bibliophile)! Besides, while the Library contains “copies” of everything that was written, I’d imagine it shows up in original format, and we “advanced” humans are still printing books.
If I remember correctly, the comic implied that everything written appears in the Library…not that they obtain a copy. Plus, it also seemed implied that these books cannot be destroyed (even though they’ll poof in your hands if handled in anger). Therefore you end up with a large Library filled with books and scrolls.
I imagine there could be a section for digital entries, but it’s probably teeny in comparison with the rest of the Library, which could explain why we haven’t seen it.
I’m with you. Especially if the library (bibliothiki) has infinite space for storage. One big advantage of books: as long as there is light, there is no other need for readout. We’ve already seen data lost in other media when they get orphaned. And the cycle seems to be picking up speed: punch and magnetic tapes lasted, what, 20+ years? Then floppy disks for 10-15 (in various formats), now CDs, and even DVDs are on the way out.
And then there is data decay. Good ink on rag paper lasts centuries. Computers have yet to even show their digital formats last more than a decade or two. Some have shown that they don’t.
Not that the bibliothiki couldn’t be equipped to handle the problems.
Given that the physical manifestation of the books is indestructible (as has been demonstrated), it seems likely that the library is an all print-on-demand affair, with the books stored in some aetheric form. It wouldn’t be vulnerable to storage media changes, since presumably the sphinxes, glyph readers, et al, are technologically advanced to the point of indistinguishability from magic. It is only when a technology is not yet mature that it mutates as our irl storage media do.
Good point about the mature technology–hadn’t considered that.
like you, I intended to point out that books have vastly superior durability compared to any other data storage format.
And given the tendency of document types and formats to decay, I’ve taken to keeping everything in .txt files, and not worrying about formatting until I decide I want to print it. That’s one of the things I learned reading manuals for either TeX, LaTeX, or LyX … forget which one.
So is it just me, or is Monica channeling a demon now?
Seems like the shadow profile and white eyes, along with the squiggly word bubble suggest that…
She is silhouetted against the lights. Notice her shadow. Also, remember that her eyes can light up as they did in Tina’s shop’s basement.
That said, Paul draws symbolically. It could indicate that negative thoughts and doubt that are building up inside Monica. Perhaps it’s also an indication that Nudge can’t draw away the darkness the way she seemed to do earlier. Perhaps it just reflects the general atmosphere.
Anyone keeping an eye on Nudge at this point? I know it would be difficult to quickly recover from the Holy Psychic Punch of Antioch, but just in case…
Ok, I really want to know how this library works now. Is it a prison? Was Nudge a slave, or a prisoner? I can certainly understand the need to get out of the library to deal with some issues in person on occasion. Maybe the failure to have multiple librarians is why she had to sneak out. I wonder if they have a book on labor laws?
I think Brandi described Phix’s self-banishment to the library as being in a hell of Phix’s own making. It didn’t sound like a fun place to me. I don’t know if Brandi was referring to something more than the library, though.
Perhaps this was more the hell part than the Library itself?
Could be. She probably has that room as a constant reminder of how she was.
Interesting she said “In my youth.” This indicates they are born, mature, and, probably die of old age at some point. Perhaps she is only as “old” as she is because she was in the library for so long. Like the demon realm, I think time means nothing there. Her contemporaries back on the home world may be long gone by now.
…picking jaw off floor – Paul, you are a master story teller!
Thank you too, eschmenk, for the links you posted – did you notice that, in Haveusback and in Monsteriwas, the wall for both Monica and Phix is skulls???
Same wall of skulls? Or, separate? For Phix, I conjecture those are the skulls of her victims – but Monica’s wall, if it is a different wall?
Paul, methinks you are setting us up for a multidimensional plot twist here, dang your excellent story-writing skills!!! 🙂
OK, that was totally unexpected. I take comfort only in that I’m in good company. Paul, you’re a master storyteller – and it’s so hard to wait for each new instalment!
The plot, as a fat man’s arteries, doth thickens.
It is bad that that made me snicker? X3
Only if you’re a fat man with thick arteries.
I think I’m good then. XD
That’s me, all over. But I only dwell on it in the middle of the deep dark, around 4am or so.
So tomorrow’s comic will be Nudge explianing how she convinced all the other demons to form Tina as she could hide her signature energy in a legion easier followed by Friday’s cliff hanger of everyone else poit-ing in with Diesel and Nudge shouting “and I would have gotten away with it if it hadn’t been for you meddling kids and your dog!”
If the Nudge is the original Librarian, either she knows how to get out, or is now trapped inside as per her de-frocking. But, she might still be out cold, too.
Hm… I was just wondering…
Is the fact that Nudge having been the librarian at one point the reason for her being able to stump Phix when answering her riddle?
Being surrounded by all the knowledge for who knows how long… I would assume it would give a person an intellectual edge (that is of course if Nudge was ever interested in reading all that info).
Phix could have banished herself to the library to educate herself more having been rather vexed that Nudge outsmarted her. While I’m rather certain that this isn’t going to be the real backstory, I think it’s an interesting idea.
That’s a thought. Perhaps at the time, Phix thought that Nudge was still in the Library, and then she got an answer that neither a human nor demon could give, went back to check on why — and discovered Nudge was gone.
Wait a minute. I thought Bob Newhart and Noah Wylie were the Librarians.
Holy.. Wow. Seriously Paul, you know how to keep me on the edge of my seat.
I love this webcomic. It’s taken over another one at my favourite. Fantastic stuff.
And PHIX. Jeez, she scares me and is awesome at the same time!
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