Heheheh . Oily bitch .
Phix seems a little less filled with sugar and spice , now .
more like castor oil…
No kidding. She is even speaking harsly to Monica. No “don’t be silly dear.” It’s flat out, “don’t be stupid.” Given all the magic Monica has seen, it wasn’t a stupid question at all. This cruel/rude side of Phix (to Nudge, as well as, Monica) makes her a whole less likeable, yet a whole lot more “real.” And you would think another sphinx would help Phix out and hunt for Nudge as well. I get the feeling Phix is not all that liked among her own kind.
She’s reverting to form/type, so it appears.
…and I’m guessing that it doesn’t matter if she’s “liked” among her kind, because I suspect there aren’t any OTHERS of her kind.
Unless they all died since she was contained in the library, there are as she said she was lowest on the totem pole. That would imply others.
Maybe. For all we know, sphinxes aren’t immortal, just very long-lived.
And all the others might have died while Phix was in stasis in the Library…
Well, to be fair, taking a “don’t be silly, dear” tack now would come across more as patronizing than friendly. A sort of verbal pat on the head with a side order of “hush, child, the grown-ups are talking now,” if you will. Giving M a good first-hand look at centuries of pent-up frustration has the advantage of being honest.
I think you are looking at “If I ever get my hands on the bitch I’ll kill her!” come at long last to fruition. Phix is angry. Nudge has cost her literally millennia. I suspect that as soon as she gets over her snit, and dismembers and eviscerates Nudge, she’ll calm down.
Won’t Nudge’s horns look nice, mounted over the fireplace?
Oh I don’t think she’d stop with the horns. I would see the entire Nudge, stuffed and mounted on a base in some very unflattering pose. Perhaps bent over on all fours and used as a coffee table. Phix could serve tea on a glass top placed on the back. Hollow out the horns, and they would make a fine holder for sugar on one side and cream on the other by tilting the head to dispense. A couch, a couple of chairs, all on an oriental rug, Would be quite nice. Also let others know of the fate awaiting them should they cross her. After all, one needs end tables to go with such an ensemble. And then there is a floor lamp …
Thank you for that image. I just sat back and laughed.
Glad you liked it. Come to think of it, it would be even funnier if she was on her back with her legs and arms straight up and the glass top on those. Head tilted to one side and tongue hanging out the side in a classic cartoon death pose. But then you would lose the horn condiment dispenser and it would be less “classy.”
Except that if Phix is tired of being the Librarian, she needs Nudge alive to resume the role. Phix can punch her, slap her around, choke her, but she can’t kill her or she’s stuck being Librarian forever. Or until she can get someone else to take over…
Phix could not be harmed in the Library while she was trapped there. Thus if Nudge is not truly back in her role as the Librarian of the Library, then Nudge can’t harmed as well. Phix might be able to do cartoon type violence to Nudge. But Phix can’t truly harm her.
Yes indeed. If I had been trapped inside a library for aeons, I’d be a little pyst as well.
Hmmm… very thought-provoking. I still feel kinda sorry for Nudge, but less than I did. Who will the villain of this piece really turn out to be? Hmmm…..
No real villains only victims. Nudge is a Trickster it is her Nature to be the way she is. Phix has been jailed in her stead. That’s like making a police officer serve the sentence of a criminal because she accidentally let them escape. You can’t blame Phix for being ticked off. However, she is angry at the wrong subject. She should be pissed at the other Sphinxes or the Library for not having a rotation of Sphinxes so no one was stuck there quasi permanently. But Nudge is still pushing her buttons… and Phix was already irate.
And having the warden suffer the punishment of an escaped criminal was typical in the “good old days” of the Classical period. There’s even a bible reference to this in Acts 16:25-27.
What – you mean there was no Stolen Glory Act in Classical Greece?
HUH?!?! WA?!?! How’s that again?!?!
Houston, we have a problem.
Why isn’t Oedipus here as well? Isn’t he partly at fault?
He may have eventually been shredded the next time Phixy came out to try to find Nudge.
Bad things happened toOedipus. He might have welcomed Phix in the end. He’s not there ’cause he’s dead and probably in Hades.
Messed up that link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oedipus
How did Nudges eyes suddenly become white?
And talk about a “by the book” bunch. The sphinxes have taken that to a whole new level. If it’s not written down in a book at the library, a given law does not exist anymore? At least for a few moments. What? Do they just forget it for a moment or two? Or do they ignore it?
No… it appears to take a while before a book “reappears” at the Library. And that book was, apparently, the “Book of Laws”, to which was added the punishment of Nudge.
In that brief instant as the book was shredded, Nudge poited away (I’m assuming) and then the book reappeared in the library… and there was a big OOPS heard in Thebes.
Right, but just because the book is destroyed for a few moments, does not mean the laws don’t still exist in the minds of the sphinxes. They would still know what the book says, would they not? Now, how all of them knew the book was shredded and to not enforce the laws for those moments, I have no idea. Unless, of course, all the laws were wiped from their brains, then restored. I would think that would be rather disconcerting. “WTF? Why am I here and what am I supposed to do? ………. Oh yeah!. Come here you! That’s a violation of Demon Law #9738552, subsection 48156, paragraph 773, amendment 22C! Making your host talk with her mouth full! You are hereby fined two nose flicks and a class 4 nuggie!”
No “Spirit of the Law” here, I take it, then…
I’m getting the impression that the library commands the sphinx(es). It’s like a computer running a world in an old Star Trek episode with the sphinx(es) as peripherals. When the book was destroyed, there was no algorithm saying “Keep Nudge here” at the moment.
If Nudge watched Star Trek, all she has to do is take a blank book and write down the paradox the Kirk fed to the one computer to get it to self-destruct.
The idea of the library commanding the sphinxes also is consistent with the sphinxes going after the humans after the *library* became aware of the humans once they started writing.
One bizarre thing is that Phix thinks it is stupid to think that a book could perform magic, but not a building. (I suppose from her point of view, it’s normal.) And we still have
I’m pretty sure, anyway.
Fatuncle isn’t the only person with a foggy brain this morning! I remember I was going to make another point, then deciding to create the link in the first paragraph before I forgot to do that, but I completely forgot about the second paragraph then.
I need more coffee!
…and I was mostly just duplicating what other people had already said anyway. Sorry about that.
Yesterday, I was thinking that the ‘laws’ contained by the book were part of the operating system of the Library, literally shaping the reality inside the Library. That reality would define what Nudge could and could not do, make certain that she could not damage the book binding her, and be automatically enforced until amended or overridden by a ‘system administrator’ (a sphinx or higher rank) with the keys to the op system.
Under that structure, every action described so far makes sense: Nudge was confined by the book’s code, could not change or destroy the code. But she could look at the book, since she couldn’t harm it. And she worked out that she could loaning the book out wouldn’t damage it, and arranged for a sphinx to be tricked into destroying it.
Tells us a lot about the sphinx in question – arrogant, violent, and contemptuous of the humans she is confronting – and Nudge’s understanding of her mindset. And the sphinx, having a book thrown in her face, would have reacted with rage, and destroyed the book. Why not? Books are immortal; the Library reconstitutes them, nothing would be lost, and it wouldn’t have occurred to her that the book wasn’t native to Greece, and probably some charm a local witch-doctor made up.
I had this picture of a curser blinking: “ … System Admin override, code deleted, enter new code … enter new code … time without code amendment exceeded … system reboot … loading saved copy … ALARM ALARM ALARM …” and the sphinx in question suddenly finds herself in the Library.
Now I’m not so sure. This sounds more of a legalistic structure than an actual shaping of reality.
“…she worked out that … loaning the book out wouldn’t damage it, or trigger alarms …” — sorry, this cold is back in force; my head is full of fog.
No…what you’ve got there seems to make sense (meaning the scenario, not the grammar you corrected). After all, Phix said that while that book was not present, there was no law. This makes it sound like a great big server (the Library) has vital information removed, which affects the network it runs (the Sphinxes), but then after a reboot everything’s back…except Nudge, and the server pulls the responsible entity from its network into confinement (kind of like system quarantine).
Makes sense to me… 🙂
I suspect that it was more of a damage-control mechanism. I don’t think the library would reboot just because a book was gone. The book could contain logic so that whoever allowed the librarian to escape would have to replace the librarian. That way the library could ensure that it would always have a librarian. If Phix were placed in quarantine, she couldn’t serve as librarian, I wouldn’t think. Of course, I’m not sure what “librarian” means in this context.
I’d say the book was some sort of security procedure in the Library’s Operating System, invoked by Nudge trying to leave, and preventing it. The routine that detected her leaving tried to invoke it, and Nothing Happened while it was reforming, which is how she was able to flee.
“How did Nudges eyes suddenly become white?”
Because they are bulging out of her head because Phix is choking the sh —, uh, the life out of her?
and she’s scared so her pupils are pinpoints letting in the least amount of the image that scares her into her brain
No . . . in previous pages, the “whites” of her eyes are dark. Bulging or dilation shouldn’t change that.
Laws and the legal system run on technicalities. Forget to read the murderer his rights… he walks etc. If there was no book… there was no law to enforce.
Going back 2 comic, it seems that Nudges eye have been changing since getting knocked out of Tina. In Trickster her eyes are black. Then in Detail Details, Nudge’s eyes are greyish. And in today’s comic they are white.
A light just went on in my addled brain.
…I think I know where the book is. Or, at least, the copy of the book that’s in “reality”.
Or should I say, “Wapsi Square’s best coffee shop ten years running”?
That’s possible. It’s apparently effective even when out of the library. Perhaps it’s sewn into the Day of the Dead doll in the basement.
Think about this: Tina 1.0 was apparently a psychologist (albeit the daughter of a drug lord) who was also familiar with the legal system. Perchance one time she happened upon said book, put the lines that had condemned Nudge into shorthand (or “Glyph”?) and hid it in plain sight.
She may have agreed with Brandi as to the whole suicide thing because she knew that the only way to get rid of Nudge would be to get rid of Jin’s Demon Queen Doubt (and the calendar machine as well).
And I’m betting something or somehow Tina 1.0’s soul might be found somewhere… but where do you “hide” a soul?
In a Muerte doll. But only on dea del Muearte (Please forgive my bad Spanish).
And typo demons………..
“Dias de los Muertos” I believe…there’s 2…the first is for adult spirits and the second is for young ones…or vise versa
We still don’t know what was written in Tina’s diaries. Also, it would be necessary that Tina’s demons’ memories were wiped, otherwise they would have known about the book.
Still, it would be highly coincidental.
Wow, I had to re-read this and the previous page a couple times. I was sort of confused at the details. XD
Heh… Welcome to Wapsi Square, where you’ll get it on your fifth read through.
AFTER going back and reading the archives twice — !
And who reads the archives when you’ve got the books? 😉
Sadly, I don’t have the books.
As I understand it, the books even have information not found in the on-line comics.
You know, I think it’s time for the hard core fans to set up a database of the on-line comics. Any volunteers? As I see it, the task could be done by parceling out the archives in blocks. Each person would fill out an on-line form for each comic, including:
A box for the sequence number of the comic
a box for the date of the comic
a box for a description
a box for the characters in the comic
a box for notes.
a box for the link to the comic in the archives
Then we just need to set up a search page with entry places for the various parameters. The results could be displayed in a Google-like fashion so as to be able to scroll through them.
This is placed into a DB somewhere, and, after the backlog is done, kept up on a daily or weekly basis by one or two people. Not actually storing the comics in the Db should prevent copyright problems. The person who set up my home and picture pages on his site for me could probably do it for us. May even provide the web space (no ads or anything) Waddayathink?
Something along those lines was attempted elsewhere. I won’t go into details. Others who post here know what I’m talking about. The results were that the person behind it was banned from the website.
Hmmm, no good deed goes unpunished I guess. Too bad.
Don’t forget to add “read the comments” to that list. It is kinda like a study group. Even if you read the material it is good to talk it out with others of the group to decide what it actually means.
You’re right, of course, but I have heard much the same thing Joe Minotaur said from others, so it’s not likely to happen anyway.
It sounds like the library is a computer and the laws are computer code. By removing the Book, the computer code that kept Nudge in the Library got removed allowing her to escape, but once the Book, the computer code, reasserted itself, but since Nudge was now gone, An imperfect match was made semi imprisoning Phix in the Library.
This all suspiciously suggests that the sphinx are lawful stupid. They have surrendered their thought process to a set of rules. Their intent may have been good, but I have never seen a system where that works out well.
I would assume you mean “Lawful Good”. However, the anger that she’s showing makes me wonder about that.
Lawful good implies that good is important enough that rules can be bend or scooted aside on occasion for the sake of good. Or that good is important enough that law can be tweaked to support good. This library sounds more like a dumb machine, in that it lacks the capacity to understand good, so it just follows rules.
Actually, Lawful Stupid is a quasi-official term. It refers to someone who adheres to lawful, order-promoting actions, to a fault. Even when doing so clashes utterly with common sense, and even when it’s clearly suicidal to do so. See also Chaotic Stupid, Stupid Good, and Stupid Evil.
Oh, and when she says “the book was gone”, she’s talking about the time between “shredding” and “automatic return to library”.
UncleRice: Very similar thoughts here. But I would think the Library simply carried out the default program, calling in the sphinxes to deal with the missing Librarian. Either Phix was the one who personally tore up the book and was held responsible, or she got caught in the gears. Sort of what you get when the Marines destroy the wrong village — the entire country is held responsible for restitution, the politicians tell the Marines to fix it, the inquiry works down the chain of command to the fool that screwed the pooch and shoots him, and then some poor bastard of a junior officer is told that since the man under his immediate authority screwed up, he is the one that is now responsible for cleaning up the mess.
This is “the poo flows downhill” scenario.
As far as being stupid — I sort of get the idea that the sphinxes are not the ones who set this up — we may be looking at a multidimensional or even multi-universal bureaucracy in which the sphinxes are fairly minor players. Remember, Nudge said the Library became aware of the situation, and dispatched the sphinxes to enforce the law.
Good point. While the sphinxes are making the demons abide by the rules, they are also abiding by someone’s rules as well. Whether they want to or not. Everybody serves somebody. “The Library” seems to be a catch-all term for the ruling structure/class. Kind of makes sense since knowledge is power. Whoever controls the knowledge has the power. This may even superceed the “whoever has the gold has the power” adage.
Militaries and bureaucracies are, in my opinion, by their very nature lawful stupid or lawful neutral (depending on competency) in that the people in them have to some extent subvert their own moral code, sense of right and wrong, and free will to the rules and authority over them. While this is, to some extent, necessary to run a nation, there are inherent dangers involved.
To take your example, if a soldier receives orders to destroy a village and his response is to demand evidence that everyone in that village had done something worthy of death before he pulls the trigger, then that soldier is not going to far well in the hands of his superiors. He has to just follow orders and hope he didn’t choose poorly when he enlisted. If it turns out the village is innocent, when the poo flows down hill (another lawful stupid tradition) and he is made to pay for the mistake of his superior, or perhaps the mistake of enlisting.
The sphinx may wish to be good, but I am seeing glimpses of an organization that lacks the competency to differentiate good and evil very well, with Nudge’s case being evidence prime. Just how big of an Idiot do you have to be to put a criminal in charge of a library.
Also don’t forget the tenant, “might makes right.” Winners write history, losers don’t. Or I should put it this way: very seldom in history is the loser’s point of view expressed in written language. They are usually eliminated(with some surviving artifacts) and relegated to a footnote in the history books such as this group lived in such and such area at such and such time and vanished. What’s important to the Library— what’s written down. Now for another thought, is there an A/V section to the library? Because now more things seem to be recorded in media other than written down.
No, there isn’t an A/V section. At least not audio. That was the explanation for why the library didn’t have Monica’s grandfather’s tapes.
Today, Monica said “you” directly to Phix, so I assume she meant it in the singular. Phix didn’t object, so I’m assuming it was really Phix who destroyed the book. It kind of moots the lowest on the totem pole statement, though. Perhaps that just meant that Phix couldn’t shift the punishment to anyone else. I think it’s more likely that Phix was trying to keep Monica from realizing that she was the one who screwed up, but Monica figured it out anyway. I suspect that Phix is strangling Nudge to keep Nudge from telling Monica anything more.
Sorry for not seeing this earlier. I mostly am thinking along these lines, but I have a couple of other thoughts.
It may be that rather than “surrendering their thought process to a set of rules”, the sphinxes didn’t have much of a thought process to surrender. They aren’t human. Phix seemed to be exercising judgment in her previous dealings with Monica, but that might be something that she developed after being stuck in the library for a long time. Maybe she learned how to think independently from reading books. That might explain her low opinion of the monster she once was.
Nudge seemed to have been selected as the librarian as a punishment. It may have been decided in advance (by whoever built the library) that anyone who allowed Nudge to escape (or killed her?) deserved to be punished by replacing Nudge. That way there would always be a librarian. It seemed to me that Phix was grabbed intentionally. Nudge would have been a better match for Nudge than Phix. Two flaws with my idea, off the top of my head. 1) What if the person who allowed Nudge to escape was mortal? The library would still be without a librarian, eventually. 2) How is it that Phix was allowed to leave to hunt for Nudge, rather than the library just grabbing Nudge the way it grabbed Phix? Can Nudge hide in ways that Phix can’t? I suppose so. If the sphinxes are the longstanding enforcers of the library, I suppose the library can control them remotely.
As to flaw #1, it might be that time is meaningless in the library as it is in the demon world. Thus, even a mortal could be the librarian as he/she would not age while there. Since no harm can come to the librarian while inside, it may also be that they could not even harm themselves, thereby precluding suicide as a means of “escape.”
There is another thing that implies some sort of lack of free will on the part of the sphixes. When Monica asked Tina/Nudge about Phix’s sudden interest in humans, Nudge explained that there weren’t any rogue demons around. It’s as though Phix was avoiding contact with humans because she would have to kill the ones she encountered (or at least those infested by rogues). The only way to avoid this was to avoid any contact in the first place. (Apparently Monica didn’t count and anyone in the library didn’t count or perhaps the riddle was really a test for rogues.) This requirement seemed to terminate once Monica’s doorway was closed, pulling all rogues back into the demon realm.
Heh! Excuse the multiple posts, but lightbulbs are turning on on their own schedule.
So, Phix might have restricted herself to the library, after all. She couldn’t control herself outside the library as long as there might be rogue demons around. She could only come out when there was no one like Monica who would be serving as a doorway for the rogues, I suppose.
Perhaps the idea that Phix punished herself by restricting herself to limbo, rather than the library, came from one of the times when she was out hunting Nudge?
Tomorrow’s update will probably shoot that down, I suppose.
Ah, good point. That was, perhaps, what all those repeats of the phrase “There are no more rogue demons” in the comics meant. Phix was now free from that obligation and could venture about, guilt free. She just need a replacement in the library.
I think she could leave and not even have a replacement as long as she was hunting for Nudge. Being forced to find a replacement before she could investigate a lead might have been too limiting. In any case, there didn’t seem to be a second sphinx waiting for her when she returned this time.
It may be that being a librarian didn’t require 100% attendance. I suppose giving Monica Jin’s book at Monica’s house still counted as serving as the librarian. I’m not sure about the rogue demon problem, though, but perhaps she knew no one else would be at Monica’s house at that moment or maybe Monica was too drunk for her doorway to work.
This storyline is making me sad.
I thought phix honestly regretted what she had done whilst not captive – least she SAID she regretted it whilst she walked past the skulls.
But now..she doesnt seem to regret anything barring getting conned by nudge.
In fact she defends her actions of the mass slaughter.
Not mass slaughter. We’re talking about dealing with rogue demons, not the populace in general. And as I have remarked elsewhere, if you have a pet infected with rabies, you have only one choice.
Seriously? Keep in mind that those were hard, bloody times. Wiping out entire peoples was not unknown. Might the rogue demons had a hand in doing that?
Besides, the day is yet young. Revelations are coming thick and fast.
… have had a hand …
Shutting up now; my brain is rotting and running out my nose.
That’s an excellent description of a cold. Especially a runny nose cold.
Yes, this must be a record for Paul. Normally he would have stretched this sequence of 3 or 4 comics out over a much longer time, adding events and comics to make it occur over several days. In between, he would have changed the venue after Nudge was “removed” and shown some othe things going on. In about a month or so he would have come back for the next revelation about Nudge being the original librarian, then on to something else. Finally coming back in another month or so for today’s comic. This is break neck speed for new information. I could get used to it though.
A scary thought I have is that sometimes she just said “demon infested”. All humans are demon infested, AFAIK. I’m wondering if she or the library were aware of that. The legend said that the sphinx killed everyone on the road; Oedipus was the first person to answer it correctly. If Oedipus just tossed a book at her, he didn’t actually answer it “correctly” either. Maybe it wasn’t possible for humans to answer it “correctly”, but Phix didn’t know that, yet.
Would it be possible to design a riddle that would distinguish between someone with rogue demons compared to normal personal demons? It would be easier to come up with something that would just test for demons. (It might involve a riddle that the demons would know the answer to, so actually the right answer would doom them. That might be another detail the legend got wrong.)
Yeah, this killing everyone doesn’t sit too well with me. That would mean if a family came to the gate and the head of the household answered wrong, everyone in the family was slaughtered. Only the person answering might be infected, but everyone suffered. We need more detail as to what actually happened (according to this story, that is), as opposed to, the legend spawned bu Oedipus.
Oh yes, and if everyone before Oedipus was killed, that would mean that they all were demon possessed. What are the odds of that? Everyone coming to that particular city happened to be “infected?”
If everyone hadn’t been killed, Oedipus would have found it more difficult to pad the story, so I assume that part of the legend was correct.
she didn’t say so she thought so. When no one is reading your thoughts you have no reason to lie…
But she didn’t say what she regretted about her younger self. We assumed it was killing people. Maybe not.
those moments the book was gone…
cause nothing travels faster than light
ir cause the fractured words had to acknowledge their demise
I don’t know. How fast does thought travel? How fast is a poit? And who knows the distance from any point to the library. Perhaps it is right next to all points in “normal” space? Where is the edge of the universe? Do you get there by going a great distance or a great velocity? It may be all around us all the time, we just can’t see it. Cross the light barrier, and (perhaps) there you are! And so too is the library (and many other wonders).
I like how they are both looking at Monica. I think Nudge’s expression, however, may be saying; “Please save me from this psycho cat-bird thing! See how cute I can be?”
It may also be, “Please stop asking questions for a moment and remind Phix that I need to breathe.”
Ya know….. everything else aside, I am somewhat concerned that we have not seen Tina.
I’m a bit more concerned that today is Dias de los Muertes.
oooo…. Very good point.
Actually… today is All Saints Day, tomorrow is Día de los Muertos… hopefully Tina will make an appearance, even if it means it’s a really creepy moment.
Is Monica about to ask for the book?
Hmm what i still like: even through Phix is letting out anger stowed away for over 1000 years, she still does reacts to Monikas Input. And although she is oblivious pissed she is not threating Monika to go away or something else like that.
Book Her, Phix. Law of The Book book Her.
Don’t forget, Monica has yet to look through Tina’s diary…
I’m still waiting for Tina’s input. It may be crucial to Nudge’s ultimate fate.
Better yet, Tina 2.0s demons all come out and meet Monica as they give their opinion! There’s a crowd scene I’d love to see!
…It would probably be in poor taste to tell this joke I found on tvtropes, but here goes anyways- “What did the Sphinx say when Oedipus solved its riddle?” “MOTHER****ER!”
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