Ahh–she uses her trickster outlook to help people.
Isn’t that against the rules?
If it was, they shouldn’t have stuck her with the job in the first place. And she held the job for a very long time …. hmm.
At least Nudge has a friend in court.
If it was a punishment, as Phix said, then Nudge must have breaking some rules. I suspect the rules were “Don’t annoy us.”
If it weren’t a punishment, why did Nudge escape?
She may have escaped to further a personal agenda, the nature of which we are now receiving additional hints.
Nudge didn’t escape. She went on vacation!
I didn’t mean the rules of the library so much–though that was a good point. I meant the rules of being a trickster!
Perhaps , but I’d say she’s making her case that she’s been helpful in her dealings with Monica and co , for the most part . Being the itchy , uncomfortable voice of reason , that generally points folks folks in the right direction , after giving them a certain measure of perspective .
If you deceive someone into facing the reality they were avoiding, thus allowing them to fix their problem, have you done evil?
Guidance is part manipulation and part motivation — and giving someone a nudge….
What do you mean by “people”? I don’t think Nudge was particularly talking about humans. I think Nudge made the powers who created the library angry by tricking them into seeing things that they didn’t want to see. That was probably against their arbitrary rules. I don’t know why else Phix would say, “She pissed off enough that they locked her here in the library.” She must have really been locked in, because Paul confirmed that she escaped in the short time when the book didn’t exist before it was recreated.
I would disagree with Jim in that I don’t think Nudge was particularly talking about Monica or Monica’s friends. But I do think she is saying that does that in general.
…so she’s arguing that she helped Phix find her dream job..?
I think Nudge is exaggerating her harmlessness, but she has a point — her name is quite accurate.
She didn’t say she was harmless. She just said she didn’t mislead anyone. ;3
I think Monica is trying to pull nudge’s horn off
One Hell of a filing system…often thought our local library had a difficult system
I wonder has any of Nudge’s “advice” lead to anyone being harmed by it? Being annoying shouldn’t be worth imprisonment for eternity. It sounds like the higher being flexed their might just because they could.
And did Nudge’s neck get longer in the first panel? Maybe I wasn’t too far off of Nudge being a cartoon, or something.
And with Moncia’s help Nudge is doing it again to Phix. Getting Phix to look at Nudg’e antics in a different light. And Phix it looking like she’s not liking the answer.
Yes Nudge’s neck is definitely longer in panel 1 than panel 2, also longer in panel 1 than in previous pages.
It might be that Phix is compressing the upper part of Nudges torso as well as the neck in the first panel. This would force the shoulders downward giving the impression of a longer neck.
Some people have a significant investment in the status quo. Especially those in power. If she was causing people to rethink things in an inconvenient manner, the Authority may have labeled her a trickster and imprisoned her in an attempt to stop her meddling.
Or maybe Nudge wasn’t always so careful/artful and did some real damage.
What is is it with Nudge’s eyes? They’ve definitely been changing over the past 4 strips: black to grey to white w/ big irises, and now to white with smaller irises.
The eyes are windows to the soul. [or lack there of] It might be part of Nudge’s deceptions or truths that it speaks.
Or it might just be the fact that she’s running out of oxygen in her brain… : /
True, true! Several comic art books emphasize drawing the eyes and emotion, because, as one book puts it, “the character lives in it’s eyes!”
I think the irises are about being choked, but I wouldn’t be shocked if the black-towards-white thing was just a change of mind for how her eyes ought to look. It could also be the choking, and it may be something Nudge can change at will (mayhap to help her look more pathetic for her pleading). Maybe we’ll even find out someday. 😀
It may simply be Paul just forgot to fill them in, and then decided they look better that way. I think they do, anyway.
Mood corneas? 😀
I have to lend my voice to the chorus worried about Tina. Here we are in the second week and still T hasn’t made a peep or anything. For all we know she could be catatonic on the floor…
Or wisely staying out of the way. There’s an angry Phix on the loose, and Tina may not yet feel safe making any attempt to intervene…
Good point. Simply not being in the frame does not mean she is inanimate. She could have gotten up and stepped away from the confrontation. After all, she is frightened by Phix, a really good reason to keep her mouth shut.
I have a hunch that she’ll finally come to and step in…perhaps even in defense of Nudge, though her fear of Phix may make that less likely.
She’s either frozen without Nudge to offer locomotion – which I think will provide a ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ card for Nudge, since Monica both likes and needs Tina, or the demons -who have been harboring a fugitive- are laying very, very low in the presense of an angry spinx who can do them real and lasting harm.
Hmmmm … OK, so Nudge may have become more than a librarian. She might have been helping people using her inate trickster abilities to allow others to find what the really need from the library; not what they think they needed. She may have been doing that to the sphinxes as well. They didn’t like it so they put her there. They also seem to be a no-nonsense type creature, who don’t really like radical ideas very much. New ways of looking at things may have made them very uncomfortable, questioning the stuff they were doing and the wider moral implications of it. Sort of a collective muse and conscience to them. When you’re a hit-being for the “Library mob”, having your conscience get to you isn’t helpful to your bloody task. Phix has, obviously changed from who she was when sent sent out to do her thing. How much was Nudge’s doing in that? Could it be that her ultimate trick was to get a sphinx to actually question herself for the first time in history? Did she succeed with Phix and will that bring about a sea change with the sphinxes in general?
Also, why is Monica holding onto the horn?
I think Monica was trying to pull Nudge away from Phix at first. It’s as if Phix released her grip on Nudge enough for Nudge to breathe and/or talk, then Monica pushed Nudge’s head back to a level position, or at least stopped pulling. Maybe she’s holding on in case she needs to start pulling again, as if that’s going to do any good against Phix.
I don’t think Nudge did anything to Phix, though. After all, Nudge was hiding from her the whole time.
I see. You may be right. Any tugging would be purely symbolic. It might also be Monica is presently being lifted off the ground a bit by Nudge straightening her head, she hanging on without really realizing what she is doing.
Oh, I know! Phix and Monica are thinking about creating Nudge bobblehead dolls and wondering how they would look. Monica is thinking in terms of plastic nicknacks, but Phix is planning on using original parts for one life-sized one to be placed in the library.
I wonder if Paul will go into more of the origin of the sphinx “race” at some point? At least as he sees it. So many questions. Did someone create the first one by some sort of genetic manipulation, it being such a cross breed? Why is it composed of earth creatures? Are there other typs of sphinxes for other worlds made from their creatures? Is there a male of the species for reproduction, or are more made as needed? Do they come into being fully formed, or do they grow up, being cloned at a cellular level and then born? Is there a society of them somewhere raising the young? Do they attend school or is information impressed into them in some manner? I wonder if anyone has written fantasy books on such a subject?
Who “made” them, if they are indeed made? Who dispatched them?
A very distant ancestor of Dr Seuss?
Heeheehee….indeed! That MUST be it! 🙂
Has it occurred to anyone else that Phix is a golem? Purpose made as a guardian for the Library? After all, the only other guardians we know — and only those guardians – share a great many attributes with Phix — and no one else in this tale.
I was thinking about the sphinxes being made for the library, but I can think of three issues with Phix being a golem. What would Phix have meant by the monster she was in her youth? She seemed to be looking at a statue of a sphinx at the time she said that, so I assumed that she meant as a young sphinx. Would she think of herself of aging once she already was a golem? Would she have been created to match her original form? Tepoz wasn’t.
FWIW, I don’t know that the sphinxes were guardians. I think the term “enforcer” was used recently, rather than “guardian”. To me, “enforcer” implies it is being used in more of an offensive capacity, while a guardian would be used in a defensive capacity. That’s neither here nor there, though. I was about to use Maya as a counter-example, but come to think of it, she was created to be an enforcer-type golem.
One way in which the most of the golems behaved differently than the sphinxes was in the way they rebelled. Neither Maya nor the GGGs obeyed the priests. It may be that whoever created the sphinxes was more competent, however. All of the known golems have seemed very willing to retire. I don’t think that Phix had the chance to do that, so IDK.
The known golems were affected by the time loops, with the exception of Maya who was in the demon realm where she couldn’t be affected and Jin, who was already a special case before she was turned into a golem. The books in the library weren’t affected either, so I guess as long as Phix was there when the loop occurred, she wouldn’t have been affected, either.
Ah, one difference, though: All of the other golems could try, to the best of their ability, to stop the time loops. Phix couldn’t and didn’t for some reason. Apparently, she couldn’t even tell them everything that she knew. Perhaps it was done at Brandi’s request, but it wasn’t really explained.
eschmenk: Let me chase down the chain of reasoning, as best I can recall it. It kicked off several months ago, when I got to wondering about Mayahuel.
Mayahuel came up with two astonishing leaps of knowledge, and the application of them: the manipulation of time, and the making of golems. From personal experience, a lot of new concepts are in fact the result of a very inventive mind putting together generally available concepts in entirely new patterns. Ever see a series of TV shows called Connections?
Mayahuel wanted to know how to gain enough power, in the military sense of the word, to take the calendar machine away from the priests of Lantis. She created golems, which was really weird if you think about it, paid a horrible price to be turned into one, grabbed the calendar machine and fled. The chimera was the adaptation of her ideas by the priests, and they were arrogant enough, and stupid enough, not to mention viciously cruel enough in their methodology, to build a monster to serve them, and it Chernobyled on them.
Were her ideas the adaptation of existing concepts? If so, where did she find them?
What if Mayahuel had access to the Library? What if the calendar machine and golems were adaptations of existing knowledge? What applications of this technology did she see?
I have always been struck by the similarity in design between Phix and the Chimera. Perhaps Mayahuel saw a sphinx? A designed entity, created to enforce the Library’s rules, and to stand guard over its interests? A design that was better made, and more focused on the job for which it was created, and much less willing and able to have its own agenda than a golem made with the emotional baggage of a human life bound into it? Perhaps a design that had no pre-existing life in the matrix?
We have never seen Mayahuel morph into a non-human form, but there is nothing in the story so far to indicate that she didn’t when she took the calendar machine. If she had done so, it would have impressed the hell out of the priests. And when they went to build their own, if her notes included observations on sphinxes, wouldn’t the priests attempt to work from them?
If you research golems, you will find that in the original mythology they were not in any way animated by anything but written words – spells. The idea of binding pre-existing life into the creature seems to be something Mayahuel came up with. Not understanding the basic concepts, they would have used the notes as a cookbook, working by rote, and so first created a golem, not from scratch, but from a sacrifice, as Mayahuel was burned alive to create a golem’s animating force – not realizing that doing so was not in the original design, but Mayahuel’s idea, designed to introduce a basic flaw – the ability of the golems to break free of their handlers … precisely the modification that permitted Maya to make off with the calendar machine.
If Phix pre-existed the other golems in this tale, the constrictions and controls built into her would be different, and her behavior unlike the other golems.
Interesting! That makes a lot of sense, now that you mention it.
So the experiment that resulted in Tepoz was probably not to test creating golems as much as it was to test the modification that allowed a sacrifice to be integrated into a golem. It would be neat if we could identify some animal behaviors that he retained. Maybe he was a monkey or small ape of some kind given the way he collected bananas. 🙂
So, if Phix is a normal, plain golem, it’s interesting that she has developed as much free will as she has. She can feel regret as well as other emotions. Even if she couldn’t resist the command that required her to kill any possibly rogue infested humans that she encountered, I suspect she did eventually decide to restrict herself to the library whenever she would have been likely to encounter rogue-infested people outside it.
Regarding Mayahuel, I have always assumed that she could turn herself into an agave plant. She probably would have had other forms more suitable for stealing the calendar machine, though.
Nudge: “Ack. Monica – not helping hanging on to Nudge’s horn. Urk.”
Paul – ‘They’re the ones who….” Plural 🙂
I don’t think so. Librarian is singular. If she had said “job of the librarians”, it would have been plural. In this case, I think it is being used as a title.
I mentioned it because the “they’re” in the sentence was plural; the two halves of the sentence weren’t balanced. It, however, has been a looooong time since my last grammar class, and you may be correct.
I think “they” is used here as an indefinite gender indicator. Rather than saying “he or she.”
In this context, “they’re” is not plural – it’s used instead of “he’s” or “she’s” in a gender-neutral manner since it refers to “librarian”, which might be anyone.
(Or. apparently, anything…)
My, this is almost as convoluted as the Calendar Machine.
Phix: “Doh! Now, after over 2000 years, somebody finally tells me what my job description was! I could have sworn the employee manual said ‘jail sentence’, though. Maybe I should have double-checked with my supervisor.”
I was beginning to realize yesterday that Phix doesn’t seem to have the ability to control her actions completely (partial free will?), but I had no idea she was this clueless. I guess she was just the dumb muscle that the library used as a lethal enforcer. We thought she talked like a Brit. Maybe she had more of an Austrian accent.
See my comment 07:13 above — Phix may be behaving as she was created to behave.
I think you have a point Fatuncle…
I agree. It was said that the ‘sphinxes were dispatched’ to deal with rogue demons… so, someone was giving them orders. This is what she was designed and used for -hunting and destroying. That she’s done anything differently, that she’s listening, is most likely a result of her time at the Library and the different interactions she’s had outside the reach/influence of the other sphinx.
I would really like to know who the beings are who give the sphinx their orders and locked Nudge in the Library in the first place. Do they still exist? Are there still other sphinx?
She wasn’t created to be the librarian. So are you saying her problem was that she was forced into a role that she wasn’t built for? She couldn’t understand her new role at all?
She seemed to have some understanding in the past. Did something change, or was she being helpful to Monica for completely different reasons? I suppose she could have been motivated by knowing that the rogue demons would be captured if Brandi’s plan worked, rather than trying to help Monica gain knowledge in general. That’s not the way she came across at first. At first, she seemed to be wise, too. Then again, she could have been acting out a script given to her by the previous loop Brandi.
Regarding what bridgetter said, I would really like to know what the library’s creators thought the library was for and what the librarian was for. Was Nudge selected to be a
librarian, then trapped there? Did Nudge create the role once she was already trapped there?
eschmenk, there may not be a contradiction. “Jail sentence” is consistent with “work assignment”–many prisoners are assigned work.
Yes, I was thinking about that wrt Fatuncle’s reply to your first post.
My thought was that I wouldn’t have expected Monica to survive telling someone who has been doing the same hated job for millennia that they didn’t have any idea how to do their job! I would especially expect a prisoner to be a bit defensive. Yet, I saw that Phix was apparently not going to rip Monica’s head off. I concluded that the only possible explanation for Monica’s survival was because she stunned Phix with the realization that Phix actually hadn’t known what librarians did all this time! I was wondering if there wasn’t a dictionary there where she could have looked up the definition of “librarian”? The whole thing seemed incredibly stupid, hence the sarcasm.
Fatuncle has a point, though. I’m judging Phix as if she were human. Whatever she is, she’s not human. Therefore, maybe she couldn’t relate to the concept of a librarian helping others. Still, I think it’s a bit nervy for Monica to tell Phix that Nudge would have done a much better job than Phix if Nudge had been around for that last few thousand years. That still dings Phix for not catching Nudge, and Phix can’t say that she wasn’t designed to catch people. To me, that’s still rubbing salt on Phix’s wounds.
Yet this doesn’t seem to be on anyone’s radar at all! Didn’t it shock anyone else that Monica got away with saying “That’s the job of a librarian” to someone who had been a librarian for thousands of years and who has a major chip on her shoulder? Wasn’t it a bit rude for Monica to basically tell Phix that she thought that Phix still knew nothing about dong her job after thousands of years at it? I know I never would have had the nerve to do that. Maybe other people would have.
I don’t think that Monica is telling Phix that Nudge would do a better job. I read it as Monica telling Phix that she can’t ignore Nudge, using the fact that Phix knew the system and helped her (Monica) as reference to the act that she’d have to interact with Nudge.
I think she’s reminding Phix that the Library has a purpose beyond being Nudge’s prison. If people are supposed to use the Library, they need a Librarian to aid them in their search for Knowledge. If Nudge is thrown back in as Librarian, she cannot be ignored as Phix suggests.
Right. I read it the same way. I wouldn’t expect Phix to hear it that way, though.
Those things seem obvious enough to us, don’t they? Wouldn’t Phix have already known what Monica was trying to explain to her? I would expect Phix to take the fact that Monica said them as an insult, particularly given the thousands of years of experience Phix has.
Hmmm…I see your point. However, I still think that Phix could only get bent out of shape in a “I know how to be a Librarian. Don’t preach to the choir.” kind of way. Your original comment suggested that Monica’s statement could be interpretted to indicate that Nudge would be better than Phix. While I know strong emotion can distort understanding and communication, I doubt Phix could get that idea from what was said.
Moot point of course thanks to the strip posted today. 🙂
Soo… Nudge IS Tina. More to the point Tina wouldn’t exist without her.
Here’s my theory. Nudge, just like Phix is not affected by time. She is/was aware of the time loop happening and sought out a way to “nudge” things in the right direction so that it would end.
Tina’s demons do not remember Nudge from before the accident. I’m guessing Nudge found the moment in time that Monica’s heart stopped thus opening a paradox of loopholes already explored to some degree in the comic and used that moment to inhabit Tina’s corpse and pull the demons back into it.
Note Tina has not move, spoken or done anything without Nudge being in her? I suspect she can’t… without a soul.. or a being with a soul the demons cannot actually do anything with the body….
…. just a theory
For example remember the time Nudge went silent and Tina spent the night standing still with a spider on her? Previously we’ve seen Tina pretend to sleep… so this is a moment where we can see her just being a corpse without a “nudge” in the right direction….
Pehaps…but when she “woke up” the whole Collective spoke. There was no indication that Nudge had “returned” or “become active” and therefore allowed the Collective to function…so it’s entirely possible that Tina doesn’t always feel like pretending to sleep.
A lot of people have been referencing that strip as evidence that Tina can’t function without Nudge. I think that while possible, this is by no means conclusive given what we’ve seen so far. If we next see Tina and she has gaping eye sockets that can vaporize spiders, then I’ll believe without question that Nudge was the true animating force.
However, if I’m not mistaken, while quiet and inactive, Tina still had her usual spiraly eyes after Nudge was removed.
I don’t know how much Nudge has ever affected Tina. She seems to have been more of an idea generator than anything. According to Jin, the demons could take over an control Tina, just as Monica’s could do with her. In Tina’s case, however, the demons just had their memories wiped, so it’s not as if they had any plans at that point. They may have been sitting around and scratching their butts thinking that a morgue wasn’t a bad place to be. It was probably Nudge who gave them a better idea.
Now, however, Tina’s demons already have some goals. They are the ones who had the existential concerns, not Nudge, so obviously they were thinking independently of her. Hopefully, they will be able to continue to do so.
BTW, I think Nudge was necessary to carry out the previous loop’s Brandi’s plans. Tina’s demons wouldn’t have known of any need to bring the key to Wapsi Square, so Nudge probably had to take care of that.
But there is also this comic that shows Tina waking up without spiders bursting into flames. <a href=" http://wapsisquare.com/comic/morningdialogue/"" title="Morning Dialogue" That one took a lot of archive crawling to find.
Yes, I’m aware that Tina has “slept” before. That doesn’t mean she always sleeps in that fashion. She indicated that she’s not really asleep when she does that anyhow (you passed this one on your way to Morning Dialogue). I’m not inclined to think this means she sleeps or even fully pretends to sleep every night.
shrugs Even if Tina doesn’t need Nudge now… I still suspect that tina only exists because of Nudge doing something on the day Monica’s heart stopped
This is partly true since Nudge was the one who got the demons moving and out of the morgue. However, there have been comments made by other characters suggesting that what happened to Tina could happen to anyone in the right conditions (i.e. various people suggesting that Monica better not die in emotional turmoil because her demons would gain control of her body and perhaps the power it has/had over the GGs).
Wapsi characters do have long skinny necks compared to “real” people – but i think Nudge (in the second panel) may set the record.
I meant “Panel 1”.
Why did i say “the second panel”?
I’d nudge you to the answer, but you wouldn’t like it.
My first thought on panel one, ‘wibble wibble wibble’ shaken Nudge syndrome.
…and big heads. And huge eyes. And big hands. And feet. And short legs… And… 🙂
Hmm…I was thinking more short torsos than short legs. 🙂
Are Nudge’s eyes a barometer measuring blood flow to her head? 😉
This is starting to remind me of a episode of Dr Who. I’m half expecting the TARDIS to show up with the Doctor and his hot redhead companion, Miss Pond stepping out.
And Phix going, “oh you again”.
Now that would make a great spoof strip. Phix finds out that the library is a playground for a child’s mind? Hmmm.
It may not be a CHOKE Hold, but it still looks VERY Menacing.
Is Tina still recovering in the background – stage right (or left) near by?
Heh, is it just me, or is Monica giving Phix puppy dog eyes in trying to make her let go of Nudge.
It’s not just you. Panel Two Monica is definitely using puppy-dog-eyes on Phix.
I think Monica’s wrong about it not being a jail sentence. “Stone walls do not a prison make,Nor iron bars a cage.” No matter how much you’d like something, being coerced to do that something is a punishment. But maybe Nudge will show Phix that being a Librarian is a good thing and Phix is good at it. Then the original meaning of the quote will come into play: it isn’t a prison if you don’t think it is, it is only a “hermitage.”
Let’s see, Nudge is the original librarian, but we don’t know who made her that or created the library. This makes me wonder, is Nudge THE creator of it all. Did she/it gather all that universal knowledge over the ages in order to, eventually, become lord of it all. Nudge may be the power behind it all. The library, the sphinxes, all of it. Yes, it seems like she is the one who is small and powerless compared to the sphinx, but is she really the one in control, manipulating everyone and everything as needed to get to certain goals? Not unlike a director/producer also playing a role in the movie. A creator can easily be small and powerless compared to his/her creation. Take us and the cars we make. And we make much bigger machines than that. Alongside an aircraft carrier, it’s creators seem small and helpless indeed. It’s all in the control, and Nudge may have that, exercising it in a means not obvious to the creations. Even playing the baffoon as needed.
I like this theory. Plus it dovetails with my own personal theory that Nudge is not a demon (at least, not the same type as Doubt & co.)
Thought: Nudge sets up Library, collecting works from… demons and other pre-human creatures. Then humanity arrives. They discover writing and suddenly the Library explodes. Perhaps Nudge by this time is bored with the job. Maybe she’s overwhelmed. She comes up with a plot to use the existing anti-demon system to escape… and along comes Oedipus.
One of the most important things a trickster can have is knowledge/information.
It was implied by Phix that Nudge was sent there as punishment, and that the Library was there before Nudge. She doesn’t strike me as any sort of creator. Seems to me that the Library runs automatically for the most part.
At this point the Sphinxes seem to by top-level management, but who knows where they fit in in the grand scheme of things. They could be like the Ancients in the Stargate universe, where they were a very old, advanced race who eventually ascended to a higher state of being, leaving behind a seemingly magical infrastructure of advanced technology. Or perhaps they’re from another facet of the “multiverse” where the laws of physics are different. Only Paul can say for sure. 🙂
I have no response to that. Zzzzzzzzz……..
Phix: “Don’t trust Nudge. You don’t need her.”
Monica: Gives a grade-school level lecture about librarians to an angry. violent librarian with several thousand years of job experience.
Phix: “I will cut her up into tiny little pieces….” Forgets to keep hand clenched tightly around Nudge’s throat.
Nudge: “Monica can trust me! You may not like my methods, but I’m helpful, too!”
Nudge: “Is anyone listening to me? Hello! Anyone?”
Nudge: “Crap! I can talk now, but no one’s listening! Dammit! Listen to me! Stop trying to figure out how far my neck will bend! I’m trying to tell you something! Hey!”
I knew there was a reason I didn’t HATE Nudge…
Here’s the real rub:
Sphynxes are notoriously rigidly orderly. Trickster gods and spirits are notoriously chaotic. Change is chaotic. Nudge didn’t break any spiritual or magical law. Nudge offended the sensibilities of the Sphynxes.
Of course, Nudge does that just by existing.
Nudge is a very necessary spirit (she may look like a demon, but she behaves like a trickster spirit, a servant of Coyote).
A person comes to a library for knowledge, not wisdom.
This is why Nudge does more good being inside the Barista, than inside the Library, and Phix does more good being inside the Library.
But no one can hold a grudge like those obsessed with order.
I hope this situation resolves in Nudge’s favor. Anything less would be a travesty.
Even in her human form, Phix is a fucking GIANTESS! (reminds me of my two Amazon sisters…)
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