Now that we’ve got that straightened out…
Paul, did you ever get that holster?
Yes I did! =D The shoulder holster, right? I need to get you a pic drawn for it. =)
Actually, it wasn’t me. I just saw it in your wish list and wondered if you ever got it.
However, might I interest you in an Atwater Kent radio? It is not playable, but it comes with a speaker.
I think my wife would pound bumps on my head if I got another decorative item at this time. =) Thank you much, however.
that reminds me of a looney toons episode where everytime the guy asks for lumps (of sugar) in his coffee, bugs would pull out a mallet and crack him in the head a couple of times
Whooo, lordy… SCARY TINA in panel two… *shivers*
Seconded. Even moreso than yesterday.
Demons are creepy when they show up as themselves…
Does this mean the freakout is over?
Yeah… nope. Shelly still has several pages of freaking out to do before the Friday cliffhanger goes someplace else.
Well, yes, insofar that Shelly has realized at least óne core-value “I don’t want to hurt anyone” it’s a start.
Acting upon it…well.. That’s an’ whole other ballgame.
We all have our lines that we won’t cross. Shelly just needs to carve hers in stone and lock a part of herself away, so that it can only be released with a specific key.
This situation might be the one which prods Shelly into truly accepting her own strength… and by doing so, finally set aside the “bully” side of her nature.
Yet another phase to her “growing up”. As others have noted, 80k years in the Time Forest were not, by themselves, enough to allow the human Shelly to truly grow up and become an adult… perhaps she had to experience the consequences of her whole nature in the human world, before she could decide to change her human ways.
Many people have commented on Shell’s time (time-out?) in the forest, and how she should have developed and matured from all that long lifetime. Being isolated in a data-vacuum could lead to introspection and self-knowledge. But it could also lead to long periods of mental shut-down. And let’s face it, Shelly’s never been an intellectual type. LoL
Perhaps, but she does have a college education and a degree in music. Not that it confers on her any common sense in many situations. Colleges constantly graduate any number of well educated idiots.
I’m reminded a bit of a recent Doctor Who:
THE DOCTOR: “… I’m angry. That hasn’t happened before.”
Mme KOVARIAN: “The anger of a good man is not a problem. Good men have too many rules.”
THE DOCTOR: “Good men don’t need rules… Today is not the day to find out why I have so many.”
Definitely a shiver-inducing moment. Actually, it’s a bit like looking at Tina in frame 2 – the sense that if one looked a bit closer, one might find oneself staring right down into the flames of Hell itself, about to explode…
Shelly is clearly powerful enough now, for her to have to have some very serious rules if the people around her are to be safe.
I thought that Tina was scary yesterday.
Who’s the lion and who’s the hyena?
That was my question. Either Tina is backing off because Lions (Phix) don’t tolerate Hyenas (Tina) harassing thier pride (Shelly), or it’s Lions (Tina), Hyenas (Shelly) and Pride (Monica). The feral animal comment makes it seem like the latter, but the “Sphinxes have codes” point toward the former. Imma go sit down now.
*shuffles off to the confusion corner*
Ahh but that comment is what made it crystal clear to me. She already said that Shelly is neither human nor sphinx…and here Tina calls Shelly “feral”. To me, that makes it fairly obvious that the sphinx-y codes aren’t there for Shelly (yet), so the lion is Tina, the pride is Monica, and Shelly’s a poor feral hyena. 🙂
The lion is Shelly, the hyenas are the three drunks, and the pride is the native girls. She’s explaining Shelly’s behavior.
Yeah. that was the question which came to mind for me, too.
You could probably make a good case for it either way – it may be as much a matter of point of view as anything.
Yeah, but I think Tina is kind of a member of Phix’s “pride.” She is an enforcer of demon law, therefore seems to work for the sphinxes in that regard. So I would see it as:
Lions (Phix/sphinxes) don’t tolerate Hyenas (Shelly) harassing thier pride.
For those who don’t remember … enforcing demon law:
Good memory, and also why Tina could intercede in the conversation between M’s and Jin’s doubt and why Tina’s name came up in the Apo conversation after the calendar was destroyed.
so shelly is the hyena?
wow i so read that comic wrong 🙂
i was reading that because the bar girls were the same background as shelly they were part of her pack and the bar hecklers were the hyena.
This is why I love this comic. Well drawn. Deep complex story lines. Plus some humor now and then. Keep up the great work!
No, you, and others, could very well be right. I’m taking my view based on the context of the moment and not the spanking Shelly delivered in the bar. I could be wrong, Paul wasn’t actually clear on that point.
It is just the one demon talking, so it may be making an isolated opinion.
But clarity would help. It’s possible to interpret the line to mean that Amerind girls out on the town are a pack of feral hyenas, and I don’t think Paul means that at all.
Tina speaks in riddle, the line was written, purposefully to be read and interpreted in several ways. 😀
Ah. And riddle answers are a determinant for the kind of being one is. Humans crave order, even to the point of creating imaginary categories. So what then is Shelly? She’s free to create her own self-definition, which is probably part of why Bud was elated.
I’d say Shelly is terrible at self-definition, except when she isn’t (her New Year’s decision to become a personal trainer comes to mind). As long as she manages her own expectations, she should be fine.
Mismanagement is entertaining too, naturally. 🙂
Might a-knowed it. I’m not at all fond of riddles. Which probably speaks to my basic nature.
When in doubt, the correct answer is usually “Half an evil demigod imprisoned in material form.”
Another possibility: It’s a parable that must be interpreted and applied to each situation, and so may have many possible applications.
I’m thinking that another week or so might resolve what the interpretation she intended right here looks like.
I think that Shelly is the Lion and Tina is refering to the racist bar-monkeys as hyenas. Remember that sphinx’ ARE part Lion.
Tina is using allegory to make shat she is saying more graphic.
I would think is more to the point of what Shelly is to the Apo’s. Remember, Connie said that the Apo’s want to pigeonhole things and that she made them wet themselves because she is a unique being. The Lions here are the ordered Sphinx and Shelly is a feral mutt to their ordered universe, in this case the Hyena.
I have found that it is a good idea to never try to attach too much meaning when allegory is used, you will only drive yourself to a far left conclusions.
darned typos. the shat is supposed to be what (not that anyone didn’t figure that out. (I’m gonna hide in a corner for a while)
Political puns… shame on you, my friend. Go hide yourself under a bush, right now, and conserve your pun-making credits for a less appauling topic lest someone turns you into a newt.
Well, Tina isn’t afraid of this sphinx, at least…
Also : M. is absolutely wonderful in last panel
If anything, despite Tina liking Shelly, the chance to bully a part-Sphinx has to be enticing to some if not all of the Tina-demons. Even if she can’t recall the demon-sphinx tensions in the past, her own experiences with Phix and Nudge have likely spawned a sour taste in the demon collective’s mouths.
If demons are that powerful, how did the sphinxes ever keep them in line in the first place. I mean “the law” isn’t a force shield, just words describing the rules set up by the sphinxes (or their superiors).
“Run! It’s a sphinx!”
“Not a problem, ‘HEART STOP!!’
“Oh yeah, I forgot, silly me.”
“Now, you were mentioning getting our human to order pizza?”
Shelly is not (per Tina yesterday) a true sphinx. The apos are a whole different critter
Demons’ power of influence seems to impact mortal humans, not Sphinxes (as seen when Tina and/or Nudge butt heads with Phix) or other immortals (Tina’s early conversations with Bud).
Shelly is still as much human as she is Sphinx, if not more human. So, Tina’s power can still impact a mutt like Shelly due to her human nature, while it probably wouldn’t impact a purebred like Phix.
But she is also not – also per Tina yesterday – human, either.
Agreed. Thus why I call Shelly a mutt. She is neither human or Sphinx, in the same sense that a Collie-Shepherd is neither a Collie or a Shepherd.
Her ‘spirit animal’ being a coyote doesn’t help defer that title either. (>^_^)>
Shelly = neither Sphinx nor human. Sphinxes are ancient beings like demons and are immune to demons, demons are not immune to Sphinxes.
So what is Shelly then exactly, if she isn’t a sphinx then?
She’s messing up Monica’s hair.
Shelly knows she is “not like them” (the apos) but doesn’t seem to have a handle on what she is. It took 56 tries before the Jin/Nudge manipulations finally produced the Shelly-Creepy construct.
They’re essentially unique, like the Earth-Moon system.
Also, I’ll bet all the other reeeeal sphinxes are better with hair. Hair care has not been a happy place for Shell.
She’s whichever she wants to be at any given moment. Shelly is way beyond common mixing within species, including humans. She is a mixture of two very different types of animals, something that should be impossible, yet isn’t in the Wapsiverse. I don’t think you can pin her down to a label, which is another reason for the pure-bred sphinxes to not like her. Without CG, they’d have killed her already. Sphinxes are even more racists (or is it specists?) than humans it seems.
Still, I’m not sure how any sphinx can be “pure” since, as Phix said, sphinxes are born as humans … in this episode:
Somehow, those sphinxes are not bi-breeds like Shelly. Perhaps the human form for them is more of a cocoon stage than a true human animal. Phix can take on human form, but that seems to be a matter of shape-shifting (like Nudge) rather than reverting to her original human form (I think).
I had wondered about the “born as humans” line too, but that’s Shelly speaking to another (dead) Shelly.
Maybe she was wrong, and that was all she knew about where she came from.
It’s not clear to whom she’s communicating, but she said Phix visited her, so my assumption was she was talking to her. Either her or CG (or someone/something else yet to be reveled at a future point). I don’t see how that sort of answer would come from some imagined conversation with a corpse.
Besides that, the conversation indicated all sphinxes were born as humans since it said “Do you want to know where sphinxes come from …” Not sphinx hybrids/halfbreeds/sphinxes like you/etc, just sphinxes, period.
Maybe this is one of those things we have to read as “not necessarily 100% truth” because it was spoken by someone who may have a limited understanding of things.
Shelly may have stated that sphinxes are born as humans because she became a sphinx…and she wouldn’t necessarily know that they could be born any other way just because she spent time in the Time Forest. We have assumed she spoke to the other sphinx, but we know that the other sphinx were weirded out by CG…so maybe they didn’t get close enough to talk to Shelly.
*shrugs* Only Paul knows, and he’s probably just grinning to himself that we’re thinking about his story that hard.
Sphinxes are immune to demon influence and humans are off-limits due to sphinx-enforced rules. the point is, Shelly is neither sphinx (therefor not immune) nor human (therefor not off limits). Shelly is vulnerable to Tina’s influence in every way.
You, sir, are obviously trained in Law.
Not just Tina’s demons, but any demon who decides to have some fun with her. It seems any demon could have it’s way with her at any time, and maybe already has. She’s gonna have to learn how to protect herself from them pretty quick.
I don’t think so. any demon that tries to mess with Shelly would have to answer to Connie and Phix as well as Tina. Tina is only doing what she is doing as a friend tring to keep another friend from doing something that she would regret for the rest of her life.
In some of the interactions between Tina and Phix it would seem that Phix likes Tina, this could be a reason why.
I love how Shelly’s hugging Monica like a human-shield in Panel#4. Don’t think Monica’s spine can take any more panic-hugs.
Even though i *know* it’s Monica in panel 5 doesn’t she look like Georgette the supermodel?
As fast as Shellinx is, Monica CAN poit speeding bullets. Even if Tina wasn’t there, I don’t think Mon was in mortal danger
That’s why I surmised that this whole affair is an exquisite piece of manipulation by Tina, to put down some borders for Shelly, so Shellinx has something to hold on to.
Shelly pretty clearly is afraid of herself, and thusly reached-out to Tina in a sort of ” please stop me” -kind of way.
C’m on! M comes in, Tina says something she knows that will force M to confront Shelly, which in turn will guaranteed trigger Shelly whiiiich in turn gives Tina the “go free-card” to interfere.
I agree with you. Demons are master manipulators. I am shocked that the people harassing the native American girls weren’t the hyenas. I am also surprised that Shelly isn’t a sphinx. She said she always was one, just not immortal. I am going over and have a coffee in the Confusion Corner.
Look above a few comments, Tina’s reply can be read multiple ways. 🙂
First, Paul, thank you for taking the time to reply to my comment. Second, I can see how demons would be terrific at talking in ambiguous ways. Third as I sit here in the Confusion Corner sipping coffee and reading The Wapsi News Gazette, I read this comment from a noted Professor Emeritus and Editor in Chief of said Gazette:”Shelly = neither Sphinx nor human. Sphinxes are ancient beings like demons and are immune to demons, demons are not immune to Sphinxes.” I scratch my head, my eyes glaze over and I sip my coffee eying the cookies for sale at the counter. Eighty-thousand is but an eye blink to a demon; I can see that. Like someone said above, a German Shepherd/Collie is neither Shepherd or Collie. Yeah, but it’s still a dog. I’m not arguing; I have faith answers will eventually be forthcoming, and I can wait for them. Meanwhile, I need another cup o’ Arbuckles and maybe one of those cookies…
I guess I see Shelly’s status as kind of a demigod version of “niether fish nor fowl”. If I understand Paul right, the Sphinxes are immortal semi divine beings that serve a specific purpose. Thier job, among other things, is to keep the demons in check. To do this, they have an array of extrodanary powers. Shelly is a watered down version of a Sphinx. She’s not immortal, and she isn’t immune to the powers of command that the demons have. Even if she were, she wouldn’t be around long enough to preform any cosmic function. Yet she has enough power that only supernatural beings can match her and contain her. Ordinary humans have no chance against her, even in her human form.
She is a loose cannon, power without purpose. As Tina said, a feral animal, like a gaurd dog off it’s chain.
More than ever, Shelly is an outsider, even to her friends.
Not only does she have to set boundaries, she has to find out what her place and purpose are in the cosmic order. Maybe it is beating up racist assholes in bars, but I kind of doubt it.
I think… figuring out your values and sticking to them are worthwhile pursuits even if you don’t have a sphynx side to connect with. Yeah, I’m taking this kinda literally, but w/e–this theme’s been on my mind lately. I’ve discovered that once you pin down your values, they become harder to stick to–but if you don’t, they just fade away until you wake up one day and don’t know who you are any more, or how to get back.
Depends on where these values stem from.
The whole value/morals debate is a quagmire of deeply felt-but by times utterly wrongy motivated- morals, societal pressure, peer-pressure etc.
To define one’s values is a long&hard look in the mirror, with a bit of Kantian “how would I like it when treated as such” pondering.
Problem is, hardly anyone is completely free from his/her christian-muslim-hindu (see where I am going here?) taoist and/or enlightenment engraved mindset.
All those philosophies ( with the possible exeption of enlightenment) have been busy to define one’s morals in a comprehensible package. Comprehensible, easy to refer to, and shared by one’s peers.
They also share one other Feature: they ALL see morals as something that is enforced by an external entity, be it fear of hell, or fear of negatively impacting society.
Point I try to make: how many of ones values/morals are truly one’s own?
Depends on how you were raised. I know most of mine come from my parents and 90’s Boy Scouts. On the other hand, eventually you need to make your own choices. Personal example (tl;dr to follow):
I had an experience several years back (sophmore year in High School – US Grade 10) where I wondered why I had so few friends. After a day or two, I realized that I wouldn’t want to be friends with myself – then I realized that I didn’t even like myself. Not the kind of realization that a 15-year-old needs to have.
Things like that force you to take a long, hard look at your own soul/personality/whatever you want to call it. I had to choose what kind of person I wanted to be – morals/values and how I’d deal with them.
tl;dr: It sounds like Shelly is due for a soul-search/vision-quest to figure out who she is and how she’ll be that person. Which values/morals she’ll hold to and which she doesn’t need.
My dad had this poem thumbtacked to his office door.
I kinda like this one too: John Bernard Books: “I won’t be wronged. I won’t be insulted. I won’t be laid a-hand on. I don’t do these things to other people, and I require the same from them.”
The poem is a quote from the John Wayne movie”The Shootist”said by his character, J B Books. It was the Duke’s last role before he died.
Sorry, jumped in without reading the full post. I fail at reading comprehension.
What you consider your own values don’t have to be unique or new, or from some unnamed something deep within. It’s all been pretty much said down through the ages. I think it’s more of a matter of which morals/codes of behavior/etc. as espoused by others and organizations will you take as your own.
It’s not perfectly true that all these systems see moral values as “something that is enforced by an external entity, be it fear of hell, or fear of negatively impacting society.”
First, your two negative examples are an early stage of guidance and correction; the ideal is more positive: Love one another as God has loved you.
Second, as I understand Catholic theology–and I’d like to think, other systems–there is not just an external enforcement. The ultimate enforcement is our own nature: we should be “good” because those rules promote a working culture, and because they suit our own nature. There is something in us that finds deceit, taking from others, unconcern for the good of others, and so on unhealthy for our spirit, just as eating only sweets or only fried food is unhealthy for the body. God did not establish arbitrary rules of conduct, but showed us the rules inherent in our nature.
I kind of like the quote from Granny Weatherwax,
“Evil is treating people like things, including yourself.”
To jump off from Jay-Em’s point, even if you have the most objectivist, non-thieistic view point possible, you still have to face the reality of Natural Law. For example:
The Law of the Harvest – If you don’t plant, you don’t reap. A’la failure to prepare is a guarantee of failure (homework, etc).
The Law of Consequence – Actions (and inactions) cause results.
And so on. One essay I remember proposed our creation of Civil laws should be based on the recognition of Natural law, and so we find our way toward God.
Shelly is coming to grips with Abilities have Consequences.
Shelly is behaving like a Young childon the verge of realizing her deeds impact other people.
Children are, by their very nature, extremely egotistical, due to the limited universe they inhabit. Their world is small.
Thinking about impact of behaviour on a grander scale is a sight of maturity.
Some people stay stuck in their ‘immediate-impact’ close-by child-world. Others grow and mature, and start to be able to ponder the impact of their behavior ( not “morals”, mind You) on a wider scale.
Shelly is, clearly, starting to realize that her behavior is impacting outside of her own, little immature universe. There is a shimmering realization that “Anxty Shelly” isn’t the center of the universe. Buuut, she is not yet capable ( as any grown-up ought to be..) to set boundaries for herself.
So, Tina delivers.
My mind control fetish just has to ask: If Tina wanted to affect/manipulate/change Shelly (without killing her), how much could she change her behavior, and how permanent would those change be?
Is there the veiled threat that Tina make Shelly “domestic” (i.e. “obedient”, “de-clawed”, etc.)?
As was related above, Tina’s influence here is primarily rational backed up by the threat of punishment.
She’s playing the role of parent here.
So if you think that a parent’s primary role is to domesticate the kids it fits.
I don’t think Tina could change anyone’s basic nature. On the other hand, if she wants a domestic Shelly she could always try opening a big can of tuna or dangling a catnip mouse.
If she doesn’t consult with Phix on how to manage her new instincts, maybe she can get the local Gorgon to help.
Indeed, they do seem to have struck up a nice friendship. Perhaps there’s a support group for new (relatively speaking) supernatural hybrid beings. There should be given the area seems to be a mecca for such things.
Well, this is another fine SPHINX you’ve gotten yourself into, Shelly. 😀 Hay wait, I thought Nudge and Tina divided? why is she all creepy again?
Tina’s a conglomeration of demons…she’s creepy enough without Nudge being present. 🙂
Powerful words to live by.
Figure who you are – what you want out of life – and what you need to do to make a name for yourself.
Lots of thing you do (and say) in life, make you who you are.
Unfortunately, the ones we love are the ones we hurt the most.
Anytime now would be nice?
It seems the update script doesn’t correct for DST. So the strip updates an hour later right now.
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