Chapter 1, Page 20

These pasty bitches. The base is pretty well shielded from most radiation… Though radiation is not the biggest problem on the surface of Mars; an uneventful round trip there and back (note this includes space travel) is estimated to expose a person to around 50 REM, well within recoverable amounts. The risk of cancer within 30 years of receiving this long-term dose only increases a fraction of a percent over a normal person, according to Zubrin. Regardless, Mike and Goto probably just look that pasty no matter where they go, haha.

Today’s bonus art: most of my design decisions are based on whether or not it amuses me… Giant floppy pants are on that list.

Last note, a very serious thank you for reading. I appreciate it a great deal. See you Tues!


  • I really like your drawing style and the story quickly captured me, giving me the desire to see what happens next …
    Good job!

  • Glenn-o-matic

    Those are baggy clown pants!! Now if they all squeeze into a tiny clown car it will be confirmed!

  • River

    So she’s the doctor?

    Also – hygine? or hygiene?

    • shingworks

      Ummmmmm… well this is not apparent in the comic, cuz it’s not really vital info. She has a medical background (military) but the practicing doctor is actually Dr. Vietes. Goto’s role is pretty much only administration but she oversteps her bounds frequently.

      And thanks for the catch, fixed.

  • oh man your bonus art is divine, i love those lines
    love all the hands in this page too <3

  • VainVillain

    Awesome comic! I’m so curious about where this story is going! I’m especially drawn in by the actual science you’re basing this story on. Also loving the clown pants!

  • Ben

    Question about the box of sharps: what are they going to do with it when it’s full? By extension, what do they do with the rest of the waste produced on Mars? Surely they don’t have room in the budget for all the fuel it would take to ship Martian poop and garbage back to Earth. Is there a landfill?

    On further examination, Goto seems to be looking at the contents of a plastic bag and checking items off on a manifest. Are they cataloging and storing the garbage somewhere until recycling facilities can be built? Or is she just documenting the current medical supplies so they know what to request in the next shipment?

    • shingworks

      OK just a lot of junky background conjecture coming, not necessarily accurate to how it would work irl…

      This base is not completely self-sufficient, so a lot of wastes are either reused or have to be compressed and packed out. I don’t know if it’s actually viable or not but I expect a lot of the physical objects there are 3d printed, and can be reduced back into a basic form again to be used over. Containers like bags or boxes are shipped back and forth from the base to the hub at Intersection and reused frequently. Excreted waste is treated there bacterially. There is an incinerator and a landfill, but not anywhere near our location in the comic, that type of waste is shipped out (Goto mentions the garbage is being taken tomorrow on this page). Water is recycled and treated there (this base is geothermal actually, and has a pretty good energy source).

      I honestly have no idea what happens to the sharps; I suppose the same thing that happens to them IRL. Either way that box is just shipped out when it’s full.

      And Goto is just checking to make sure everything that got shipped was actually received; those boxes and stuff will be sent back tomorrow too. The medical options at Devotion are more akin to an urgent care facility; it has some basic stuff but for any big emergencies a person would have to wait hours to be picked up and taken to Intersection. Everyone who goes to Devotion has to be in pretty good physical health because of its remoteness.

      • Royco Cup-a-Soup

        Wait, geothermal? I thought Mars had a solid core and no internal heat…

        • shingworks

          It’s supposedly solid-ish (like, enough so that there’s no planetary magnetic field), but most of the texts I’ve read agree that Mars is still volcanically active in local areas, including the Tharsis region (where we are now). So geothermal hotspots are likely!

          • Royco Cup-a-Soup

            Well hush my mouth! I just glanced at wikipedia and you’re totally right. That’ll teach me to speculate on the internet. Looks like I’ll have to do way more research before I start my story on Mars…

          • shingworks

            Haha, thankfully researching Mars is super fun XD

  • Reign of Crows

    Just to throw out a random comment (because I’ve seen other people express similar sentiments): I found this by occasionally checking in on The Meek for updates, and I’ve really been enjoying it thus far. It’s a pleasure to see more of your art and stories!

  • It would be awkard if the message she just sent him was about him needing indeed to be sedated for the whole trip back.

  • Enrique262

    His personality took a 180° turn in just two pages, seems too sudden to me…

  • jackalopemonger

    Now taking bets on when Goto asks Mike about the missing tourniquet on the inventory…

    • shingworks

      Haha, it was actually a packing strap, so no worries there.

  • DukeBG

    Just a note: Mike totally ignored the fact that Goto send a message that was supposedly summoning him and went on to talk about his own business kinda not taking into account what she’s replying him. He already set the route in his maniac mind and it’s the matter of informing her, not talking the trip over.

  • I have a bit of a weird question, just because I’m a dork and this is the kind of dumb thing I think about a lot, but what timekeeping system are the research stations on? Do they use longer Martian seconds or just a 24 hour 38 minute day? I love the comic by the way! It’s always gorgeous and interesting.

    • shingworks

      Good question! You surprised me; I actually hadn’t thought about this at all yet, haha. I have no idea XD I kind of love the idea of stretching out how long a second is though, seems less invasive than adding another little wedge onto the clock…

      • This is a really interesting question. Speaking for myself as a civilian, I could imagine just using conventional Terran metrics up to 2300 hrs., then just add 38 minutes. Using this system, for example, you’d count from 2000 to 2059 hours, 2100 to 2159, and from 2200 to 2259, then in the last hour, you’d count from 2300 to 2397 hrs. Then you’d start a new day at 0000 hrs. Would that work?

      • Vert

        In the Mars trilogy by KSR, they use something called the “timeslip”. 24 hours run normally, and the computers all count a 24:38-hour day, but the human-readable clocks all stop at 11:59 for 38 minutes. It started off as a joke, but stuck, and ends up being a sort of “witching hour” on Mars.

        Not very useful, but a fun idea.

      • Haha! Sorry, didn’t mean to catch you off guard! It’s just one of those weird little minutia things that interests me. I’m a big fan of the Robinson stopped clock idea. I’m pretty sure the Rovers are on Martian seconds, but i’m too lazy to check. I wonder how the adjustment from Earth time would affect peoples’ sleep cycles? Like do you think they wake up half-an-hour earlier everyday until they adjust?
        On a non-dorky note, l love how Mike’s wall-of-text illustrates how he’s dodging the subject and hoping to just move past it, it’s a really clever and subtle use of the medium to convey something without awkwardly stopping the narrative. Impeccable as always!

      • shingworks

        Hahaha you guys are knowledgeable XD I love it. I’m having analysis paralysis about this so maybe everyone should go with the system they like best and I will agree it is canon no matter what you choose, haha.

      • DukeBG

        Do you guys know, that we “on Earth” actually have clocks sometimes go to 23:60 after 23:59 instead of 00:00? (More info on “Leap second” page of Wikipedia.)
        So, i would assume for a clock to go to 23:97 would be totally ok. Using “mars seconds” that last for a different amount of time wouldn’t have much benefit (there would still be such adjustments and whatnot), but would impose a problem on data readings on equipment… Like, would you start measuring heart rate in beats per mars-second? Probably not…

  • Corbie

    Hey, glad to see you doing more comics! :)

    I hope you didn’t have to answer this question already a thousand times … if it bores you, just ignore me: do you plan to work on The Meek again some time in the future?

    • shingworks

      I do actually have to answer this question a thousand times, but thankfully I have a essay ready now, haha :)

      The dates are kind of off because I am still waiting to hear back about the giant thing that is blocking me, and it is now a month past when I had expected with no sign of contact. Hopefully good news soon but I have no idea atm.

      • Madeleine

        I hope that will go well for you :)

        • shingworks

          Yeah, I’m honestly very worried :/ out of my hands tho.

          • Kittenears

            Good luck for the best possible turnout. I love your art, and your writing. You do beautiful work, so I’m utterly selfish in wishing it to continue. :)

      • Hans

        Just discovered this – this is a great comic! And at some point I thought that the drawing style reminds me of “The Meek”, which I sadly thought to be on never-ending hiatus… now I see that you’re the artist behind it, and that we will get not one, but two great webcomics from you, with “The Meek” coming back! This is a happy day!

      • Corbie

        Yay! More Meek! I woudn’t care if I had to wait for years, but I’d have been incredibly sad if you would not have picked up this great story. :)

        Good luck with the giant blocking thingie!

        • shingworks

          MI exists mostly cuz of the blocker, haha, I got so down that I needed to make a distraction or something bad would happen. On the plus side, I found out I am not a one trick comics pony, which is always nice… Will be wonderful to have all my babies back in my arms soon.

  • Ashwell

    The worstest worstest part about finding a webcomic that is intriguing, gripping and ripe with potential… is realising it just started and you do not in fact have several years of archives to happily flip through for days… *le sigh*

    In a nutshell, love this series so far, keep it up! :D

  • Nyan

    Oh, so that’s why he asked her name, huh? :P projecting here, but I totally can imagine him going to have this talk and then thinking “hm, I need to know her name to ba able to say that” :P

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