Chapter 2, Page 24

*flap*

Since the title is now literally relevant I’ll explain it a bit: Mare Internum is Latin for “Internal Sea.” Latin is often used to name features on celestial bodies (ex: Mare Acidalium, Mons Olympus, etc). And, on older maps with Latin text, you’ll see the archaic “V” used as “U” as well. By now most of you have either figured this out or accepted the title without a struggle, but here it is laid out plainly (planitia?)

Art roundup!! A great Michael by Kirbish, and a fantastic thighfriend (and attached human) I commissioned from an artist whose work I admire :]

Speaking of commissions, this is the week Patron art rewards go out, so if you ordered art from me you should be getting that by the end of the month at the very latest. If you wanted one for November, make sure to get a space before the end of Oct; I think I have one or two slots still open. Oh, and the wallpaper of the month will be going up soon for all $2 donors and up too. Good stuff, good stuff.

Today’s bonus art: lineart from the page so it’s a little easier to see the fluffies~

106 Comments

  • The bright blues in this page are so beautiful <3

  • Flap indeed.

    So many new little scurrying friends Mike! :D You so popular!

    Uh love and hate the little guys – little critters gathering in such large numbers can be so unsettling.

  • “BE CALM, GIANT BEAST. WE SEEK ONLY A COMMUNICAE WITH THE THIGHFRIEND.”

    • lou

      “Thighfriend, don’t be alarmed, but THERE IS A HUGE HUMAN GROWING ON YOU!”

      • shingworks

        Thighfriend: *flap!!!*

  • NielsR

    OK, so the wall is made of spiders. Bad luck, Mike, but it seems to be suppressing the suicidal tendencies at least!

    • shingworks

      Interesting, since this gif has the exact opposite effect on me

      • Lilian

        Aaaaaaaahhhhh

        • shingworks

          (aaaa)

          • Android 21 3/7

            WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! STOP! STOP THROWING SPIDERS AT US! AAHHHHH!

          • Corbie

            I’ll have nightmares to no end! Gaaah!

          • Unclever title

            This. This is why mankind conquered fire. Fire eradicates and is not nearly as terrifying as spiders en masse.

          • Epamynondas

            Friendsplosion!!!

      • DarkMyste

        INTERNAL SCREAMING FIRE,NEED FIRE naoooooooooooowwwwwwww

      • Lew

        these aren’t even spiders

        • shingworks

          Harvestmen round up to spiders

          • ItThing

            Both approximate to ‘creepy crawlies’.

          • Emblin

            In Latin, the term for Spider or Harvestmen is exactly the same. It’s called a “NOPE”

      • Arianwen

        I don’t know, they’re sort of… adorable.

        “We’re a hedge. No, honest. Concentrate! Be the hedge. Be the hedge. Be the h–“
        “I think he’s onto us, Bruce.”
        “There you go again, letting the team down with all this negative thinking. We’re perfectly safe. As long as he doesn’t use his fin–ABOOOOORT MISSION ABORT ABORT ABORT ABORT ABORT–”

        • Lilian

          Yeah I think they’re kind of adorable too. Not that I’d want them *crawling on me*.

  • izzy

    It’s difficult to tell what’s solid and what’s not. And why do I keep seeing vaginas? Is my mind really that dirty?

    • Lar

      No, I saw it too lmao. I looked at the lineart and went “Whoa, vagina-rock really comes out there.”

    • shingworks

      Sorry to bust your bubble, but this is an example of crack climbing, which technically would make it a giant ass.

      • Charles81

        Yeah but that third panel with the exit in the rock face and the crack above gives the impression.

        Honestly though it’s not dirty minds but all of us probably reading too deep into your art and seeing rebirth imagery everywhere.

        So I just gotta know… Are you intending to communicate rebirth or are we reading too much into some holes in rocks that you’re just basing on real images?

        • shingworks

          Haha… I have my intentions for sure. These are not photoreffed or anything; I draw with specific formations/ conditions in mind, but put my own spin on them to impart visual meaning where appropriate. I like hearing what readers think more than anything else though so I’ll leave the interpretations up to you~

        • Fridge_Logik

          If that’s another vagina, then Mike just tried to slide his hand along the clit. Can’t say I’m surprised that he got a such a strong response from that little move.

          • Kittenears

            Just so you know, I just made a drippy nosefriend by snorting my coffee after reading your comment.

      • DukeBG

        He literally just crawled through series of sphincters, so…

    • Majumba

      No. He is totally being birthed.

  • Rev

    I’m starting to feel like there’s quite a deal of water symbolism in this comic, between the title, the ocean, and the fact that the little intermission featured Mike as a child and water/a pool. I dig it.

    • Tubs

      oh shit, I didn’t need THAT connection :(

      • Rev

        I didn’t, either. :( But it was sadly the first link that came to mind when I saw the big body of water on the last few pages, and reflected on that conversation about the pool and ocean and… yeah. Poor Mike.

  • Cthulhufish

    Panel 3: If this isn’t a rebirth metaphor, I don’t know what is lol

    Why is Mike so surprised? The comic is titled “Mare Internum”! Does he not know Latin?

  • Localized

    Denial isn’t gonna help, Mike.

    Also yeah, the blues are beautiful!

    • Asterai

      Actually, don’t we think Mike is schizophrenic? We know he’s got some serious delusional paranoia on bad days. If that’s the case, he probably actually does sense a lot of things that aren’t real, and sometimes dismissing those things would be an important coping mechanism for him.

      I once read an AMA by a person who was basically claiming to be a high-functioning schizophrenic. She talked about how sometimes, she’d feel the ground starting to tilt and shake beneath her feet; if no one else was reacting to the “earthquake”, she’d just find somewhere to sit until it stopped. She’d hear footsteps in her house; after getting up and checking to be sure she was alone, she’d go back to what she was doing with music playing to drown out the hallucinated footfalls.

      His most recent episode(s) aside, Mike seems to also be a pretty high-functioning schizophrenic. He probably has some long-standing protocols for dealing with Things That Seem Real But Totally Aren’t. He fundamentally can’t trust his senses, so he’s dismissing the relatively unlikely possibility that he’s made first contact in favor of the hypothesis that he’s having another Really, Really Not Fun At All Day. The kind of day where everything is covered in spiders and you can see the exposed muscles under peoples’ skin and the sky pulls at you if you don’t stay under a roof.

      I have no history of hallucinations, but even I would be questioning my sanity and/or senses in his situation.

      • shingworks

        Well I’ll keep a response spoiler-free, but in general yes, reality tests are one way for people who are prone to psychotic breaks to determine the difference between reality and brain misfirings. For example, if the person on the television is talking directly to you and giving you instructions, then this is probably an episode regardless of how “real” it feels to you. Or whatever.
        Mike is pretty pragmatic, so I can only assume this situation could only be read as “not reality” to him. And I guess he could be right, idk.

        • imcitcat

          no, honestly I think his previous suspicions and “paranoia” were very well founded. any kind of government funded company is bound to have some spies among the ranks, and what better than to manipulate your employees than with a cool looking shiny toy- I mean high tech research probe. he may be depressed, he may be mentally unstable, but I wouldn’t diagnose this guy with schizophrenia. I’d be less inclined to write this scenario off as fake though, seeing as it’s a mostly unexplored planet with lots of new things to learn about it, but in his situation (along with his history of instability) I’d definitely be questioning my sanity at this moment…

          • Amanada

            Not to mention, even if his paranoia is totally unfounded, and even if he does have hallucinations, there are plenty of conditions other than schizophrenia that can result in both those things. Dementia, for example. PTSD can also lead to delusions and paranoia. I’m not saying that I think Mike has either of these things, (though PTSD would be no shock given his sad childhood), I just definitely agree that calling it schizophrenia is presumptuous.

          • shingworks

            @Amanda definitely. I think most people erroneously link schizophrenia in their mind with delusion/ paranoia or even DID, but that’s pretty misinformed. The goal at the moment narratively speaking is not to educate, but for the record yes it is presumptuous to diagnose people without being a doctor (or a writer, haha). And also schizophrenia is a very serious disease that would probably not behave this way in any case.

          • Amanada

            Exactly!
            I think media content generally has a lot to do with that misinformation, which is one of the reasons I love your work. Your research is thorough and you always have a comprehensive knowledge of what you present.

            On a related note, for people who are interested in understanding more about how schizophrenic hallucinations might present, UC Davis created a really fascinating virtual hallucination simulator. I don’t believe you can access it directly, but there are video examples of it being used if you search “UC Davis virtual hallucinations”. Warning, they are really disturbing and people who have suicidal ideation may want to avoid them altogether.

          • Asterai

            Even if some elements of his suspicions were well-founded, “using LEVi to control my thoughts” is well on the paranoid delusional end of the spectrum. I don’t think you can get around Mike having some variety and degree of psychosis.

        • hkmaly

          I though that if the person on the television is talking directly to you and giving you instructions then it’s advertisement. At least if the instructions are to buy something. I guess it’s different if the instructions are to kill someone or something like that …

      • Jay

        Yeah, I think even a normally mentally stable person would be thinking they’ve lost it at this point. I know I would be thinking that I died or something and this is a very unexpected afterlife.

      • Vert

        Paranoid delusions and related disorders can deliver realistic hallucinations, but they’re usually auditory. Visual hallucinations, if any, usually modify an existing object in a manner suiting the delusion. For example, if you are convinced you are being chased by the government and you see a car with a roof rack, you might hallucinate flashing cop lights on top (this was a real example given to me by someone with a delusional psychosis). Whole-body immersive hallucinations, though, are *extremely* rare… except in the presence of mind-altering drugs. Even on drugs, most hallucinations begin with existing objects behaving in strange ways, like… glowing.

        You know, that water wasn’t glowing when he first fell in it, I don’t think.

        Hrm.

        I wonder what peculiar substances Thighfriend’s metabolism might produce?

  • So many new friends!

  • vin

    Oh my lord, this page. A++ womb.

    Still kinda concerned about Bex, though.

    • Inlaa

      Yeah, I just keeping thinking “please don’t let Bex be dead.” I liked her a lot.

  • Lilian

    I hereby propose that the small creatures be dubbed “Scuttlebugs”.

    All in favor, say “Aye”.

    • Chainsaw Codpeice

      That’s too mundane for Mars life forms. Anomalous groundmites. Sounds fitting to me.

      • Lar

        Fits the theme!

    • squidlifecrisis

      and I propose their collective noun shall be an “iridescence.” An iridescence of scuttlebugs.

      • Lilian

        An iridescence of anomalous groundmites?

    • Brian

      I’d want to see a bit more of their behaviour before signing on to team Scuttlebug.

      Interesting that Martian Crawlies ™ appear to be five-legged (with some sort of sensory apparatus or maybe a bifurcation of the “foot” on each leg, per the close-up).

    • Thrawcheld

      The sound effect is clearly “skitter”.

  • Aristatide

    Something about that ‘flap’ made me cackle out-loud. Thighfriend just be all, “I’m here for you, bro.”

    • “this one’s mine, go away”

  • LameFox

    I wonder if they taste better or worse than crickets.

    • Simon

      Not sure eating an unfamiliar alien life form upon discovery is the brightest idea.

      • Vert

        He’s already got an alien life form integrated into his circulatory system. How much worse could it be?

        • Amanada

          I think a situation akin to food poisoning or lactose intolerance while trying to do some pretty tricky rock climbing would be a lot worse!

        • Artor

          I have e. coli bacteria in my guts. Want some?

        • Adam

          Some of his micro-life starting to inhabit in the Mars ecology and messing it up big time. I don’t think you can get worse than being the first person to discover alien life and only to exterminate it completely when you took a shit.

  • AUGH

  • Lorenzo

    NOPE
    NOPE
    NOPE
    NOPE

  • Spav

    Oh look, millions of tiny fluffy quintapedes.

    That’s not horrifying or anything. Nah.

  • Android 21 3/7

    THIGHFRIEND DOES NOT APPROVE OF YOUR DENIAL!

  • Jac

    They’re kinda cute! :D

    • Vert

      They are! I hope he didn’t mush any by accident.

      • JJ

        I think that’s why he has goo on his finger in panel 5.

  • LostYooper

    So… Thigh Friend is real in his mind, since he addressed him, but thousands of crawling creatures are a delusion? He is going to be really disappointed when he finds out this is all really real.

    • imcitcat

      I think the only way he can handle an alien creature protruding from his leg is actually the idea that it’s not real, but in fact a very vivid hallucination from a dying mind. So while his instincts kick in when he’s in real danger of getting tasted or smushed, he’s still thinking that this is either a futile attempt at survival or a wacky last “adventure” for his mind to explore.

  • Tindi

    Dude if I was surrounded by/being touched by that many spidery things, I would NEVER STOP SCREAMING. I shuddered a whole lot reading this page. Blegh!

    …don’t show me more spider GIFs pls. @_@

    • shingworks

      But I have so many
      (do not click it)

      • Sario

        Why do I keep clicking the links?!?!

      • Artor

        That… is an unholy fuc*ton of spiders!

  • ThisCat

    “This isn’t real” is… actually a very logical reaction. Even I, with a very well-developed sense of the distinction between fantasy and reality, would probably accept it as an explanation.

  • Shunka_Warakin

    You know, most of the fantasy comic cave-paintings I see tend to have more stalactite/stalagmite formations that end up looking excessively penile (to the point that one of my favorite artists started making comments about quinacridone phalli formations). This is the first time I’ve seen this many female rock formations in a comic.

    • shingworks

      That’s because people are boring as hell lol. It’s like OH CAVE Ok lets put a stalactite in it. Man, caves are like so different and cool Not that they can’t have stalactites/ mites but why would you do that when you could potentially have a room of boobs?

      • Corbie

        The guy’s facial expression speaks for itself, hehe.

        Thanks for interesting cave formations. It’s totally easy to interpret everything saucy in a lot of them, but the standard zigzaggy stalaktite on further undefined ceiling is not just boring, but also pretty unrealistic.

        And whew, that photo’s definitely better than the room of spiders. You’re truly evil. :)

      • Aristatide

        I object!

        Some of those are most certainly butts.

  • Jay

    Panels 3 and 7, the rebirth imagery continues. With metaphorical and literal crabs.

    • fox-orian

      God

      I lol’d.

  • Ceceoh

    Where’s your collection kit, Mike? You could be slapping latin names on all these critters; Crinituslignum piscatorus, Femuramicum piscatorus. The names just write themselves, and they’re all going to be named after you! If you live. And they find the body, that is.

    • shingworks

      Femuramicum piscatorus X’D X’D

    • Sario

      And for those of us that don’t speak latin?

      • shingworks

        Not real Latin, just an approximation XD

        femur= femur
        amicum= amicable= friendly
        piscatorus= pisces= fish

  • AudGirl

    OMG THOSE ARE SO CUTE! ARE THEY SENTIENT? CAN THEY BE SENTIENT?? OMG!

  • Revil

    Mmmmmm crabs in Mars’ vagina

    • Lar

      I read as I’m eating clam chowder.

  • Silveraquila

    I think the lil flower bugs are cute. D: Chill out dude, at least they’re not trying to rockstar-headbang you into oblivion.

  • Jojo

    What if Mike did in fact succeed in killing himself and this is the underworld?

  • Uggala

    I like how the thighfriend keeps “looking” at its environment.

    Makes me wonder what kind of sensory organs this guy has – Probably olfactory and sound, definitely a sense of touch ;).

  • Bradford

    It’s not that important, but I’m not sure his right leg position makes sense. If he is jamming, then his hips should be facing the wall.

    • shingworks

      Yeah, I had to take some artistic liberties due to thighfish and in the interest of not mirroring a previous pose. It is kind of bugging me though so I might fix it at some point. Thank you for your expert weigh-in!

  • Freaking out some innocent water beast. *feel*ing (no longer quite so) innocent thighfriends. Potentially squishing dozens of innocent insect analogues.

    You know Mike, so far you’re really fucking up the whole “first contact” thing.

    • Adam

      It’s their fault for making things difficult! If only they could have waited a bit until everyone could get together for a fruit-basket routine.

  • Angelina

    i’m glad i wasn’t the only one thinking ‘vagina’ /:

  • Rick

    I caught up in an hour now I need more can you please publish faster it is agany to wait.

    • shingworks

      Haha, thanks for reading, glad you liked it. Update frequency is tied to the Patreon! If you enjoy my stuff you can use it to push the number of pages I can do a week higher than it is currently. You can also check out my other webcomic, The Meek, which has a largeish archive going as well.

  • kate

    ah, rebirth into the primordial sea — of spiders. many spiders. just like, so many.

  • Psudopod

    TBH I was very confused about what is happening before I read the comments and saw talk of rock climbing. I thought he was crawling on a flat surface. I’m like… @n@

  • fox-orian

    Please tell me there’s eventually going to be a scene where Mike and Thigh Friend have an argument.

  • JasonAW3

    Interesting. I can see, to an extent, how awater environment, with a thick enough atmosphere to remain liquid many miles underground could exist. But considering the fall that was taken seems to be only a few hundred meters at best, there must be some mechanism that slowed the fall, or is preventing the atmosphere from escaping.

  • DS

    Everything is spiders. All we need now is for Mike to stumble over Spiders Georg.

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