Chapter 3, Page 35

Better days! Everyone‘s a bit younger.

I don’t normally venture into my tags, but then I did and found this wicked fanart by Rienlen. What a surprise X[__] It’s pretty awesome.

Also, saw this interesting article about training future astronauts via cave exploration. It’s true, there are few Earthly frontiers more alien than… well, caves and the ocean XD

Other stuff:
-Patrons can still read full sketch pages up until page 337 here.
-I’ve got a lot of comics to draw this month so there will be a few more livestreams than usual, also accessible via Patreon, if you’re into that.
-The Elements KS is fully funded :] Super awesome. I’ve got a scifi story in it and it helps the campaign for me to continue plugging this collection, so I’m gonna~

OK BACK TO WORK

40 Comments

  • Android 21 3/7

    … *wibble face* … *goes to the xkcd comic about Spirit*

  • THAT SMILE
    MY HEART

  • Aidan903

    Reminders of happier days; happier faces; happier pasts

  • MaxArt

    That must be the brightest smile ever.
    It just emanates happiness and peace.

    Now who’s the lady near him again?

    • Dudikov

      Colleague and close friend.

    • shingworks

      That would be Braid! of Chapter 1 mentioned-once-or-twice-offhandedly fame

  • spottedspeck

    I feel bad saying this but seeing Mike smiling scared me at first XD

    • shingworks

      Haha same XD

  • Dudikov

    ;-;

  • Spongegirl Circleskirt

    Oh no… I smell heart break coming…

  • David

    Yeah man, I think Levi’s perceptions may be a bit distorted- I doubt Mike ever smiled like that in his life.

    If Kallakore is telling the truth, there is more to Levi than an autonomous survey robot.

    • Aristatide

      Why? Mental illness isn’t a constant–very few disabilities actually are. Even terminal cancer patients get good days.

    • Wreck Smurfy

      That is a romanticized image if I ever saw one. Which leads one to speculate…

      • Luna

        As someone who deals with depression, suicidal thoughts, and negative self-image myself, and who has multiple friends who currently deal with or have in the past dealt with these issues, I side with Aristatide on this one.
        First off, LeVI’s memory of Michael smiling so happily is something that happened in the past. In fact, given that Der-shing is showing us multiple snapshots of Mike’s life, it’s not surprising that he would have ups and downs.
        Yes, Mike was part of an unhappy home, was sexually abused, and had to figure out his sexuality as a kid. (Those are not necessarily innately related.) Yes, he had socially destructive negative self-image as a teen/college-age guy. Yes, he suffers from bipolar disorder and suicidal tendencies now. But that doesn’t mean that he has always been gloomy and sulphuric. Obviously, we don’t know his whole back-story yet, but I suspect that getting to spend time with his coworker (pictured in the 2d, 3d, and 4th panels) along with LeVI helped him start to try to heal (and thus be genuinely happy) . . . and then something happened that threw him back into his depression again.
        I think that picture of Michael may be one of the rare times in his life when he was actually content with life, enjoying the company of his companions, and feeling good about himself. Before everything started going wrong again for him.

  • Grace

    Noooooooo LEVi noooooooooooooooooooo ;-;

  • Cara

    God, WHAT is with his SHAPESHIFTING NOSE? It is driving me up a wall. Is it…smaller when he’s happy and larger when he’s depressed? I’ve been looking through the past pages, including the pool scene in the intermission arc, and I just can’t pinpoint exactly what’s going on. I hope there will be heavier hints about what’s up with that, even if a reason is never explicitly stated.

    • Min

      Hello! Lurker here! I’m always here, going about my lurky business, but I just wanted to say that I love Mike’s nose. It’s easily my most favourite part of him.

      I think his nose does change but not physically. At the moment I’ve personally been interpreting this as how he sees the world when he’s looking back at memories. If they’re happy ones he’s sort of looking through rose tinted glasses and only remembering the good things, and little details like what his nose looked like isn’t important; he feels good about himself and those times and so he projects what (in his eyes) is a good image of himself in his mind. When it’s the bad things (like when his happy memory of playing in the pool made a sharp turn to the nasty), Mike is scrutinising everything and heavily criticising himself and so his nose is more pronounced.

      In present day scenes I don’t think it has changed much, taking into account perspective. So, at the moment, I think that is his natural nose (which is the best nose ever).

      • Cara

        Ah, yes, don’t mistake my turmoil about the significance of his nose size for dislike of his nose. I also like his nose. :) I think it’s easy to create mainstream visually appealing characters with perfect faces, perfect features, perfect body, etc. And I think Mike’s nose is a physical trait that is unique and interesting both as a person and as character design.

        I have noticed that at least so far his nose changing shape is only in memories! (Although I’ve been keeping my eyes pealed.) I like your theory a lot and will keep it in mind.

    • shingworks

      XD Haha, sorry for the frustration. Don’t worry there’s explanations for everything, eventually

  • He is already dead and I want to meet him… Dangit!

  • Android 21 3/7

    Wait… That Martian skeleton that was with LEVi’s body underwater… Kallakore doesn’t remember how LEVi died because she died around the same time or soon after. And the Kallakore Mike is talking to now is just some automated clone with some of her memories uploaded into it. The Kallakore LEVi met probably isn’t even the first iteration, given how far back Kallakore’s memory goes.

  • CSB

    Mike with a smile looks more alien than Kallakore period.

  • Ceceoh

    The dark side of A.I.: robots got feels. (I really do worry about this, along with how my my average intelligence, ASD prone descendants are going to cope with an A.I./automated world.)

  • Carolyn

    Mike is…smiling?

    Keep an eye on the horizon, people. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse should be riding this way any minute.

  • Fridge_Logik

    Man, seeing Mike this happy, just makes me think about how much pain he has in him. Ugh, too much for me today.

  • Lost Yooper

    This just proves that every one likes camping, even levitating AI robots!

  • Treeish

    Wow, Mike with such a smile (at least as remembered by Levi)…there is going to be a whole lotta hurt coming for everyone in this story. And yet, I can’t stop reading :)

    • Luna

      I agree. It is kind of bittersweet, seeing him smile so sincerely.

  • TorgueRND

    “Notice me, senpai…” -LEVI, probably

    • shingworks

      lol

  • Captiancripple

    If this comic ever becomes a book I will buy the ever living hell out of it. Beautiful.

  • Luces

    That smile. It’s blending so much that it hurts.
    No chance for Mike to get back to that open personality, but just before everything went down he had developed a full-grown paranoia.
    While right now, beeing somewhat upgraded, he is gruff to downright uncourteous, but obviously reasoning well.
    So let’s hope he will keep his additions!

  • RemusJames

    That smile was heartbreaking. Simply because of how this comic starts, reminding us all of how fragile even that kind of happiness can be.

  • anvill

    I notice the earth memory LEVi has a slightly different form. I assume a specific chassis was developed for space applications, but I was just curious if the LEVi on Earth and the LEVi on Mars are one and the same. As in was LEVi’s intellect replicated or was LEVi’s intellect transferred into the new model? Are his programming and memories be backed up on a hard drive somewhere or are they distinct? This page just made me curious about LEVi’s concept of self if his body can be changed out or his mind duplicated.

    • anvill

      These thoughts added in with the fact that there was a “proto LEVi” in the hanger at the bottom of the cave that was from what I can tell not the same LEVi to Mike.

      • anvill

        Or shoot is the one in the hanger the one from the Earth memories? haha who is LEVi??

        • shingworks

          Haha XD Maybe think of the earliest LEVi as Windows 95, and the new one as Windows 10 or whatever the current one is. As his personality (and functions) were developed and upgraded, the newer ones became less and less backwards compatible, even though some of the basic stuff is still there. Early LEVi’s personality has some of the qualities of present LEVi, but an inability to express all of them. Maybe like trying to play a modern game on a Windows 95 computer, maybe you can still check out some of the component files successfully but it would not be possible to get the full experience? Sorry if my metaphor isn’t that great, I’m not really a computer person, but basically the LEVis do sync, but have different personalities. None of the accessible LEVis are able to sync with the lost one though, and the one that was in the shed is the one shown on this page, ie very rudimentary. Current LEVi will have all of its memories though, and the capability to reflect on them with its superior AI.

          • Anvill

            Very helpful and super interesting, thank you! Are you at at liberty to share as to whether or not Mike’s bond is specifically with the lost LEVi?

  • shittygomu

    OHmygod no is that supposed to be a tear??? Is LEVi crying??? My poor robot bby

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