Chapter 5, Page 22

Literally running away from the hard problems, great response~

Thanks all for your comments on the last page. I’m trying not to comment back too much, since my commentary should really be restricted to the comic itself, but I’m reading them all and find the perspectives very interesting.

The MI book Kickstarter passed 95k yesterday… the 90k unlock was adding on this sign from Ch1 as a bumper sticker, haha.

There’s also a new little writeup about one of our guest artists, the incredible Tom/ Abbadon of one of my fav webcomics, Kill Six Billion Demons. I’m so excited to be able to commission him for a piece of Mare Internum art, his ability to render strange worlds is truly unparalleled.

Oh yeah and the Kallakore pin giveaway is still going! Check out these great new entries:

Driven by PaintedBees

Space Ladies by Dogebode

Kallakore by EllJWalker

Untitled Poem by Whoopsydaizy

Haiku by ZeroID

So yeah, chugging right along!

48 Comments

  • She looks…so…tired. Oh, man. I can really see the emotional toll on her in those first two panels. I know Bex is a controversial character for many, but this breaks my heart…

    On a lighter note, it’s good to see Mike dealing with his problems like he always does.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FPELc1wEvk

    • Lilian

      She has to be utterly exhausted on more than one front. She doesn’t have the benefit of a thigh-friend to make this physically easier.

      Also, Monty Python and the Holy Grail reference: I approve.

  • awhorl

    Are Mike’s eyeballs changing color a little bit on purpose? The more he cogitates (like, thinks real hard), do they look less Processor Blue? or is that just my wishful headcannon?
    Well, at least he ran away *toward* someone who was waiting for him to answer a question he was trying to avoid. He could have run away from both of them!

    • Spark

      I kinda chalked it up to lighting

    • LupusDraconis

      It seems like his eyes have been different ever since his encounter with the Processor

    • shingworks

      They’ve gotten more glowy after he walked into the ocean, it stands out more in the dark! (and less when I forget to add the glow on top like I did on this page)

  • awhorl

    I do wish that the print version would have footnotes that translate all the thrippage that’s been going on. I am sure it’s on a draft dialog page somewhere, even if it was never meant for publication. :D

    • shingworks

      I’m strongly considering it tbh XD

      • Eversist

        “Fish- Fish- Fi-, but Fish, Fiiiish, but Fish–!!!”

        I would love it too. :)

      • Natalie

        Me too :)

  • AGV

    I see that Mike has attended the Dumbing Of Age School of Dealing With Personal Responsabilities

  • Lilian

    Shing, I appreciate your efforts to make a space for multiple perspectives. Given that this is your platform, you have the right to tailor the comment section to whatever suits your fancy. But you allow disagreement and discussion and criticism of things you hold dear.

    Mike, this is the part where you say, “Oh. I’m sorry.” Cool if you want to check on Kalla, but that was not the time.

  • vin

    *cackles* Poor Threvi thripping away like “WTAF MICHAEL”

    This straight up made me cry/laugh in the middle of the sidewalk on the way to work. Mike’s resemblance to one of my exes probably didn’t help that any.

  • Natalie

    I bet it’s really exhausting having a comments section sometimes lol. I enjoy thinking aloud about stuff, though. Thanks for having it here :).

    —-

    Oh man. “They’re FINALLY talking!!” – me, just before Mike runs away *eye roll*. Haha. Hope he comes back >_>.

    I wish I could understand those thrips!

  • DavidJCobb

    Hopefully he’s just going back to tell Kalla, “Hey, uh, still alive; totally gonna come back for you; I, uh, just need some time to deal with stuff and things.” :\

    • shingworks

      pretty much. “Sorry to bounce I need to check on my shark” is as good an excuse as any

      • Mustachio

        I figured he just realized he needed to pee and didn’t want to do it in front of her :D

        • ProphetZarquon

          That’s what I thought, too.
          “Being organic is complicated”

  • Eversist

    My two cents: This reader loves it when you jump in in the comments, in any context. It’s one of the things I love about the webcomic medium; the live nature of discussing the story as it unfolds (which can definitely be interpreted as a feature… and a bug, hah), and the author getting to chime in to make us think further or in different ways about the subject matter is something I love. Totally get where you’re coming from, though.

  • Kat Serapha

    Mike I swear to god.

  • Solanuma

    Mike: *running back and forth* God this comic is almost over and I still need to talk to so many people!

  • Pylgrim

    Being non-white I thank the good intentions of people who portray non-whites as perfect, wonderful and awesome Mary Sues among a sea of hostility and prejudice. However, I appreciate much more those who, like Der-Shing, portray them as good and bad, inherently flawed. In other words, truly human.

    • Lilian

      *thumbs up*

  • Jadeity

    I feel like Mike is literally me when I’m trying to balance too many people, their problems, and my problems all at once. Maybe the fungus hobo’s next friend will help him be in two places at once…

    Poor Bex, though. On some level, I feel like she has her life too much together compared to Mike to be able to deal with his antics. As much as anyone trapped in an alien journey to the center of the earth situation can have their life together…

  • Eyesauce

    A summary of this page lmao:
    https://youtu.be/W6oQUDFV2C0

  • Lord Hideous

    I get it. Mike needs advice from his Martian friend on how to deal with his fellow humans. Kalla does seem to be better at it.

    • awhorl

      Uh, Mike, how do you ask a lady what’s the best way to leave with the other lady?

  • Nyzer

    Heh, if you spent as much time as you might like to discussing all the comments and perspectives from last page, you’d never get a chance to write or draw any new pages!

  • Boy.

  • Zim

    God i really feel with Bex so much. Like the accepting and rejecting of the Processor says so much about the basis of these characters. I honestly relate to both the stories of Micheal and Bex strongly. And im hoping they resolve with each other.

    And honestly Bex needs so much love and acceptance of how she is that i think the Processor will give her an absolutely beautiful role in the system when she goes and talks. Her talk with Micheal will be integral.

    I think she is the sort that thinks that people will assume she has needs and wants and to at least extend her a modicum of respect of being a being who isnt stone.

    And when she is treated again as stone and must harden more as stone people are surprised she is sharp and unmovable and unhospitable. When levi said she is driven and could make it up that cliff side i wanted to fight him. But he is based on a child and a child has their faults and whims.

    I think when she opens up more about her motivations and how they roll around the balance of herself and others and how hard it is for her to balance herself with others she might be okay. Also i felt so bad for the mommy thing. Not every woman is meant to mother and her struggle with it is heartbreaking. Cuz it comes with expectations and grueling amounts of labor and it inherently changes you to bend yourself to new beings that need so much to thrive. Not to trash parenting but it truly is something some ppl arent ready for. And after you do it you really cant escape it. That child exists and you are forever connected to said child. And when her kids didnt want to talk to her?? God, just wow. And her husband. Its so hard for me to see her hurt cuz she is so very much human.

    I hope she gets peace in the narritive and she realizes how to balance. Tbh her want to be understood but having difficulties communicating is very much a feel.

  • Catalysis

    Kalla is okay, i hope

  • Karyl

    count me as another person who wondered if suddenly Mike had to pee or poop. That would make the comment to Levi more humorous if not on point.

    • Ponyhome

      Hey, being organic is complicated.

      • When you gotta go, you gotta go! That part, at least, is pretty simple.
        ;-)

    • awhorl

      What good is a space suit if it doesn’t take care of that? I thought that would be first on the designer’s to-do list. And didn’t Kalla say she cleaned his suit when she rescued him?

  • Mr. Casual

    Alright, sure, Michael. Help Bex get out if you must. But don’t you dare leave Kalla! She’s stuck here. She can’t leave. And I’ll bet she’s waaaaaaay lonelier.

    • Lilian

      Yeah, Kalla is the most isolated of the three. I’m impressed she’s still sane.

      • ProphetZarquon

        I’m not so sure about that second part.

  • Lar

    I am really anxious for my new job to start. I wanna contribute to the Kickstarter so bad!!

  • jupiterflytrap

    what ever happened to Mike’s shoes?

    • Sheridan

      They disappeared off-screen somewhere between Kalla getting killed and him returning Bex’s bag of goodies at the Processor.

  • Ben

    I’d taken Mike’s blue eyes to be an artistic convention denoting the level of influence the Processor had on him at any given point; there’s a repeated motif of illuminated water, and we know the water is a key element in how the processor controls the environment

  • Artie O'Dactyl

    “I’m weak. And I’m scared. And I’m lonely. And I can’t do this by myself.”

    Congratulations, Bex! You’ve just explained how your children feel.

  • Deb

    I kept clicking to go next but I guess I’ve reached the end for now T_T

    Your commentary on the way people perceived bex was very interesting as I’d been thinking the same thing for a while now! In her position I would’ve punched Mike the minute I found him because HE is the one that got them into this, but she’s been acting caring and civil. She has every right to get mad when even with all her efforts it seems mike just doesn’t grasp the gravity of their situation and just wants to play Martian (from her perspective). without knowing the things we do about mike to bex he really is acting like an agbaya I.e a childish adult

    That being said I am in love with mike and bex and kalla and thrip! Thank you for writing such loveable and realistic characters! And also I’m impressed by the efforts you go to to depict bex; seeing such a fleshed out Nigerian character that is so much more than her nationality has been such a treat, and so has reading her speak Nigerian Pidgin XD you’re such an intelligent writer and I cannot wait to get to the end of this journey (and then catch up on the meek :D)

  • Fleece

    I don’t agree with the idea expressed by several people that Bex is not liked because she was introduced to us later than Mike. After all, the examples of side characters who are introduced after the hero and have somewhat different outlooks on things than him but who nevertheless become very popular with the audiences are so numerous in other stories I am not even going to bring any examples, because everybody can surely think of dozens.

    Bex is stuck in a weird position where she is not really a coprotagonist, because we cannot see her from the inside out and haven’t got enough information to “be her” and know her thoughts, but we don’t see her from Mike’s position, either, as a strange other human with an unknown inner life that she keeps to herself and is none of his business, because we, unlike him, see her flashbacks and are with her in scenes he isn’t.

    Mike’s and Bex’s relationships is dependent on what they tell each other whereas our relationship with Bex is dependent on what the author lets us know about her and so is built up to be a certain way not by Bex herself.

  • Ben

    How is Mike going to leave the cavern? He has a great rent in one leg of his suit, with an alien parasite or symbiote protruding through it. He has no boots. He has no life support pack. His helmet is left somewhere behind him.

    Bex, don’t forget, has already received specific orders to return to the Mars Rover and return to the Hab. If and when she reaches the Rover again, those orders will be repeated. The Hab aren’t going to stage a suicide mission to rescue someone like Mike, that just isn’t how things work.

  • Some_Douchebag

    I was honestly expecting there to be a fight. Instead I got feels.

    Unrelated to that, I have come to expect a shallow depiction of heroic “strong female character” types, because they are usually presented as either being 100% in the right or being close enough that it may as well be the same thing. When they are shown with flaws or vulnerabilities, they are usually paltry attempts at humanization that are only given enough attention to re-emphasize how awesome the character is despite this. I’ve also had the misfortune of running into a couple of women IRL in my younger years who tried to actually be like such a character. One of the problems with such depictions (and the people who try to emulate them) is that their first-and-only mode of characterization is that they’re better than others. This removes the possibility of things like teamwork or sympathy, as every interaction they have is pared down into a brute struggle to show dominance. Since Bex is allowed to admit (and not just show) that she has doubts and weaknesses, she opens the door for empathy and actual connection with others, without necessarily submitting or subordinating herself to them. It’s a shame that the only one around to listen is someone like Mike, but at least he won’t try and take advantage of Bex’s admission.

    I also like this page because of my earlier rambling about Bex’s “choice” to come to Mars not being an act of “extreme decisiveness”, but the last resort of someone with nothing left to anchor them. It makes me look smat.

  • WatchfulEye

    *looks at Bex’s face closely* So, is Bex suffering from a Martian worm-infection…?

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