Chapter 2, Page 16

More friends! This comic is full of so many nice friends.

Sorry this page is up so late. All the pages without text take a long time because I can’t phone it in behind the bubble, haha.

Thanks so much for the recent jump in support on Patreon! We’ve breached another milestone and unlocked wallpapers, so those will be available to everyone $2 and up for October :] Kinda itching to do some non-comic-format MI art, but the subject will be left up to the $5+ tiers. Also! just added some info on our new buddy here.

WELL time to get to work on Monday’s page now haha. See you soon~


  • Solifuge

    angle just wants to axe him what he’s doing down here anyway

    • Ten Twenty

      You are a gift to those who use the English language. c(=

  • Corbie

    Mike, exobiology is truly not your field of work.

    • Max

      “Why can’t you all be nice and fossilized? Why do you have to be ALIVE?!?”

  • Jojo

    I adore the expressions! Especially in that last panel. I can’t tell you how often I checked this page for the update. I’m so hooked its not even funny.

  • Fridge_Logik

    If this is a predator it’s not doing a good job of killing him. It makes me think that thing isn’t meant to pursue prey as big as Mike.

    • shingworks

      Probably not! It’s probably checking him out in the way that sharks, prior to biting, will bump objects with their nose in order to determine if something is edible or not.

      • Jac

        Aw, that’s adorable!

        • Commenteer

          Adorably horrifying, anyway.

      • Madeleine

        It’s axe-aminating him?

      • Jones


        *boop boop*

      • Edmund

        oh man i only noticed months later this reminds me of a banjo shark. Saw one once at Loveland living planet Aquarium. Saw right through it’s… head? Good times.

  • Ricola

    Every time I read this comic’s updates, I’m simultaneously like, “THIS IS THE WORST THING/BEST THING I HAVE EVER SEEN.”

    This is a fantastic story and I cannot wait to meet more spacetime friends.

  • Cheri

    Do you think this thing is related to the giant light upy jelly from earlier in the chapter? I didn’t notice until now that it is coming from the water.

    also Mars is terrible.

    • Cheri

      Never mind. It’s worse than giant curious jelly. ._.

    • shingworks

      Mars is the worst!

    • Vert

      Mars is home to hell-alien invasions, weird time skips, bee guns, post-human Olympian gods surrogates, space elevators, and now an ecosystem filled with symbiotic fungi and giant predatory works.

      If Deja Thoris and the city of Helium don’t show up soon there isn’t going to *room*.

  • StClair

    This first contact is not going so well.

  • Amity

    Mike has healed: leg injury!

    Mike has healed: respiratory failure!

    New achievement unlocked: Symbiont: Bronze Level!
    Symbiont: heal brain chemistry for Silver

    Mike has survived meeting a new alien species!

    New achievement unlocked: First Contact: Bronze Level!

    Mike has survived meeting a new alien species!
    Mike has met 2 new alien species in less than 5 minutes!
    New achievement unlocked: Star Wars Cantina: Bronze Level!
    First Contact: Mike is 2/10 alien species toward Silver
    Star Wars Cantina: meet 2 new alien species in less than 1 minute for Silver

    I don’t know… I think Mike is winning.

    • Ben

      If Mike is winning, I’m only glad that whatever he is winning isn’t on MY mantelpiece

    • If this is what winning looks like, I don’t want to know about losing.

    • Wereg

      If you don’t survive, you can’t brag about your achievements.

    • Vert

      Good point on the leg injury. It looks like he just pushed himself back in the sand with the injured leg, which should be pretty much impossible with a compound thigh fracture.

  • Jenny

    lmao now the fungus is ~feel~ing him back

  • *sliiide*

    • So, in random order.
      -I’m glad to see the pointy looking bits aren’t some kind of stabby horn, but more like cat whiskles :)
      -Lil’fungus is peeping behind once mike turned around :D
      -what object is being flung away in the bottom left panel ? it doesn’t look like his helmet ?

      • LostYooper

        I think that is his air tank.

        • Aidan903

          I thought it was some protrusion from Anglefungus.


  • Vertel

    You know, for someone who was trying to kill himself just a few hours ago he’s showing a surprising degree of survival instinct.

    • Aristatide

      He just needed a good thighfriend.

      • Smo

        He needs a thigh compadre who will teach him how to rock.

      • Willinwoods

        He’s got a friend in him … (apologies to Randy Newman).

        And I wonder whether NASA’s impending announcement (‘Mars mystery solved’) has something to do with all of this? ;)

        • MikeLinPA

          Good pun!

          • Willinwoods

            Thanks! :) And whoooa, am I a little psychic or something? NASA-tv right now.

    • Vert

      Don’t forget, Mike’s driving goal (whether driven by his illness, personal history, or some combination thereof) is to achieve *control* over his life.

      If he’s going to end his life it has to be on *his* terms. Otherwise, he’s just ceding control yet again.

      At least, that’s how he’ll rationalize it to himself after the adrenaline wears off.

    • Foghome

      Survival instinct is automatic & involuntary. Suicidal people like myself & Mike have to override that. I have a particular plan to give me control on when & where. I don’t want to be hit by a bus, for example, as it may not kill me, its messy, and it will traumatize the poor driver.

      • Concerned

        @Foghome: It might not be my place, and I don’t know you at all or the situation you’re in, but I wanted to tell you from one person who has also seriously considered suicide on more than one occasion that it’s just really not worth it; life has a funny way of offering a moment of light in what seems like the darkest, most impenetrable hopelessness. Just know that there’s someone that cares whether you live or die, even if it’s a random internet stranger who saw your post and was worried for you. I’m send some positive energy into the universe for you and hope you find something today that makes you happy, even if just for a moment long enough to consider life worth living.

        • Me too

          Yes, same. I also care. Speaking from experience, getting out of the dark hole is fucking awful and can feel like it will never happen, but it can.

          I’m sorry that you don’t want to stay, but maybe posting here means you aren’t completely ready to leave? Please call Lifeline–they’re actually pretty good. 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

      • shingworks

        Thanks for sharing. I’ll echo the other commenters to let you know that I care as well… this comic is not as much about suffering as it is about not giving up despite that. Please think about reaching out to call or chat with a hotline. As unbelievable as it feels right now, things can get better.

      • Kat

        Dear Foghome, I know others have already said it, but I just can’t stay quiet on the subject. I, too, know some of what that’s like. I was suicidal off and on for *many* years (at least 15), and even made one lame attempt to actually do it. And all I can say with every particle of my heart is that I am so very glad I never went through with it. I am in tears right now, because I want to help and even though I don’t know you I feel like I do and I wish I could hold your hand and let you know that you are valuable. You are. You aren’t perfect, but nothing is, and somehow that’s what makes the world beautiful and worth being a part of. You are part of that beauty.

        Of course I don’t know what it’s like to be you, and I don’t know your particular situation or what you’ve been through, but I do know that there’s a thread of similarity that runs through this kind of pain in everyone who experiences it. I feel it, too. And I know that it always passes, even if it takes a long, long time. Please please please stay with us. You have friends here.

      • Fellow Traveler

        I have been struggling to get a handle on my suicidal tendencies about 3 years. Sometimes it’s better, sometimes it’s worse. This month has been worse. But other months have been better, and other months will be better in the future. I just have to trust that even though this month it may seem hopelessly optimistic to think that any future happiness could compensate for this much dysfunction, next month might be one where I get a whole week without even thinking about suicide.

        I hope that you and I can both find the strength to hold on through the bad months so that we can get to the good ones. I hope that simply having a Plan gives you enough control that you don’t feel compelled to use it. And above all, I hope to god that the good months become more frequent. I wish you all the best.

    • MikeLinPA

      Finally! I wasn’t going to post this unless no one else had said it before me. I thought that was more important to the story than the weird life on Mars. (It’s Mars!)

    • Emblin

      If in my last moments, I just discover something so important that would change all of humanity, forever, I’d postpone suicide too

  • So many friends! Is this how Martians hug?

  • Ooorah

    “Squishy pink life form… you will take good care of my daughter. She is very cuddly with legs, but you will return her by evening…”

    • Said daughter seems pretty attached to Michael.

  • VainVillain

    Oh god you’ve reached the point in the story where we’re all on the edge of our seats waiting to see what happens next! Get away from the angle creature, Mike! Protect new thighbuddy!

  • Funkbuqet

    I wonder if angle-fungus is thigh-fungus’ mother.
    “Where do you think you’re going with my baby! “

  • Aidan903

    Anglefungus actually seems eerily beautiful, in a way. Kind of like how lethal jellyfish look ethereal right before they kill you.

    Great job, Shingworks. A story worthy of applause.

  • Ceceoh

    Martian Fungus Smackdown! On Syfy!

  • Bonzairob

    Maybe it just wants to take him to King Thighfish so he can be greeted properly as ambassador from Earth!

    Maybe the legfanworm is just an interpretor!

    This is going to be a nice happy comic about good things happening to sad people to cheer them up!!

  • Wow, neat.

    Not sure what’s happening in panels 1-3 but it’s interesting. If the big creature has flexibility along the bilateral axis then maybe it folds its newly-extended membrane over prey like a Venus flytrap? Or maybe there’s another membrane beneath which it brings up in a mouth-like fashion to engulf prey like gulper eels? Maybe the mouth is further back and below the membrane and sucks up whatever the anvil-like head manages to flush from sediments?

    So many possibilities! Probably none of my guesses are right. This has been great fun to pore over; always excited for new pages.

    • Vert

      It took me a minute, but it looks like it’s using a flexible/stretchy membrane to “fire” its “arrow”, crossbow style.

      Not unheard of even in earth critters; mantis shrimp do something similar, albeit with all-chitinous components and muscle.

      • Vert

        Actually upon still further examination it looks like it’s inflating some sort of fluid-filled bladder, maybe using the pressure to jet the barb out.

        Nasty bugger.

  • Oh wow. Not entirely sure what is going on here, but I don’t think Mike is either, so yeah. I will say, the ground that Mike is on seems to have an interesting texture, but understandably he doesn’t seem to have noticed.

  • Ellie

    Where is the light coming from?

    • shingworks

      There’s a helmet he threw off to the side, and then the pink stuff has its own glow for some reason…

      • Emblin

        *cough cough* *wink wink*
        Subtle hinting right there, Shing

  • Japanne

    How excited are you for the science findings about Mars tomorrow? =D

    • shingworks

      Very X]

  • For Mikes sake I hope his thigh creature isn’t parasitic. I’m going to go with the idea that it is actually eating his dead tissue and repairing the rest? Maybe it is like a hermit crab that uses other critters as its home.

    • Vert

      I think it just likes to eat calcium and phosphorus, then replaces the bone with its own structure, kind of like that weird thing that eats fish tongues, then replaces them with its own body.

  • Localized

    “CAN I EAT THIS???”
    – Arrowhead

  • charles81

    Did it just chop off the remainder of his backpack? and whats with the change to it’s… neck? Suddenly from arrow to shovel

    Probably not wise to run into the dark anyway.

    No idea what this thing’s intentions are. It appears as though it’s healed mike with the thigh fungus and whatever the glowing stuff sprinkled around him is but maybe it has some further motive of seeing the thigh fungus grow and take him over or separate… gods only know

  • Luces

    Well, the comic started with Mikes attempt of suicide, and it didn’t get any better with him in that cave. So perhaps he should stand still and let flapper do his work?
    On the other side, what a sorry sample of the species said flapper picked out to overtake!
    Just kidding, of course. Love the way the whole scene is dipped in martian blood – red!

  • sweet_gardenia

    so clearly shovelfungus makes friends by whapping them repeatedly on the head. maybe follow-up first contact should involve lots of protective gear?

  • Unclever title

    I think you can take it Mike! Parasitic leg friend aside, you grew up in an environment with over twice as much gravity! You should have a strength advantage!

    Unless of course you’ve spent lots of time in a lower gravity environment without properly maintaining your muscle mass and bone density.

    • Vert

      Well, maybe. Strength isn’t everything. We can kill lots of animals that are stronger than we are just by throwing stuff at them. Even if Ravenous ShovelWorm isn’t very strong, it looks like it can fling its “harpoon” at high speed. If Mike can grab it and YANK, he might get its attention, but if he panics and tries to run again…

  • MikeLinPA

    Why don’t you have a TWC vote button on this site?

    • shingworks

      I usually throw it in the comments, I was just slammed this weekend and didn’t update the incentive so I left it off today :B

  • Xen

    Long time reader, first time commenter, but I just had to come here to say this…


  • Arianwen
    • shingworks

      :DDDD Everyone is so excited about brine, finally

      • shingworks


        • charles81

          Its brineiant work… But Mike found it first.

  • Petra

    Look on the bright side, Mike! If you survive this and get into contact with people, you and Bex are going to literally be the most famous people on earth.

    …even if Bex may or may not be dead.

  • karl

    god dang I dig this comic so hard

  • Nomi

    I love this comic but I can’t tell WTF is going on at all. Will keep reading, and hope it will come into focus at some point….

    • shingworks

      Haha XD I haven’t actually gotten to the “point” yet, so don’t worry, you’re not missing something.

  • zathael

    Crusfungus Ovaecores and its natural predator Spathefungus Amicus

  • Teej

    The ~feel~ is on the other foot now…

  • Vert

    … what if, as a result of his thighfriend, Mike literally *can’t* die now? Scytheworm could decapitate him and he’ll just grow back together again… That’ll piss Mike off real good.

    • Lilian

      Thighfriend would have to work quickly.

  • Dreampiper

    I wonder if this is all just a metaphorical pain trip that Mike is having and the thing attacking him is really Bex trying to help him out and he’s just flailing around! XD

  • Chainsaw Codpeice

    The adventures of amorous thighfish, infatuated thighfungus and ravenous scytheworm: Legendary Mike edition.
    We should totally fund a game around this. I don’t care about how good it is I want to buy a game called that.

  • roxy

    Mike, you must listen very carefully. you must calm down, and channel your inner spirit animal. imitate your spirit animal and flap your non-existent wings to freedom.

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