Chapter 2, Page 19

To paraphrase Janis Joplin, there is a certain freedom that comes with having nothing left to lose.

Happy Friday! Today’s fanart offering is a sketch by Gotlandskorv, of everyone’s best thighbud :] And! a really nice review of MI by The Booklist Reader as well. Thanks for enjoying the comic enough to make a thing XD

The other good news is the unlocked monthly wallpaper post is up on Patreon too. $2 folks can now access the old Meek wallpapers now in addition to all future wallpapers, and $5+ folks have the additional option of getting the PSD vote on this month’s wallpaper. I am leaning towards MI-theme since, crazily enough, I do not have any polished art from MI at all (mostly just dev sketches and comic pages… no illos?? the perils of madcap comic prioritization).

Today’s bonus art: lines, lines, everywhere a lines. I’ll keep posting these lines as long as these pages remain so dark, I know it can be hard to see certain thing… but we’re headed somewhere soon (hopefully not towards asphyxiation).

Oh, and another Patron thank-you! The full list for the month can, as always, be found here

Thanks for reading, and see you on Monday!


  • Draug

    Yeah take it off~

    Thighfriend gets cuter every panel.

    • Draug

      Oh and Mike too I GUESS.

  • Spav

    Good to see some grit, pragmatism, and a nice healthy survival instinct.

    And yes, I’d say that a cave occupied by angry Arrowheads is definitely “suboptimal” for survival.

    • Max

      Nice to see I’m not the only one to use the term “suboptimal” to characterize things and situations that would normally only be described with a passionate and colorful assortment of expletives. Oh, and seeing some healthy pragmatism is nice too indeed!

      • Vert

        Another nicely understated term, particularly when referring to something impossibly difficult, is “non-trivial”. One of my personal favorites.

        • hkmaly

          Degrees of difficulty:
          1) Trivial
          2) Non-trivial
          3) Formally proven to be mathematically impossible

          Example: Decomposing ball into a finite number of point sets and reassembling it into two balls identical to the original is non-trivial:

      • SotiCoto

        Another user of “suboptimal” here, along with the somewhat inefficient terms “less than ideal”, “could be better” and “not what I would have chosen”.

        Of course most of the time the majority of these sentiments can usually be expressed with a sigh, a pause, and the word “typical”.

  • Wereg

    Hopefully Mike is starting to accept that Thighfriend is at least kinda beneficial in some ways.

    Hopefully Thighfriend is actually somewhat beneficial.

    • SotiCoto

      The thighfungus probably hasn’t fixed the leg. It has probably just eaten the nervous system there.

  • Matt

    Ahhh, ever the pragmatist.

  • Nooo odn’t leav ethe helmet, how will you see now :|

    • charles81

      Oh crud! I didn’t notice that before!

      I do see a little blue in the “heloooooo” panel of the previous page, so maybe he can see a light up there already.

      HOLD THE PHONE! Suddenly remembered he had a small reading type light in a shoulder zip pocket of his suit. Might even be another one in the other shoulder zip with more battery and maybe even a proper little torch. Looked like a single LED light so the battery should last a very long time.

      • Max

        I really don’t think you would want to see “a light” in the classical sense in that situation – as in an opening to the surface of Mars; you know, the one you most definitely can’t survive on without a space-suit (or at least a Thighfriend who also happens to work as an symbiotic lung or something…)

        • Emblin

          Yeah. Matt Damon made it very clear that I’m scientific terms: The surface of Mars sucks ass.

  • DasJepix

    gross indeed

  • Psudopod

    Oh, now you want to live?! I guess since he has such a big responsibility as a caretaker now, he needs to live for his thighfriend.

    • Chainsaw Codpeice

      It’s probably forcing him to do. Triggering his flight survival response in his brain

      • Psudopod

        Or maybe, like a baby, it is making him want to secure its survival with tactics of cuteness.

  • squidlifecrisis

    I’m looking forward to how the relationship between these two develops

    in other news, my prediction is that something in that water metabolizes perchlorates into O2 as a waste product, and that’s what built up in that cave enough for Mike to breathe… I mean, for something as big as Thighfriend, it’s gotta be aerobic. right??

  • charles81

    Well… I guess talking to ThighFungi is a step better than talking to yourself.

    Alternate option would have been the normal cave method of pushing your backpack ahead of you but maybe it wouldn’t have fit anyway, he figured it was busted anyway or that even in lighter gravity it would be too difficult.

    • Potatochip

      Thigh friend is not a fungi..
      ..It’s a worm.

      look up Canalipalpata, from the phylum of annelids on Wikipedia (and no, they aren’t supposed to lodge emself into your thigh, luckily!)

  • A.R.

    I love that he’s asking thighfriend if it has anything to contribute to save them.

  • Lilian

    Well, look at that – dogged determination to conquer this! Focus! Anger at the situation! Fierce survival instinct! True grit!

    Mike! It’s good to see you experiencing some healthier emotions!

    Also I admire his expression in the fourth panel. Great intensity.

    • shingworks

      At first I thought you meant thighfriend panel, haha. Such determination!

      • Lilian

        Thighfriend is a cutie, but I’m still learning to interpret his/her expressions.

  • Saberbeam

    Thoughts? Fourth panel expression and one-liner… badass. If his friendly thighfish does nothing else, it at least provides him with some company, and something to talk to/at. On one hand it doesn’t seem to be in a position to provide useful feedback, on the other if Mike projects the proper personality onto it, maybe it will be a (net) positive influence. And that’s assuming that it’s not sapient, which would be a whole lot more fun.

    Or to put it as Yahtzee Croshaw, possibly also paraphrasing Janis Joplin “There’s a certain liberty in hopelessness isn’t there? Because things can’t get 101% fucked.”

    • Vert

      I swear I saw somewhere that Der-Shing said we’d find out Thighfriend’s “real” name later. So if it’s not sentient, it knows (or knew) someone who is…

  • Spav

    Did you sneak-edit this page?

    The light from the helmet seems more appropriately intense in the enclosed space, and I swear that the *rustle* was in black lettering earlier.

    • shingworks

      Haha, yeah I made a mistake on Rustle XD fixed it like 5 mins after the initial post, but aside from some speckles, the rest of the page is the same as before~

      • Spav

        What a difference some white lettering and an additional ten hours of sleep deprivation makes!

  • mootstrap

    So, the last panel is the helmet shining on part of the suit and Mike heading back up towards the narrow space leaving them behind?

    The dark pages and claustrophobic angles are needed to make these pages how they need to be, but I find I spend a lot of time trying to even understand what I’m looking at…

    • shingworks

      Yeah, exactly. And I agree; it’s difficult to show a tiny enclosed space without cutting away part of the wall to put the “camera” there… May need some reworking later but for now it’s better to mentally file away the issues and keep going with the labor part :]

  • Corbie

    No worries, Mike, you’re not going to asphyxiate, dehydrate, or something with Thighfriend. You’ll just be stuck and live. Great version of Fate Worse Than Death. :3

  • He’s moving pretty well for someone with a broken femur. Is Thighfriend perhaps a load-bearing fungus?

    • Welp, just read the previous page’s comments. I have become redundant!

      I have become redundant!

      • Lilian

        Department of Redundancy Department

      • rimmeh

        I was just about to ask the same thing!

        I was just about to ask the same thing!

  • anvil

    And here’s where MI takes a 180 degree turn into a buddy cop story. Mike: the dark and gritty loner with a chip on his shoulder and nothing to lose, and Rustle: the affable but pesky partner he just can’t seem to shake. In over their heads in a sea of trouble, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry: it’s Fischer and The Worm

  • Jojo

    He’s fallen into an oddly professional mind set. I feel like some training may be resurfacing. Especially given the shock he just had. He’s calming himself down and keeping his head.

  • LogicalFallacy

    So based on what we’ve seen so far, Mike suffers from paranoid schizophrenia or something similar. This is interesting for me, as I spent some time working with someone who was schizophrenic and fully aware of it. This fellow I knew was aware that some of experiences were hallucinatory, but due to the inherent difficulties in parsing what was real or not, operated under the assumption that everything he saw or heard (no tactile hallucinations so far as I know) was real. This is about what I see Mike doing in panel two, and I like seeing this fictional reflection of my real world experience.

  • moe

    this page is heaps better for seeing the linework :)

  • Android 21 3/7

    Hey! His eyes are better! Thank you, Infatuated Thighfungus!

  • Meep

    If this is what Mike is going through, I shudder to think what’s happened to Rebekah O_O

  • Shunka_Warakin


    Just from the point of view of someone familiar with annelids (featherduster worms, which thighfriend strongly resembles) that organic shape is meant to rake in free-floating nutrients from the currents of air (water in the original). This suggests that Mike is breathing tasty thighfriend dinner-soup, which probably isn’t good for his lungs.

    Because I really felt Shing needs more ways to screw Mike over. ;) Naw, just a thing I was thinking about in terms of the ecology.

    Also, under these circumstances the LAST thing to go towards would probably be a light. If it isn’t the aforementioned Martian surface, it’d probably be some kind of Undermartian anglerfish equivalent being all “Hi! Tasty defenseless light here! Please ignore the enormous, Mike-sized teeth!”

    • Vert

      I figured the “feathers” were actually some sort of respiratory system, and the nutrient source (in this case) is Mike.

      • Arianwen

        Could also be a twin system, as in carnivorous plants – they photosynthesise but rely on insects etc for nitrogen/calcium, since they usually grow in nitrate-poor soil. Maybe thighfish is feeding from the air but needs Mike for calcium or something.

        It might even be amphibious and filter-feeds in water. Especially since he picked it up not long after his involuntary swim. Mike, you feeling any urge to jump in a lake?

  • Hilen

    Hello! I Love MI, been reading it since the hiatus of The Meek. Is there any place I can go to see all your process in making a page? especially the colours. Becouse I downloaded the vote incentive and I have the feeling that there is a way to make a layer of shadows that is independent of the base colors but has influence on them, but I can’t seem to find it. I don’t know if I’m being clear, english is not my native language. Thanks for reading and for such amazing stories!

    • shingworks

      Hi! No, no tutorial-type stuff, but I have some process things at the Facebook under previous incentives (and will likely have them soon in the Patreon). As for colors, you are probably thinking of a clipping mask layer with a color overlay :] Thank you so much for reading!

      • hilen

        THANK YOU for answering and for giving us such espectacular stories. Can’t wait to se were they go. :D

  • Lorenzo

    I have a feeling we’re closing in to Bex’s rotting, lifeless remains…

  • Luces

    So he found his marbles back, right at the best of moments. But with his history and those crushed pills, who’s gonna believe him?

    • Arianwen

      It’s all right. Thighfriend believes him, and that’s what matters.

  • Sean

    I know this has probably been pointed out before but, for a man who wants to die… he has a hard time letting it happen.

    • StClair

      Overcoming the survival instinct is hard. (To put it another way, if it wasn’t, we wouldn’t be here.)

  • Hey, his eyes are better… And he’s not coughing up the pink, frothy sputum… I think Thighfriend might be adjusting his natural biology to withstand the atmosphere in there. :o Just a theory!

  • fox-orian

    Pfffhhshhthis got a legit laugh out of me.

  • Two-steps-back

    The ‘rocks’ are starting to look like internal tissue to me….

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