Chapter 2, Page 27

“The Mikes they were ashen and sober;
The thighfish were crispèd and sere –
The thighfish were withered and sere:
It was night, in the lonesome November
Of my most immemorial year”

or something, sorry that was flying around my head this entire page.
Man, I’m tired. I… don’t have much to share today, haha. Well, I will share this page with you, as it continues to exist and I continue to be appreciative.

Today’s bonus art: same biz as usual~



  • DasJepix

    Ah no thighfish honey

  • Localized

    D: What’s wrong with Thighfriend?? :(

    • Bellar

      It’s… it’s just time for Thighfriend to… go live happily on a farm, where it can rustle and flap as much as it wants. However, the farm is really far away so we probably won’t see it much anymore…

      • shingworks

        lol nooo not the thighfarm, everyone knows that just means you flushed ’em

    • It’s not just Tightfriend, there aren’t any other insect-flowers around them anymore either.

  • Jade

    uh mike there’s some stuff growing(?) on your head…

  • robertskitch

    Thighfriend has evolved into Fullbodybuddy?

    • Ooorah

      Yes. I must agree with Fullbodybuddy. This can’t be its final form though.

  • Tindi

    Oh, no! Not crispéd and sere! Worse, withered and sere!

    Sorry. I really like that word. Poor thighfriend. Looks like he could use a Gatorade or something.

    • AnAiHasRightsToo

      …It’s what thighfriends crave. Thighfriends need electrolytes.

  • That One Fruckert

    Mike’s going to get an entire suite of quarantine protocols developed and named for him.

    • shingworks

      And a new branch of science, Mikerobiology

      • DukeBG


      • Warr

        This pun is the pinnacle of excellence.

      • imcitcat

        okay maybe not BUT A GIRL CAN DREAM

      • Christian Harrison

        Perfect. Seriously.

      • tehbeefer

        You’ve been waiting ages to use that pun, haven’t you?

  • DukeBG


  • Jojo

    Oh man, oh man, oh man!

  • Jojo

    Reminds me of Greg Bear’s ‘Blood Music’.

    • Karyl

      Oh, I think of Blood Music a lot when I read this strip. Boy talk about infiltration and in this case, exfiltration, or Mikey would be dead Mikey.

      • Jojo

        I think its the ridges that really draw the parallel for me. Do you think he might be taken over entirely and infect others? Could that be the voice?

  • Aristatide

    Alas, poor Thighfriend! Such feels we had.

    This calls for a memorial service.

  • Metrophor

    oh god he’s turning into a clicker.

    • addy

      i’m glad i’m not the only one who thought this

  • Captain-Delirium

    Mike baby what is going on with you, you’re scaring me ;;a;;

  • It makes me feel kinda evil, but I’m super excited that Mike is growing more creepy fungus bits. I really wanna know what he turns into :3.

    I’m a lil confused about where the voice from the previous page was coming from though, but I guess all will be revealed.

  • Draug

    What… what are those things on his head??

    Also thighfriend nooooo!

  • imcitcat

    …that last one sounded really wrong
    but nooooo my poor amorous thighfriend is withered and gaunt :c

  • moe

    if thighfriend’s been helping him breathe… how will he breathe now/

    • ZeCaboose

      His new head-friend, maybe?

    • ThisCat

      Huh, that is probably why his eyes are getting bloodshot again.

  • LostYooper

    My God, it’s full of stars… Just when Mike was getting pretty attached to thigh friend (Or maybe it was the other way around?)

  • Hmm, so someone calling him was probably a dream, after all. But were the insect-flowers ? I think those were real.

    • Actually, I wonder if something in ThightFriend kinda poisoned him and made him hallucinate.

      • Vert

        Thighfriend consumes Hcl and excretes LSD.

  • sweet_gardenia

    thighfriend is being replaced by shroombuddies? noooooo. The elegance and wit of thighfriend’s “flap”s! The loving way it made threat displays! Thighfriend we hardly knew ye alas. The memorial service will be beautiful

    Mike meantime hacking up shittakes sigh…

  • Thrawcheld

    Thighfriend has evolved into Templefriend!

  • Android 21 3/7

    Don’t worry, everyone! Yes, thighfriend is dead, but she left her children behind, growing all over Mike’s body!

    • Nick


    • Jac

      Just like that scene in Scarlett’s Web, aww!

      • shingworks

  • Vert

    Well, if it really was any sort of fungus-analogue, then that had to be a fruiting body. Too big and expensive to be anything else. And the thing about fruiting bodies is they only show up when the mycelium have gotten into *everything*.

    • DasJepix

      This comment is so foreboding and enlightening it’s almost part of the narrative.

    • Shunka_Warakin

      Except it really didn’t look like a fungus analogue, it looked like a cross between Sabellastarte and Zoanthus…Both reef-dwelling species…More like a really fleshy-fanned Sabellastarte, really.

      Odds on the current ‘starscape’ being bioluminescent creepycrawlies angling for flying critters?

  • Antonia

    Nooo thighfriend :'(
    I hope you’re feeling better these days, by the way!

  • Rhapsha

    Oh dear, Thighfriend doesn’t appear to be doing too well. Also Mike might be growing gills, but that’s secondary here.

  • Spav

    Alas, poor Flapflap.

    Though it appears that Mike is either being digested or becoming fungus. Or both.

  • DatDat

    Im sad about thighfriend. But now is the time for the age old question: Do I take it out or do I leave it in?!? Is dead friend going to kill me now that friend is dead :C?

    And maybe when is Mike going to get hungry? Cause questions!

  • CosmicStresshead

    This is the Companion Cube ordeal all over again

  • Petra

    I’m guessing that thighfriend wasn’t as compatible with Mike’s biology as it hoped. RIP thighfriend. Mike kills everything he touches in this brave new worls.

    • Petra


  • Anvill

    Der Shing, have you established anywhere outside of the comic which of the six kingdoms thighfriend might most closely belong to? Or are you approaching the Martian life as different enough from Earth life to defy conventional categorization? I know you went a bit into thighfriend and arrowhead details at one point but I don’t recall that being specifically addressed.

    • shingworks

      I… think they would be outside of Earth taxonomies tbh. My hands are tied atm in regards to giving more info about cave friends, but we’ll be able to get back into that soon.

      • Intile

        I looove to hear that. One of my biggest sci-fi pet-peeves is when the writers try to fit everything into earth biology, which just doesn’t make sense if it evolved separately! The worst and most common case of this is everything being colorful humans with horns and knobby bits. It’s so refreshing to see a realistic take on alien life-forms.

        • Android 21 3/7

          I do have the same pet peeve regarding “aliens being colorful humans with a few extra features”, but I tend to be more forgiving in the “fit everything into earth biology” department. It’s not like we have any other biology to draw inspiration from.

          • Intile

            But that’s the beauty of sci-fi, the room to be creative and explore! To speculate and really push the boundaries of what we know! No other genre can do that. That’s what makes sci-fi unique.

      • Anvill

        Ok I figured that was probably the case. Thanks for your response! I’m excited to learn more as it comes along :D

      • Yorple

        When it comes to classification, this still isn’t always done by genetics, but by distinguishing features. If an extraterrestrial creature has features similar to an existing class it might actually be tossed in there until someone comes up with something better. Especially when it comes to broad groups like “plant”, “animal”, “fungus”, “algae”, etc…

        If they’re based on something other than DNA/RNA though, or have some other really basic difference from known life, I figure sooner or later people will stop trying to fit them into the same tree of life.

  • Cthulhufish

    T-thighfriend? No! NOOO!!!

    Shing, you monster!

  • Intile

    My guess personally is that thighfriend has entered another stage of it’s life-cycle, one that is causing him to have those weird growths on his head.

    On another note, oh my god those face growths are really hitting my body-horror spot. I don’t know why thighfriend didn’t, but those whatever-they-are are just soooo creepy to me… in a good way.

  • Thighfriend noo! Just when he was beginning to grow on me.

    • Jac

      Yeah, I was getting pretty attached. Poor Martian buddy :(

    • Ceceoh


  • Spiffinn

    All is not lost, with the new Headfriends, this may be akin to ecological succession.

  • Spav

    (holy shit Mike is ripped)

  • squidlifecrisis

    facial fungus is cool and all, but I wonder what’s growing inside his lungs

    • Aidan903

      What . . . Why would you even SAY that.

      All the terrible images inside my head.

      • shingworks

        And you haven’t even thought about grabbing onto a wilted thighfish and pulling it out, only to find you’re pulling out your own quadriceps…

        • Nooooooo

        • izzy

          I was once prescribed oxycontin by a doctor. I had a hallucination that I was pulling my intestines out of my belly cavity, compulsively eating them, and could not stop. Never gonna try that stuff again.

    • Vert

      SO many spores. Looks like he’s coughing a few out, now.

    • Martha Wolfe

      (shudders) Oh, that’s truly horrifying.

      Well, Mike, I guess you might just get your wish. ‘Cause there’s no way they’ll ever send you back to Earth if it looks like you might turn everyone back home into fungus.

      Heck, they probably won’t even let you back into the base.

  • Ceceoh

    Geez, Mike! What’d you do? Roll on him?

  • shade

    I find the strangest thing in this panel to be…stars.

    I recall previous discussions and whatnot about how far down he must be for water to exist in a liquid form and the pressure great enough to support breathable atmosphere. Don’t recall the specifics, but it was pretty damn deep.

    Yet he gazes up at a seemingly expansive panorama of stars (not hallucinations either…they’re reflected in his eye the previous panel.) The field of view is too broad to suggest he’s staring up from a deep hole or a crater.

    So…what is he seeing here? Weird bioluminescence that looks like suspiciously like stars? Something artificial? Am I just crazy?

    • Vert

      Bioluminescent critters on the ceiling of the immense cavern he’s in, I’d guess.

      Or, you know, etherium.

  • fox-orian

    Mike is one step closer to assimilating with planet Mars and then driving it around the galaxy stopping space crime.

  • Kisa

    I’m kind of sad that Thighfriend doesn’t have a glossary entry… But, I suppose that’s because it wasn’t there long enough to be in the opening credits. o3o

    We still loved you, Thighfriend. You will be missed.

  • Jaeger

    Poor thighfriend… Mike seemed pretty attached to it…

  • Aidan903

    We stand here today to mourn the death of Thighfriend. Starting off life as some sort of weirdly amorous fish thing, he quickly grew on our hearts-specifically Mike’s. Father/mother/origin of an internal infestation of fungus that has become very close to Mike, especially now that Thighfungus is dead. We mourn with them. May he rest in peace. Amen.

  • Ceceoh

    If that’s the lifespan of a thighfriend, then it only had time to reproduce and implant its progeny someplace where it has a sure food supply. (Gulp!)

  • Cheri


  • Amorous Thighfish Gill


    • shingworks


  • Marc

    I always thought the voice (with the very formal name usage) would be LEVI. But Thighfriend :(

  • Lorenzo

    Damn, Der-shing!

  • HandwashBigpan

    Thighfriend is just pining for the fjords.

  • MiniMoose

    I don’t need to add my voice to to what I know is a comments section full of concern for thighfish, but I find it amusing as hell that I felt legitimate surprise and remorse when I scrolled down to the last panel. Not only was it a fascinating and scarily mysterious element in the story, but readers imbibed it with so much weird personality (cheerily encouraged by Shing!) that I actually felt literal sadness to see it looking so dead. This is why I enjoy reading these comics as they happen so damn much – great as it would be to read the story in book form, the commentary that springs out of weekly updates is priceless. I’m amazed that the result of this communal gathering has resulted in a ridiculously characterized mars fungus thing that we all mourn. It’s like we lost a character just as great as the actual people in the story.


    • Kittenears

      This is why I majored in English with a focus on literature. The way a story develops a life of it’s own, how easily humans grasp delightedly with both hands the most unsuspecting bit of a story to cherish…

      it will forever delight me.

      Der-Shing, your art is beautiful. There’s no discussion about that, we all agree.

      But your story writing.


  • Luces
    • shingworks

      D:< That little sellout!!

  • Cpt. Proton

    wasn’t he originally wounded and infected in the water?
    perhaps the poor thing is dehydrated?

  • Shunka_Warakin

    I <3 fanworms. Thighfriend might not be technically a fanworm, but seems to have most similar feeding/hiding mechanics. I mostly cared more about how they looked and what they did for the ecosystem in my reef aquarium, anyway. :)

  • MSD3000

    I hate it when I sleep on my parasitic alien life form wrong too. It just wont sit right until I take a shower.

  • HadleyRill

    Uh Mike… there’s something on your face.

    I’m really loving how this comic is developing.

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