Chapter 2, Page 9

Fire water and brimstone!

Science time!!! We like science, right? some new words for our lovely glossary:

  • PMR: Proton Magnetic Resonance, it’s a way you can “see” underground to locate water, currently used by hydrogeologists. In the comic, LEVi could do this on his own (he is a little flying geology machine, after all)
  • GPR: Ground Penetrating Radar (this is something that NASA is actually planning to do, using a future rover and system called RIMFAX)(Mars Express is also supposedly doing some subsurface imaging based on seismic waves :O Pretty cool!)
  • Sat: just satellite imaging~
  • Keyhole: well, it’s a type of water-carved cave that was formed by water that cut both through and downwards. In more technical terms, a mix of phreatic and vadose action. This leads to an oval chamber with a hole in the floor.
  • Sump: kinda like the one under your sink, an cave passage that is submerged.

So much science. Helps keep the mind off of amorous thighfish.

Some sweet-ass double fanart from last week, by Juan! Hella nice.

Bonus MI comics are, by the way, gettin’ posted to Patreon for you $5+ folks, in case you missed it. Doing a little privacy-invading side comic about Mike at the moment, gonna post a new set of pages in a day or two. Not integral to the main plot, but you know, whatever.

Today’s bonus art: Where is Bex anyway


  • skellagirl

    Still holding out hope for aliens, personally. Or enormous prehistoric sharks.

    • Jac

      Technically, our protagonist is the alien here, isn’t he? :P

      • Anton


  • k

    >no explantion

    hmm, what’s this mysterious “it”? death? getting the anesthetic to work?

    also, I’ve noticed that some parts of mare internum, as well as the meek post-hiatus, are kind of textwally. the text is all really concise and fun to read, but visually some panels, like the fIrst one on this page, look really crowded by the text. loving the dramatic lighting on Mike’s face tho

    • k

      nvm there’s no anesthetic. guess he’s just… waiting to die?

    • shingworks

      Yeah! I agree. I kinda like it though, personally, some other people have mentioned it looking cramped sometimes, but I like the contrast between the emptier panels and the uncomfortable conversation ones. I also picked this text size way in advance because a smaller size looked a bit out of proportion to the art (the text in TM is larger so that comics tends to be less wordy in general).

      Anyways, valid observation on your end :] Just a choice I went with.

      • Fridge_Logik

        I feel like the contrast between the speech bubbles and the surrounding is the more assertive part. Just a thought, what if the color were inverted on the text bubbles to get them to blend better with the darkness of Mike’s cave?

        • Fridge_Logik

          I have to admit though there is some comedic value to how he keeps trying to die in the darkness but then doesn’t and these bright speech bubbles fly up as he annoyingly has to keep on living. (annoying for him that is, I’m loving it)

        • shingworks

          Nooo… I have a style guide of what colors are allowed for what situations, but the spoken word text is always going to be black on white.
          Btw I’m generally aware of the limitations of the style decisions I make, but planned and decided to go with them months before launch with the long term story in mind; so not open for suggestion on any of it (no offense, and feel free to constructively disagree w my choices whenever you want :])

          • A

            I think you actually make the limitations work for you. The speech bubbles really emphasise the difficulties for him to talk, due to injuries, thin air, trauma etc. I love both your comics and the brilliant work you do with research and how you can handle difficult subjects.

          • Fridge_Logik

            Oh, I don’t mean to suggest you should change a thing. You’ve got a plan, gotta make it work. I’m more interested in discussing the pro’s and cons and understanding why you do what you do so well.

        • Vert

          He’s talking to fill up the space. They used to call it “whistling past the graveyard.”

          • Kittenears

            That’s what I felt, too.

  • Localized

    Still loving it. Enjoying the science talk too, adds realism.

    Went back a few pages and finally spotted the kelp as well :3

  • DukeBG

    (The word “explanation” seems to lack something)

    • shingworks

      Oh I see it now, thanks!

  • Corbie

    What a thrilling page. Basically monologue, still, I’m short from chewing my fingernails off. Just wow.

    I love how much research and thought goes into your stories, and that without burying them in infodump. I’m a huge fan of neat research in fiction. :)

  • Jake L.

    Whoah, this page is awesome. I love all the science-speak; what with the trying to kill himself and then falling into a giant underground lake, I think some of us might have lost track of the part where Mike is actually a scientist.

    • shingworks

      Haha… His academic background is in geohydrology, so the irony of this situation is probably as oppressive as the atmosphere.

  • Infinity1201

    bIg WoRdS. I have no idea bless you for defining some •-•’

  • Something that I’ve always loved about your comics and really shines here: the way you do pacing of the text (bubbles). Like, the bubbles reflecting natural pauses and adding tension just by themselves. It’s a seemingly little thing that adds a LOT to drama.

    Gah, i feel so much for Mike, though. Hang in there dude.

  • Pylgrim

    C’mon Mike, you are a freaking scientist and this might be the most ground-breaking discovery in your field of study since it was created. Time for curiosity and excitement to overcome your suicidal slump.

    • Vert

      He’s a freaking scientist who has fallen an improbable distance, had rocks dropped on him, hit cold water at Martian terminal velocity, been jostled by a giant garbage bag trilobite-y thing, climbed up a water-filled tunnel on pure adrenaline, and is now lying in the dark breathing stinky, acidic air with a nasty compound fracture (not that there’s any other kind, but the leg was severely agitated AFTER the break). The adrenaline is wearing off, which means the pain is only now really setting in.

      I think curiosity and excitement can take a running jump as far as he’s concerned… if Mike doesn’t get some kind of outside help, and soon, the shock alone could kill him. He’s probably trained for that, but one of the first things that shock does to you is stop your mind from working clearly.

  • “a garbage bag [with] long arms”? Stygiomedusa gigantea might fit that description nicely. A space wraith jellyfish? Yusss!

  • JakeyBakey

    Wait, living garbage bag? Did we see that? I don’t remember that.

    • shingworks

      You did… not a very good look tho cuz I was hiding most of it, haha. If you want to go back and search you can probably find little pieces of it, but if not that’s cool, we’ve got world enough and time~

      • Madeleine

        We always knew that plastic or garbage bags are dangerous for children. Now we get to see why!

      • Great, now I’ve got poetry stuck in my head.

  • Sorry, pal. You’re gonna be there for a while.

  • Lar

    I’m laughing, because the ad on the side of this page says “get a free moisture meter.” A little late, friend.

  • Corbie

    Me again with a stupid thought: at approx 5 km below the surface, even with the thin Martian atmosphere, would his voice sound as squeaky as in a pressure chamber under higher atmospheres? :)
    Additionally, the gas-mix in this chamber would likely be under rather high pressure, or the keyhole would be flooded already. I wonder if he’s above the general water line? Or will he start wondering when his ogygen runs out in a closed space? (Too long, I know, Mike.)

    • Anton

      YOU DIDN’T

  • squidlifecrisis

    so… TM and MI are actually the same comic.


    • shingworks

      Now you know where seachilla goes at night

      Also yeah Mike is Carissi as hell

      • squidlifecrisis

        Mike mistook its legs for arms… forgivable, given the circumstances.

    • Jac



  • Fal

    Oh… I just realized where the title comes from.

    (and the “about” page says the comic is about “the isolated inhabitants of the planet Mars”; never said it focused on the human ones)

    • shingworks


    • dwalin

      I think the MI is the sea of issues Mike carries in his self, and in which he is about to drown.

  • Axel

    Who’d have thought they had beach front property this entire time? and as this comic progresses the more and more it reminds me of The Abyss

  • Infinity1201

    wait.did you say…HELLA????

    • shingworks

      I’m from Norcal!! It’s my heritage

  • Flancy

    Oh my goodness, I couldn’t stop giggling when I saw you say ‘amorous thighfish’ in the ACB. God, that’s just such a funny phrase… The person who made it should get a medal.

  • Of course we like science!

    M. Boulet likes science, too; beautiful & moving.
    From 8/26. Scroll down, and it comes up in English.

  • I love the first panel by the way, all that delicious foliage. I d noticed lately that Mare Internum was really highly rated by other folks, so I d been meaning to check it out although I had no idea it was associated with you in any way, shape, or form.

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