Chapter 3, Page 16

Waah, this page is a little late! It took a very long time to color~

Some great fanart that I love: this cute tiny Kallakore by Squidlifecrisis!! It’s the cutest and the tiniest :]

Also another weird gif, I just like these jammin’ clams

There’s a lot of great comics to come this month thanks to successful funding by Patrons! You can catch an update of all of the work funded last month here.

Today’s closeup art: A drop in the bucket



  • Panicle

    I’ve finally realized why Kallakore was being so passive-aggressive toward Mike earlier. It’s because their little thripping-friend has abandoned them for a shallow life of intrigue and adventure with the dashing alien interloper.

  • Spav

    Good to see Mike focused, striving for something!

    (and beautiful coloring holy crap)

  • poo

    armshark or levi will have to save him, glowater don’t look swimmable

    or… bex?

  • Punner

    Is he planning on bringing the entire LEVi out of the water himself??

    Also, in response to the jamming clam gif: they just popped of the sand, like daisies!

    • OnyxIdol

      Mars has a really low gravity, and the “water” will reduce Levi’s weight even further.

      • Edmund

        Couldn’t have said it better. His biggest barrier is a general lack of oxygenation, and now he’s holding his breath. Not gonna be able to dive for long.

      • Arkama

        I don’t know that that’s water… There appears to be very little buoyancy seeing that he “fell” to the bottom.

        • Sheridan

          Yep. Whatever that ‘water’ is, Mike is not buoyant in it, unlike on Earth.
          Of course we don’t know how much his clothes weigh.

  • LostYooper

    In that last panel it looks like maybe Mike will have a new eel friend before he knows it. And also, it could just be because he’s holding his breath, but is he smiling in the second panel?

    • Ceceoh

      I thought he was holding his breath while looking determined. Hard to pull that off.

  • Esn

    Um, if he’s sinking that fast while facing up and not even using his arms to stroke down (in a very un-water-dynamic position, too, AND with lungs full of air), I guess it’s safe to assume that this ISN’T salt water, but something much less dense than Mike’s body? And I guess it’s going to be pretty difficult for him to swim back up, right?

    • shingworks

      I’d say it’s a bit easier going down than coming back up, yeah.

      • Corbie

        I thought he’d be going down a tad too fast too, but then, I have no idea how swimming at 1/3g works at all. The specific weights of Mike and Water should still be relative to each other in a similar way. I have no idea how tight his suit sits and if there might be air inside. If there is, it’ll be one hell to dive in, he’ll hardly get below the surface. If there isn’t, he has a chance to swim down, easier so the deeper he gets (this doesn’t look deep enough yet that he’ll go down faster than up). If the suit holds something that affects his buoyancy towards sinking, such like water cooling, it will help him to dive.
        Up is also easier the higher up he gets. Deeper down, the air in his lungs will be compressed, which is why a diver needs extra air to regulate their buoyancy at greater depths.
        The most interesting part are the top 3-5m at 1g, but Mike plummets down there quickly. So I blame it on the watery stuff, whatever it is, and on me being bad at Martian physics. Also, this page looks consistent and super beautiful, and that beats physics anyways. :)

        • shingworks

          Yeah, the bottom portion of his suit is fairly heavy, and without a lot of air in there (and anyhow most of it was squeezed out through the top/ hole in the leg). But for the “water,” that’s a big ???

          • Corbie

            Oh, I wasn’t sure if this is actual H2O. I assumed it while reading and maybe would have never questioned it because it just works. But I like to read the comments, and the question occured during the last page(s), so I couldn’t help but think weird things. :D

          • Esn

            I guess… I just had an immediate “something’s wrong about the physics here” first impression.

            My point of reference is that when I’m swimming in a lake, and have just breathed in, if I relax all my muscles I tend to float at or just below the water surface. In a saltwater sea, I float a little higher. In the Dead Sea, I’m only at most about 2/3 in the water (it’s like one of those video games where the physical parameters change just a little, and you have to relearn how to move!).

            Even if I breathe all the way out in a freshwater lake, I don’t sink very fast at first, unless I turn head-down and stroke my arms to force myself down. The few times I HAVE sunk faster, when I was wearing clothes and shoes, it was pretty difficult to swim back up afterwards.

            That’s why my first reaction was “no, he shouldn’t be sinking that fast” and my second reaction was “if he IS sinking that fast, there’s probably no way he’s swimming back up without help”.

        • shingworks

          Also I’m shocked that nobody has asked about the bottom half of his suit yet. I have been sweating over how to address the state of the probably overtaxed waste “management” X[

          • Leon

            I just assumed his parasite took care of that, like a big alien tapeworm.

          • Corbie

            Heh true. Perhaps I didn’t care because he’s in a survival situation, he’s injured, cold, wet, and if he pees in his suit, that’s probably the least of his problems and hardly worth a thought. And as Leon said, there’s Thighfriend, and it’s hard to tell if and how he has been eating, what keeps him alive etc … it works in the story. :)

          • Alan

            I’ve been figuring that it’s like the stillsuit in Dune, and any waste is being recycled. Useful if stranded on Mars. On a separate note, I doubt Mike is trying to retrieve all of LEVi, just its memory core and whatever he needs to communicate with it. Which brings up an interesting point: Didn’t LEVi broadcast a signal to Mike subsequent to Mike’s fall into the cavern system? That would mean that whatever happened to LEVi happened recently…

          • Spav

            All the nutrients for Flapflap have to come from somewhere.

            Who KNOWS how deeply integrated it is with Mike’s system?

          • Esn

            @Alan “Didn’t LEVi broadcast a signal to Mike subsequent to Mike’s fall into the cavern system?”

            Wait, when did that happen?

          • Alan

            @Esn: Chaper 2, Page 26. Perhaps that was Kallakore, but then how would Kallakore have known the visitor was Mike and not some other human unless LEVi told him/her? So we must still conclude LEVi was recently functional.

        • Tadrix

          Noone usually is interested in waste management part as long as it works, for some strange reason. xD
          Did Mike eat something “wasteful” lately (little gain, a lot of residue)? If not (which is likely), we can assume that there’s mostly liquid waste to process, and that is relatively easy to do (y’know, because of less “unsalvageable crap” stuff, while wastewater is still mostly water).

          As for sinking, I for one think that the comic is realistic. On the surface of Mars pressure averages at about 0,6% of Earth’s mean sea level pressure, which in the same time is sligthy below the threshold at which water evaporates. Down there the water (?) is in liquid state, but we do not know what dissolved in it. In any case, at surface liquid pressure is considerably lower.

          I imagine Mike will simply walk/climb out of there, dragging LEVi along.

  • David

    Mars has only 38% of earths gravity… if you weigh 150 pounds on earth, that would be like 57 pounds on mars.

    • Widdershins

      Gravity does not affect buoyancy.

      • Leon

        Actually, gravity certainly does affect buoyancy, since buoyancy is the force equal to the weight of the displaced fluid, and weight depends on the local gravitational acceleration.

        This would mean that things like bubbles (with negligible weight) would rise more slowly on Mars, at least at first (since forces accelerate).

        Mike’s weight is about the same as the displaced water, so the downforce would be mostly the weight of his suit. In Mars gravity that suit would weight about 40% of the weight on Earth, so it should be easier to get back to the surface.

        But I suspect that with those alien mushrooms on his head, he’ll be able to breathe under water, and just walk out of there.

        • hkmaly

          Gravity affects buoyancy because it’s in incorrect unit. If you look at important variables of the “sinking” question, you will ignore forces and weights and instead work with densities, and then gravity wouldn’t came into effect. Like, you can get to the result that bubbles will rise much simpler if you ignore their weight and simply says that their density is lower than density of water.

          Human body is around 60% water. Fat is less dense than water, stuff like bones is more dense. Generally, human with lungs full of air is less dense than water, but more dense than water with lungs empty (or full of water). That’s why you can be drowned.

          • Leon

            The forces explain *why* denser materials sink and less dense materials rise, so no, you can’t ignore those. With your oversimplification you would also conclude that things sink or rise at a steady velocity, which isn’t the case (acceleration).

            Also, you can drown with your face down in a puddle of water (when unconscious), so density has little to do with drowning.

        • James A Kohlwes

          Keep in mind, while the gravity that would be affecting the degree of buoyancy will be less, so too will the gravity pulling on the person swimming in that water be less. While gravity does affect buoyancy according to the concept of fluid pressure, in practical terms the degree of its influence would be cancelled out.

          The only thing gravity would really have an effect on is how uncomfortable Mike gets as he gets further down, as the pressure would only build up a third as fast. This probably feels to him like touching the bottom of a swimming pool.

          If anything, Mike should have an easier time of it because his body is more geared towards moving around on Earth (not taking into account how long he might have been on mars, but it doesn’t look like his muscles have atrophied any, hmm?)

          • Leon

            “in practical terms the degree of its influence would be cancelled out”.
            That’s only in case of neutral buoyancy. Since Mike weighs about the same as the water he displaces, those forces would mostly cancel out, and this would remain so in reduced gravity.
            But his suit also has weight (mass), and that extra unbalanced force causes him to sink. Even with 40% reduction of that weight, he seems to go down fast, so the suit must be quite heavy.

          • James A Kohlwes

            Keep in mind also that he’s been shown to move around in heavier gear relatively fine. He swam around in his spacesuit after all, and that was with a screwed up leg.

            The real question is to how much the LeVI masses and whether Mike intends to bring it back up with him or just a piece of it.

          • Corbie

            I think there goes a lot if he doesn’t take a too big piece of LEVi. The weight might be less important than the way it can be dragged through the water.
            The difference between here and swimming in the spacesuit is mainly that back then, he was in really deep water; all air already compressed to minimum, so he won’t have been floating towards the surface until he found the small cave (and I honestly can’t tell how water pressure works there, guess he’d still not have been floating upwards until he was very close). Here, he’s in rather shallow water and has likely breathed in at least normally. I’m not familiar with apnoe diving with empty lungs since I don’t intend to train that, guess it would be a bad idea if he goes down as far as he does.

      • David

        Gravity affects “acceleration”. So for example the speed in which Mike will fall, and the swimming force needed to counteract being heavier than the “water” in order to get up again.

  • Charles81

    Well… Either he’s just trying to access the SHF to send out an emergency distress signal and will need a rescue from Kallakore or a reactivated LEVi or other… Or he has a plan and LEVi stows a breathing apparatus for emergency use.

  • DukeBG

    I believe you didn’t post about Mike from this sketch yet.

  • Oh, the lil’ guy stayed with him underwater.

  • Arianwen

    I note that Thighfriend still hasn’t emerged, though it was so happy-flappy in water the last time. Still traumatised by Armshark’s attempted filectomy?

  • oh man that closeup panel is glorious!

    though I am worried for his eyes. eyes are not on my list of “top ten body parts I would like exposed to perchlorates”

    • shingworks

      WELL aren’t we fancy

  • Lorenzo

    those bubbles give me strength

  • David

    Man, that guy isn’t dying- he’s strong as hell. He just needs the right thing to motivate him.

    Good to see him smiling again :)

  • Lord Hideous

    I guess this is the plus side to his traumatic childhood… he can hold his breath a looooooong time.

    • Leon

      If not, he can always use his huuuge nose as a snorkel XD

  • corvideye

    Stupendous water effects!

    Is it just me, or in panel 2 does he kind of look like a blond Captain Haddock? Big nose, crazed smile…

  • Paula

    I loove your closeups, they would make great prints!

  • Ceceoh

    Is that a thrip claw I see on the underside of LEVi?

  • fox-orian

    That’s the most determined face Mike has probably ever had.
    like “ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh you’ve had this coming HERE I COME”

  • Vert

    This stuff appears to be simultaneously more and less viscous than run-of-the-mill H2O. Mike drops like a stone, but, the bubbles look like they’re going through syrup, which can’t be explained by 1/3 gravity alone, I don’t think.

    Perhaps the water is a metaphor.

    • Esn

      The water physics kind of remind me of those in some old platformer video games (e.g. Mario), where the character would sink in water feet-down and jump/walk on the bottom, but could also swim in it.

    • shingworks

      Everything is a metaphor

      • Vert

        This strikes me as the sort of comment you posted while giggling madly to yourself about how funny it’s going to be after the comic’s denouement.

      • fox-orian

        Mars isn’t filled with water.

        • shingworks

          The incredible world of MI

          • fox-orian

            I’m not joking you, this was one of my favorite childhood toys. I still have it somewhere in my closet.


  • kf

    Ooh, those look like some sort of Coquina clam.

  • StClair

    it needs to be said again:
    this art is so great.

  • Matt

    Has he always been so ripped looking?

    • Vert

      The dude works out like a beast AND climbs mountains in Antarctica for *fun*.

      He’s *huge*.

      • shingworks

        He is definitely not small~

    • shingworks

      Yep, check out the archive if you don’t believe me :]

  • James Mullins

    It’s a great page, really, but I cant get immersed when there’s all this SCIENCE going on in the comments!!

    Its hard Fantasy now guys let it go~

    • shingworks

      I’m digging it XD

    • Corbie

      Aww but all the science and Der-Shing’s most awesome research make it so much better! =)

  • kate

    the heartwarming tale of a dorito and his robot

  • Globug

    Is anyone else holding their breath when they read parts where Mike is underwater? Oh… it’s just me..? okay then I’m weird…

    • Steelbright

      nope, it’s totally me too, and i was about to comment that… but i do that in most tense things when people are underwater…empathy, whyy??

  • Lilian

    Anyone else think of something like this upon seeing Mike’s underwater face?

    • shingworks

      haha… I do now XD

  • LameFox

    Already half way with no problems! I’m sure he’ll be fine.

  • Asterfield

    Okay, I’m gonna be weird. My favorite part about this page is the bubble in his nostril. I’m not sure why, but it makes this comic feel very real. <3

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