Chapter 4, Page 10

Some new f… friends…

A couple of updates on ye old Patreon since the last time I was here, just to recap: my original “pitch” for MI and character sketches, as well as some self-drags. I find my old writing for the project EXTREMELY bad so this was embarrassing to post, haha. The notes for this page and some info about the new guys are up now too! March contest winners were posted, the Proportion tutorial worksheet was posted, and the poll for the next tutorial remains open until I start work on it so feel free to vote whenever~ I have one more post about the organic machines I’ve been sitting on, because I couldn’t bring myself to spoiler, so that’ll go up soon.

And one nice news, Mare Internum was nominated for a Dinky Award, which is officially my first nomination for literally anything I’ve ever made… neat.

By the way, thanks for waiting for this update. I put the specific reason on the Patreon because although it’s a sort of personal reason to share, my Patrons are frankly the ones I care most about and answer to. To others who are feeling frustrated or have a question, you can either contact me personally at any of the billion links I have to do that, or just wait patiently until the comic updates. I know I’m just some random internet person to most of you, but in real life I’m a one-person business who has been working pretty much nonstop, 12+ hours a day, 7 days a week for 3 years, and my tank occasionally goes dry. My life quality is whatever/who cares, but when the quality of the comic starts to suffer I have to choose to step back even if it is annoying to you. Believe me it is much more annoying to us both to have to make/ read bad comics. Thanks again for your understanding and feel free to bounce without guilt if you feel the wait is not worth it (I try to keep the laffs coming here at tho so if you haven’t seen my obit floating around, probably better to just keep checking back)



  • Mysterious Stranger

    I love your comics, and while I usually just read/lurk, I want to say that I’m glad you’re taking the time to take care of yourself first. As someone trying to get their own business/website off the ground, I understand some of what you’re going through, and I wish you the best.

    • shingworks

      Thanks, Mysterious Stranger :O

  • Lilian

    I assure you that your work is worth the wait. I can handle it if I have to sit a while for a page while you maintain your general health.

    Now those are some freakish… friends. Kind of remind me of a creature described by C.S. Lewis in his novel Perelandra. Kind of. The freakishness is good.

    • shingworks

      HAHA I love Perelandra… I have a direct homage to it planned for later in the chapter, maybe you’ll notice it XD

      • Pylgrim

        Oh man, Perelandra homage. Now I’m all hyped.

      • Dread Dreg Mangler

        C O N F △ R M E D

        I can’t wait, Perelandra is a great source of inspiration for this comic imo, even if it is technically the wrong planet.

        • shingworks

          I know, it’s just so much cooler than Malacandra (except for that singing dog thing at the end of OotSP)

      • Lilian

        HA! Nice! I agree: Perelandra > Malacandra. I also love That Hideous Strength, but it’s of a significantly different mood than the other two.

        Glad we’re Perelandra pals. I’ll be looking for this homage!

  • Paula

    These new things are weeirrdd. They look like ginger root with legs, lol. How do you come up with these designs?

  • chyro

    Are you kidding me? I am always impressed at how quickly you put pages together. Many quality comics have much slower publication rate, e.g. Goblins or Erfworld. Anyway, take good care of yourself.

  • Becca

    These… friends look like worms that very industriously managed to build themselves legs out of those ZOOB Builderz toys from the 90’s.
    And it’s terrifying.
    But if I call these fellows Zoobs 1 and 2, I’m slightly less terrified of their freaky legs, so…

    Also, your work is amazing, and you should take time for yourself when you need it. Hang in there and do whatcha gotta do <3

  • Marion

    Hmm… these ‘monsters’ tell me a lot about Becca’s character and expectations, her psyche, just as Mike’s did about his. Michael is.. inclusive? He is able to communicate and internalize (symbolized by the ‘symbiotic’ ‘thighflap’ and ‘eye mushroom’, while Becca is hostile to anything that she doesn’t recognize. Because it’s kinda obvious that none of this is REAL. This all happens inside their heads. Wether they are in a coma in sickbay or are having a shared illusion brought on by Martian gas or something is debatable, but these ‘monsters’ are her own constructs, her own imagined idea of what alien life might look like, right?

    I wondered why you included a flashback to Becca’s pregnancy, but it’s clear to be another illustration of her psyche. We are shown that the thought of having another living thing (in this case her own baby) living inside her frightens and repels her. This is an excellent illustration of how different she is from Mike, who seems to be perfectly okay with thighflap and eye mushroom after the initial shock wore off.

    Now, several chapters ago (and it’s been years since I’ve read it, so I might be a bit rusty remembering, so correct me if I’m wrong) we had a flashback to Mike’s childhood, and I remember I felt a very clear ‘this kid is being groomed by his kinsman for something sexual’ vibe. I then wondered wether you showed us that scene because adult Mike had ‘issues’ and it would turn out that his experiences with said ‘uncle’ were at the root of his problems. But now I wonder if it was meant to show Mike’s (learned?) tendency to ‘go along’ with things?

    So we have Mike who went along with whatever Martians told him and had no problem with their invasion of his body, and we have Becca who violently rejects them and would not give them a single sample of sputum, unless it was spat at them in defiance.

    So who is in the right, here? Are doctors (alien or human) trying to save their lives by implanting them with the neccessary medical equipment? Are there really Martian aliens who try to communicate with them, and are they dangerously intrusive or benign?

    • Marion

      Went and checked the archive and boy, that wasn’t just ‘grooming’, that was all out sexual predation! As I’ve said, it was years ago when I started to read this comic and I quickly scanned through the previous pages to ‘catch up’.

    • shingworks

      I don’t usually correct reader comments but I think “go along with” and “has no problem with” might downplay the struggle of real life abuse survivors, which I absolutely don’t want to do. When people (especially children) experience abuse it is not because of some internal apathy or lack of motivation to make it stop, it’s because they have been physically and/or mentally overwhelmed and do not have the power to make it stop. In the case of this fictional character at least, I’d rephrase your thought as maybe Mike learned that resisting has negative consequences in a situation where the power is out of his hands.

    • JJ

      “these ‘monsters’ are her own constructs, her own imagined idea of what alien life might look like, right?” — personally, I have come to dislike this type of framing where it all was just a dream. I really hope they really are in that cave with all these real friends.

      This doesn’t preclude that the neural sea has messed with their brains and memories. tbh I like the idea that Mike might be the only one capable of dealing with a situation where he can’t rely on his sense of ‘reality’ and all that stuff.

  • Herp McDerp

    What? How DARE you have a life?! How DARE you place your own physical and mental health above our convenience?! We demand our free beer, and we demand it NOW!

    Seriously, good art is worth the wait. I’ve been waiting months for the next “The Abominable Charles Christopher” and almost a decade for the next Argon Zark” … A couple of weeks is *nothing*!

  • McDoom

    (my inner monolog (dialog?):
    “Well these guys are, uh, how would you describe ’em?”

    “Scary beyond all reason?”

    “Yeah, that’s it!”

  • Trianna UK

    Hey, I’ve been following your work since I found the first chapter of The Meek. Everyday I check to see if there’s an update because I’m always excited when there is. I also know that there’s this thing out there called “real life” and she’s a bitch sometimes. So, I’ll keep checking daily, but I’ll never push or bug you to update because you’ll do it when you’re up to it.

    Sorry I’m not a Patron, but I am really looking forward to my copy of The Meek and will happily buy the next volume (and Mare too) when you’re up for it.

    You do you!

    • shingworks

      Thank you Trianna! Thanks for your nice words. I’ve been spending a lot of the last two weeks on this last phase of the Meek Kickstarter as well, they should be shipping out any day now :]

      • Trianna UK


    • Chloe

      What Trianna said.

      Also, The Meek books shipping soon? Wheeeee! :-)

    • Octavarium

      Yeah, I’m also no patrion yet, but I hope I’ll soon be able to become one, because I’m completely in love with your comics. They are magnificent and they really make my day every time a new page comes out. There’s really no problem in waiting when you can be sure that what’s to come is always so very very good! Thank you for making this comic! It’s truly a gift for all of your readers.

  • Reign of Crows

    Waited for… what was it? 2-3 years for The Meek to receive updates again? It was worth it. What was the pause here – a week or two? Maybe three? I can’t remember. Either way, you take care of yourself, and keep this bus moving along at the pace you’re comfortable with.

    • Shweta

      Same! And shing, your life quality matters to at least some of us random people on the internet. And I really hope it matters to you, despite the relentless pressure on awesome creators to create faster.

      Every page you’ve put up has been worth the wait. (including the 2-3 year wait! Cause the meek is just that cool.)

  • DukeBG

    I couldn’t put my finger on who says “water” and why

    • Ragnarok101

      The crushed worm-bug-guy, and possibly because the translation decrees that’s what mortally injured people say. Might not actually be what he’s asking for, but the martian-to-english translator is only approximating…

  • No problems about the wait. I’ve got it bookmarked and just check back occasionally to see when there are new comics.

    Congrats on the award, first of many, I hope.

    • Er, congrats for the award nomination, that is.

  • Pylgrim

    To anybody who feels the need to complain about update schedules of MI (or other webcomics): Get yourself a darned RSS reader, and pick up some couple dozens other good webcomics. You’ll never again will have to pay attention to days and schedules and feel betrayed whenever one of these hardworking artists have to tend to their personal lives interfering with the release of your free entertainment. Rather, each day there will be a bundle of new and wonderful content that you can barely keep up with delivered to you and you’ll hardly notice when one of the webcomics had a delayed update.

    • shingworks

      More comics is always the answer.

      But to be fair I 100% understand the frustration, especially for people who are paying me to make content. I completely do answer to them, and continue to put out sketch pages and bonus content on the Patreon even when I’m not able to update here. But to people who read my work for free I just like… don’t know what to say, haha. I know we live in a culture that expects a steady stream of high-quality, free entertainment, but I’m not able to be that kind of creator 24/7.

      NPR had a good discussion a few weeks back about how a lot of success in life, financial and otherwise, comes from the ability to exercise patience. We all just gotta practice success those skills now and then, I guess.

      • SSR

        Yeah, don’t overwork yourself, look at what happened to Thunt. I’d say this to any author, you come first, then the comic, no matter how many people are buzzing around waiting for more pages.

  • Squarish_Emu

    Take all the time you need for self care. If you work yourself to death, we’ll never get ANY updates. I can wait to get a good story. :) Hope all is well! Or at least improving.

    Also, while I know “ministration” isn’t the same as the word “minister”, all I can picture in the last panel is the…friends…saying, “Greetings! Do you have a moment to talk about our Lord and Savior, Mars? The God of War may get a bad rap, but he’s really a great guy!”

  • please don’t kill ginger root

    • Shweta

      *glances guiltily at my ginger tea*

      • shingworks

        How could you!!

  • Corbie

    Congrats on the nomination, and fingers crossed for the award, because you totally earn it.

    Also I’ll wait for ages if need be. Late page means all the more excited new-page-glee. Keep yourself healthy and able to create because you want to create. :)

  • Jones

    The objectives of these spiderworms are seem contradictory. They seem like they want to communicate…and extract certain data but deem quite volatile based on her encounters. Maybe they’re trying to trick her…let her guard down…idk ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Anyway, amazing work as always. :-)

  • Darcy

    Earthworm meets Windows 3D pipes screensaver! I know I shouldn’t be laughing at the one that got crushed by the rock but… I’m laughing. Something about those noodly appendages…

  • Ladyface

    Hey there, another grateful lurker here. Just throwing in how much i appreciate everything about your work! Were i in a position to spend money on anything other than basic survival necessities, i assure you there would be +1 patron on your list (hopefully soon haha)

    Please keep up the good work! We all love you and are rooting for you every step of the way!

  • Cait

    Your work is absolutely worth the wait. It’s far more important to have you healthy and happy than to have a set schedule of updates. We’ll still be here. <3

  • Kuggur

    Haha, you provide free high quality entertainment, great art and an intriguing story, and you apologise for taking your time about it…
    You must be a ridiculously polite person ;) .
    I hope you have the time to keep producing those pages and I think you have every right to do this at whatever pace you choose!

  • May

    Aa!! A cute new friend!!! Please don’t kill them, Bex.

    IDK what happened since I’m not a patron (though when i get a raise at work, definitely!), but I hope you’re feeling better. Real life is the most important thing. Please don’t burn yourself out, we can wait. <3

  • ceceoh

    Well, we all know the old saying, “hiatus happens”.

    I still can’t get over the fact that so many talented artists and story-teller are willing to share their work so generously. Reading Mare Internum and The Meek is always worth the wait.

  • Android 21 3/7

    These look insectoid. Shouldn’t she be super psyched about getting to talk to an insect for once? And they only asked to borrow a cup of brain fluid. Bex is such a rude entomologist neighbor!

  • Rachel

    I was finally able to become a patron for you today; yay, tax refunds! I really like this comic, and I wanted to show my appreciation, even in some small way. If I could pledge more, I would, honest. I’m glad you recognized the need to take a step back to recharge your batteries, as it were. I grok burnout like whoa, and would hate to see it happen to you.

    Beautiful page, too. I love the ginger root duo, and am not surprised at all that Bex is freaking out about ALL of this, after what’s happened to her. You go, Girl!

  • Some Guy

    A specific reason isn’t necessary, but a quick “Sorry, Life is Happening and updates will be sparse for a while” is always appreciated, even if we aren’t Patrons.

    • shingworks

      Yeah, saw the same comment on the Meek page. For this comic the answer is a bit more tidy; first couple of pages in chapter 1.

  • Cruel

    Waiting is not a problem for most of us. Do take care of yourself and do what you need to do!

    You could just say that you need to take a step back for a bit. Either way, I am sure we will understand.

  • Retterhardt

    I would like to express my appreciation for how incredibly disgusting these new friends are. I am hardly ever so viscerally grossed out by anything. Very impressed.

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