Chapter 4, Page 45

Finally some real best friends around here

More content? sure, a new free-to-read tutorial about Comic Proportions went up on my tumblr last week,so there’s that… and for Patreon subscribers, a new tutorial about getting your webcomic off the ground. For non- tutorial readers, there’s some other content up like notes on this ossuary, character design notes for my other comic, shoptalk, etc. More stuff coming down the pipeline as well.

Oh, and MI pin sets and pin duos are still up on Gumroad, as well as other stuff. I’ll likely be putting up some new items around the end of the month, possibly a commission or two to open some options for you gift-giving folks.

It’s 530pm right now and pitch black outside, I hate this time of the year so much haha… hope you are all doing well


  • Spark

    Did Mike give up on finding a way out because Kalla died?

    • poot

      I wonder if he thought to see if Kalla respawned.

      • Spark

        It’s possible that’s why he’s at the processor right now. He’d been dissuaded from searching for It earlier after Kalla told him it killed her/ was dangerous. They might have just missed each other

    • Mike’s human cell percentage seems to go down every chapter

    • CharlesW81

      To be fair, he didn’t accuse her directly of killing Kalla, just sawing her head off, so he probably has some knowledge or inkling that Kalla is alive somewhere.

      But I suspect Bex served as the reminder of what he’d be escaping to and how much he loathed it which has dampened his drive to escape Mare Internum.

  • Lost Yooper

    Even if you did manage to find a way out they are down to one PLS if they are lucky, so you get out of this system and you are going to be sorry you did! (Well, at least for however long it takes for you to asphyxiate, your blood to boil off, or freeze to death, or a number of other terrible ways to die when you are exposed to a Martian atmosphere)

  • AGV

    Wait, what’s with Mike’s feet?
    And is anyone going to sympathise with Bex? I mean, everyone have their reasons but noone listen to Bex’s

    Also, I forgot to mention, I’ve got my stuff from the kickstarter! And everything’s so awesome! I have to post some pictures on twitter

    • Android 21 3/7

      I sympathize with Bex. I just sympathize with Mike too. I am so not taking a side in this argument.

    • evileeyore

      “Wait, what’s with Mike’s feet?”
      I think it’s just a mud coating. Maybe?

      And dude, i love bex. After Levi, Bex is my favorite character.

      While I sympathize with Mikey, he’s just way too damaged.

      • CharlesW81

        On the feet. I think he’s barefoot, just like his hands are now bare. There did seem to be one or two strange knobbly bits on his hands in the last page so I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that there’s more on his feet.

        However, I think his “shoes” were part of his pants, so I suspect he’s had to rip the ends off which has probably added to the look.

        Why take them off and remove the gloves? Well, if he is getting growths on hands and feet, they might have been uncomfortable.

    • Linebyline

      Just my two cents, but Mike’s dishing out a lot of unfair accusations, and while he doesn’t necessarily know they’re unfair, we do, so I’m having a very easy time sympathizing with Bex right now. Especially now that she’s said she’s focusing on getting both of them to freedom.

      I mean, I kind of still sympathize with Mike, and frankly good on him for doing anything even remotely nice for the woman who, last he saw, murdered Kallakore. But his grouchy side is showing again, and even if it’s not exactly his fault, that makes him harder to side with.

      Not that taking sides is exactly the best idea in a case like this.

      • Arianwen

        Are you joking? It’s exactly the best idea. FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!

        …Oh, just me, then.

    • Lee

      I actually see this kind of crap a lot in webcomic commentary. People are really quick to jump on hating female characters without actually thinking about the situation they’re in. Sometimes for nomother reason than a female character disagrees with a male character. Even when the female character is the lead. I’ve actually asked people why they’re so against the woman in the scenario and usually they can’t provide a reason. It’s disturbing, to say the least.

      Let’s look at what’s happened to Bex: She’s been trapped alone on a planet that has been nothing but hostile towards her, until just recently, and seems to be trying to kill her. Even the water. So she, quite reasonably and intelligently responds to this threat by gearing up and and gathering things to help her survive. And taking out strange and potential threats before they have a chance to become actual threat. Because, yes, that is an intelligent thing to do when you’re stranded, alone and in a strange place, where various things try to murder you.

      Humans are animals and animals have a drive to preserve their lives. To suggest that Bex is bad or evil or even stupid to do what she’s done is in itself a stupid thing to say. If anyone here is trying to suggest they’d do better than what Bex has done I can only draw the conclusion you’re determined to hate on her and refuse to actually think about where she is and what she’s been through.

      • Zach

        So if anyone criticizes a woman in any way whatsoever, it’s because we’re determined to hate her and refuse to sympathize.

        That’s what you just said. You really can’t see anything bad about her behavior at all? And we have no reason to think the planet has been hostile, with the exception of the spear fish and the worms which she jumped on. Certainly not the water.

        She is fully aware now that the ‘things’ (people) are not a threat, and also that they’re people! How could she not understand why Mike would run away when she has MET AND SPOKE TO one of the people she has killed? With no apparent regret, I might add.

        She is the stereotypical MALE villain, seeing threats in everyone, assuaging her fears by dominating everything around her.

        Mike’s a defeatist, miserable prick, but he’s been harmless.

    • James

      You can sympathise with someone and still be really irritated by them behaving like an ass. Just because you understand WHY they are being an ass does not make them any less irritating.

      • Lee

        So it’s ‘Hey, I really feel for you in this situation, but fuck off. You’re annoying.’

        I think you might be misinterpreting what sympathy looks and sounds like.

        It’s more like, ‘Okay, look… I don’t like you. But I understand you’re freaked out right now. I’ve been there myself. And I’m offering to help you… because I sympathize with you and not because I like you. Because I don’t.’

        There, fixed it for ya.

  • Luces

    Fantastic! Those overlapping speech bubbles in panel 4 really give the flow of a heated discussion – while you can still see the whole thing.

    Mike seems to be completely sane and content, no comparison at all to the disturbed personality he displayed at the beginning. Let’s hope Bex won’t pull the whole place to pieces in the name of scientific research!

    • Lee

      Mike is actually being incredibly self-scentered and inconsiderate. And I’m getting the impression he’s actually even more depressed than he was before.

  • Karyl

    WHAT is krunching? is it thighfriend? I don’t like the idea of that, if it’s mechanical or it’s eating something, neither seems good.

    • RedDwarfIV

      Mike’s feet on the ground, it looks like. He turned around and walked toward Bex between the last two panels.

    • shingworks

      yeah, there’s crunchy bone fragments all over the ground, its pretty gross

  • Ben

    Mike has “gone bush”. Right off into the blue…. to a fair extent it doesn’t matter whether he is happy and sane, or completely immersed in his psychosis, Bex can’t reach him now and in a survival situation, that’s not viable.

    I have sympathy for Bex, if no one else does. She has, apparently, come to Mars out of a combination of professional ambition and utopian beliefs, and Mike (for reasons entirely his own) has put her in the situation of having to make decisions she isn’t equipped to make – one of which, will be the decision to abandon Mike, because she has no viable alternative.

    She will have to justify all this, back at the base, assuming she DOES escape (and since the author has ruled out an “it was all a dream” ending, or a “they were dead all along” ending in these comments thread, she either escapes or dies trying… hope those suits have gopros fitted..

  • NW

    When did Thighfriend switch legs?

    • shingworks

      Hahaha… holy crap. Why does this happen so much. I have a recurring issue of not seeing the diff between right and left, sorry XD will be fixed soon

    • David

      … I would never have noticed that.

    • evileeyore

      “When did Thighfriend switch legs?”
      Thighfriend is just making sure that both of Mike’s legs get the same amount of friendly attention. Nothing sinister and definitely not an artist error. Def not.

    • shingworks

      ok done being a terrible thighmom, art fixed

  • japhet

    practically nothing mike says on this page is reasonable or considerate. he’s taking everything as a personal attack on himself and assuming people (in this case bex) would/should know things that he knows without actual evidence to that end. how the hell would bex know who “kalla” is, right now or when she first met her?? how would bex know about mike, let alone personally target him and get herself assigned to his station? mike is being so intensely childish and it’s frustrating to watch because it’s so natural given his personality profile and state of mind.

    not only that, but mike purposefully ran into her just now, even as he asserts that he’s trying to “get away from pricks like you”. he trailed her, picked up her bag, and went out of his way to deliver it to her, before walking off with hardly a word. even if their paths coincidentally happened to cross, he could’ve just ignored the bag or left it somewhere she would find it without encountering her personally. if that’s not muddled intent and poorly thought through action i don’t know what is.

    does mike have ADHD? sorry if this has been answered before. the way he lashes out at people, notably how suddenly + personally he takes things, and how quickly his outbursts subside, remind me of my own ADHD-related tantrums.

    • David

      Yeah, Mike’s not being really rational right now. Bex has valid points, but I still think she owes him an apology.

      “Hey, sorry I beheaded your friend.” Seems like a pretty obvious thing to say.

    • shingworks

      hard agree, next page should clear up some of these points as well

    • Lilian

      Yeah, I like my Mike, but he’s infuriating. Bex’s pragmatism and general clear-headedness is a nice contrast.

  • Indedipal

    Ah, when Buttheads butt heads.

    I love how Thighfriend is mimicking Mike’s body language… Also: Mr. Mike seems to have misplaced his shoes.

    • Lilian

      When buttheads butt heads…

      …i need to remember that one.

  • MT

    I really like how Mike’s suit, plus head-growths, plus the angle on Thighfriend make it look like he has a shield and suit of armor on in the last two panels.

  • BigDogLittleCat

    Oh Bex, you blew it. When someone says you should apologize for sawing off their friend’s head, you should apologize and tell them their friend is alive.
    If you had told Mike Kalla is alive, the conversation could have taken a productive turn. But when you get all defensive and try to make it about the “situation,” ignoring and dismissing his accusation that you murdered his friend, yeah, there’s no hope for the conversation after that.

    I know your head is almost as messed up as Mike’s, but damn, why didn’t you tell him Kalla is alive?!

    • Oménassaï

      I mean, I’m all for the “you should apologize when you’ve hurt someone even if it wasn’t your fault/ you didn’t know better” idea, but I mean, Mike hasn’t really given her a chance to talk at all.
      Plus he’s being super aggressive, whereas Bex has been worried about him and trying to find him for a pretty long time. And on top of all that, she had to climb a crazy dangerous waterfall/cliff.

      I mean, the conversation could have taken a better turn if Bex apologized, but I don’t see why she should be the only one to blame when Mike is being… kinda not very nice.

      • BigDogLittleCat

        I’m not saying Bex is to blame. I’m saying there was the opportunity to turn things in a better direction and she missed it. That she missed it shows me how badly all this has messed with her head.
        If someone accuses you of beheading their friend, “your friend is alive!” seems the obvious response (i mean, if said friend *is* alive, of course).

        I keep hoping Bex will be less counter-productive than Mike, because she’s not as *obviously* damaged as he is. She might be worse off than him in some ways, but she hides her damage fairly well. unfortunately, it often seems to reveal itself in defensiveness, which was especially unfortunate here.
        I expect/hope for more from Bex because I fear Mike’s too far gone.

        It just sucks when you see a situation tank when it could have been averted.

        • ErictheTolle

          Emotional labor in the science fiction genre.

          Of course it’s Bex’s responsibility to be the adult here, not Mike’s he gets to be as visibility damaged and unable to be social as he wants, so SHE has to be the one responsible for fixing things. It’s a reflection of all kinds of relationships on earth, where women have to be responsible not only for themselves, but for the men as well.

          • Nyzer

            Wow, okay.

            Question: do you realize how much of a disservice you’re doing to not only the people you accuse of this, but to the message you’re trying to get across, when you just slap your hand on the table and declare that this is the reason while ignoring all context?

            There are three, far more relevant reasons as to why Bex gets less sympathy at this point.

            One is that she’s not the main character. Mike is. And it’s not even just that he has so much more on screen and viewpoint time than she does, but that her viewpoint time doesn’t start until a fairly late point – so readers have spent a lot of time in Mike’s head before even BEGINNING to delve into hers. He has all that reader sympathy already built up.

            The second reason is that she’s put into direct conflict with Mike at the MOMENT she finally takes over as viewpoint character. Combine that with the first reason, and reader sympathy for her becomes an uphill battle.

            The third reason is that, well, she did actually kill Kalla. Yes, Mike’s actions are a large part of the reason Bex ended up here and she could have just died instead, but she also played a major part in that – she chased Mike down and tackled him, which is what caused the collapse. They might not be here at all if not for Mike – but the same applies to her, as well. It’s not as strong of a reason as the first two – obviously she didn’t have any malicious intent when she killed Kalla, which does a lot to counter that in the same way – but it’s still relevant.

            Maybe “she’s a woman” factors in to some people’s dislike of her, sure – but dismissing all of it as such actually shows that you’re even more closed-minded than many of them are. Much of that would be subconscious, but you’re being willfully insistent.

    • Whachamacallit

      To be fair, she might be acting defensive since he said she kills everything she touches. She might’ve apologized for killing Kalla, but the worms? They were all about probing or whatever.

      • Lord Hideous

        “since he said she kills everything she touches.”

        The correct reply to this is “Well, I haven’t killed you… yet!”

        • David


        • Lilian

          Tempting. Though I can see Mike wiggling out of that one.

  • David

    I like how Bex’s accent comes out when she’s pissed off.

  • The Wing

    I like both of these characters A LOT, and though I personally sympathise with Mike the most here, I really couldn’t take a side. They’re both being so stupid and so human. Sadly, that is the main cause of most rifts and most problems in the world of men. :/

  • sweet_gardenia

    ” We’re leaving now to find some REAL friends. Like the kind that grows out of your thigh…’

  • Younicorn

    Fish are you sure you’re doing fine? You have parasites all over you, this can’t be comfortable at all!

    • Ford Prefect

      To be fair, most of them might more accurately be described as symbiotes.

  • James

    MIKE:- “I’m mad at you for killing everything you encounter!”
    BEX:- “That’s your fault for causing me to be here!”
    READERS:- “Why are people mad at Bex???”

  • Bioautomaton

    Oh come on Bex, did you really think he’d want to leave? It’s obvious this place has really started to grow on him.

    • Sheridan

      Ugh, Dad, stop. :)

  • Volkspanzer

    Not exactly a well-timed question (should have asked it since her re-appearance), but has Bex already died once and has been reformed by the processor? I can’t imagine any other reason why she’s able to cope in the environment without a bunch of organisms burying into her like Mike is experiencing…

  • Rose

    Just tell him Kalla’s alive! Also, you need to apologize to him!

  • Lilian

    I like an argument in which I can understand where each character is coming from.

  • Mo

    Do we need to break out the Get Along Shirt??? Guys???

  • CharlesW81

    Wait… I just noticed this in the 3rd panel and checked in the last page… Is Mike’s eye glowing blue like the water?

    I wonder what Mike means by “No thanks to you” in the 2nd panel, or if he fully comprehends what Bex means when she says LEVi is “alive”

    • Alfie275

      I’m assuming the “no thanks to you” is referring to the “there are more things down here”.

    • Sheridan

      > Is Mike’s eye glowing blue like the water?
      It’s a very cool effect.

  • Ria

    Alright! Thighfriend is back! Heck yeah!

  • Sheridan

    Well this escalated quickly.

  • Sheridan

    I mean, technically she didn’t saw Kalla’s head off; she was using a rock to hammer her shoulderblade through her neck.

  • No One

    I guess he’s given up on leaving. Does this mean he’s died? Or did he change his mind?

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