Chapter 5, Page 57

Gravity!! noooo

You can find the full spread image here

I am making a PDF of bonus materials, development notes etc, which will be released to KS backers, book preorder folx and Patrons. I am taking a few questions any readers might have, this update and next, and will answer the most-asked or most-interesting questions in the PDF. If you have a question about the world, plot, characters or anything else MI related, just post in the comments below and the illustrated answer might show up in the PDF~ I’ll cite your username if your question is chosen, so if you’d prefer for me to use a different moniker, feel free to note that in your question and I’ll cite that instead. I can’t guarantee I’ll be able to get to every question, but I’ll do my best to get a good mix.

Posted a MI development PDF development (yes that’s awkwardly phrased) article to Patreon if you like that kinda thing. Mostly shoptalk about putting together this sort of document. Or if you just want comics, Meek is updated to page 17 and page 18.

As always, you can preorder the MI book at the store! All preorders will include the bonus digital materials including the development PDF, until the books arrive to me in December.


  • Spark

    Long…live….the king!

    As a side note, I’ve noticed that Kalla’s eyes are a lot smaller in recent pages than they were in past chapters. Is that merely a stylistic difference or is it related to it being the processor?

    • shingworks

      That’s def style refinement, haha. I actually went back and fixed up a bunch of the old art since Kalla looked a little different back when compared to now, so she’ll be consistent in print and fucky on the internet, forever.

      • Sam

        I’m very curious what’s going to happen to ch3p9! I backed the comic on Kickstarter and have the pdf, but I’ve been enjoying the update schedule so haven’t spoiled myself… yet.

  • Glavos

    Ahhhhhhh!Thigh friend better start flapping

    • Lilian

      Now is the time for amorous thighfish to shine.

    • iowawa

      here’s hoping thighfish is reaaallllllyyyyy stretchy.

  • Hydrargyrum

    How did it come to pass that LeVI’s internals were spread out in one room far from the Processor node, while his shell was on the bottom of the Mirror on top of Kalla?

    • shingworks

      Good one! Noted :]

  • evileeyore

    There goes Mike, taking the Nestea plunge…

  • Solanuma

    You let me down down down down down down down down down…

  • Hydrargyrum

    Another thing I’m curious about. During her origin story to Mike, Kalla mentions that there was an exodus of her people happening before she entered/created the Mare Internum. Are there still Martians out in space somewhere? After 4 billion years I’m sure their descendants would be near unrecognisable to Kallakore, but I’m curious to know whether the distant future of this setting might include humans making contact with a more functional civilisation.

    • genebko

      Or, could the evolution of all those years be that they returned but to the third planet since the fourth was then uninhabitable?

    • Zach

      You know that dinosaur with the big sail on its back?

      4 billion years is 13 times as long as it took for it to evolve into humans.

      Somewhere out there, there are microscopic waterbears evolved from regressed martians.

  • Sumater

    He was pretty much doomed from the start, wasn’t he?

    • Tim F

      From what I can tell he was already lost on page one. In that sense, the REAL escape from a Martian refuge biome run by a slightly batty AI overlord was the friends we made along the way.

    • Daveolie

      It’s possible that Mike was actually successful in his suicide attempt and that this whole story has been his dying delirium, similar to “Jacob’s Ladder”:

  • Inwoods

    It’s not really a question and I don’t want to refer to things that haven’t been on the web but here is where I lose the thread completely. I’m just not sure what happens after this, how much is in Mike’s head, how much is real, what the processor tries to do, what kind of existence it has.

    I guess I’ll post again when more pages are up, but it was less “mysteries…” and more “what was even supposed to be happening here, on a physical level?”

    • awhorl

      I have so far resisted the urge to claim my kickstarter package to keep from reading ahead. Thus I can say that the items you mention are unclear in my mind, also–but then we’re still in medias res, and we don’t have answers yet.

      Did Mike just succeed in blowing the processor’s fuse by suggesting that imperfection is better than perfection?

      What is the relation between the processor and the lava field–is it “out of bounds” so that the P is not in control there, or did P Central just drop both “Kalla” and Mike?

      I really have to hand it to our author. We are so close to the end and I am still unable to guess the denouement! And it’s a nail biter, since I care so much about every character.

      • shingworks

        You have so much willpower XD I salute you.

        • awhorl

          I also don’t have my claim information at my fingertips. That helps. ;D But I had better dig it up soon. I LOVE THIS GRAPHIC NOVEL. It is the best thing ever. Said by someone whose specialty was Henry James. I feel highly privileged to have read this as it was posted. Thank you.

  • 0z79

    The very first written instance of the word “fuck” was in the margins of a guide of moral conduct: “Oh ye fuckin Abbot.”

    I would like to substitute the last word for “Hell.” Or… well, never mind. Not trying to get banned for sassing the author.

    • improbablybasil

      Gotta love marginalia. I understand it’s a subject worthy of study in and of itself now. Monks drawing rude pictures and swearing in the margins of scriptures indeed, naughty schoolboys.

  • Ben1

    ….. aaaaaaand THIS is why I was so pleased to see this comic return, after a long hiatus. The art is spectacular, the resolution of the plot STILL isn’t apparent, even so close to the end. I’ll be sorry to see it end.

    • shingworks

      Me too! Only a month left… we end on Nov 29.

  • Arianwen

    Thighfriend, only you can save us now!

  • Kincajou

    For the moment the most pressing question I’d have is “were there any consequences for Mike’s uncle?”

  • foducool

    time for a dip

  • Sorry, Thighfriend, but I do not think you make a wingsuit

    • shingworks

      “Flap like a bigass bird!”

      • Edmund

        No it spins really fast like a maple key or one of those early flying machine prototypes. It also makes a very obvious pblptlptblbpltpbtlptltbt noise as it saves the day.

        Yes, this is taking my mind off of the very serious consequences soon to follow.

  • improbablybasil

    Feel for new-hairstyle Kalla – if Processor has just released control this is the 1st thing she knows in this new incarnation.

    I always wondered why our benevolent Processor didn’t ever create any friends for Kallakore; it knew she was lonely. Could even have had more than one Kallaklone at the same time.

    And thank you for the uncannily fine and incisive dialogue you’ve managed to distill on the left panel.

  • Hannah

    Maybe I’m being overly hopeful but… am I seeing wings? I feel like this comic is way too “real” to pull a Deus Ex Processor on us though… *anxiety thickens*

    • Hannah

      Also I am really digging the beautiful backgrounds – as a lady in STEM who also loves art, Shing is an inspiration to me! Thank you!

    • iowawa

      you may have something there with the wings comment. Kalla has a really beafy chest and upper body, and a keel on her head. Quite similar morphology to a pteranodon maybe.

    • Artie O'Dactyl

      I don’t know about wings, but … If I recall correctly, our gracious artist/writer mentioned something a few weeks ago about critters designed to prevent rockfalls from the roof of the cave system. Also, Mars’ surface gravity is only 3/8 that of Earth, so stuff on Mars takes almost three times as long to fall a given distance as it does here. It just *might* be possible that Mike will be caught before he goes *FLOOP* into the lava. >fingers crossed<

  • Jeffery

    I thought he ripped out his leg thing when kalla was ko’d? He still (mostly) has his head toaster, so what DID he remove? His eye?

  • kincajou

    Thinking about it my most pressing question that might go unanswered about the story would be what happened to Mike’s uncle?

    From the previous part of the comic i feel it’s implied that it’s something mike kept to himself, i’d like to hope i’m wrong.

  • OneWeirdGirl

    Hi Der-Shing! I remember you came out with this comic a few days before I started college, and now I’m almost done right as Mare wraps up…

    Anyway, my question is how long did it take for you to come up with Mare? As in, is this a comic that took a lot of personal experience and growing to come to (and not be something you could’ve made in, say, your 20’s)? Also how long did it take to draft, and how many rewrites did you make before you were happy? I know I can rewrite something to death sometimes. Thank you!

    • shingworks

      Thanks for the question OWG!

  • genebko

    So if Kala and the other bio systems tend to link back to the processor, what role does Mike’s thigh-fish have in integrating Mike with the processor?

  • bgb

    I’ve been following this comic since early in Chapter 3. Seeing it about to end feels so weird. And I still can’t predict what that ending will be.

  • Esn

    It’s hard to think up questions considering the story’s not yet over and some of them may yet be answered.

    I guess mine, at this point in the story, would be this:

    Why did the processor bother to recreate Levi (its greatest enemy, from its perspective) with its memories and personality fully intact? Ok, maybe it did it “for research purposes” or something (what sort of research was it interested in?) and was counting on Kalla never figuring out what Thrip-Levi was saying (although Thrip-Levi could easily have just drawn pictures in the dirt…), but then why would it also allow Bex to understand Thrip-Levi? Was the processor simply clumsy, or did it have mixed feelings about what it did?

    • Esn

      …and for that matter, the processor just threatened to recreate Kalla with no memory of Mike. Why didn’t it recreate the current/last Kalla with no memory of Levi?
      Just what sort of “contract” existed between the processor and the original Kallakore? Obviously the Processor was not allowed to NOT recreate Kalla, but it seems that some degree of memory alteration was fine?

  • awhorl

    How about a flight team of LeVI 2.0s swooping in? Wouldn’t that be cool? And somewhat unrelated to the way the plot is developing?

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