July 8 – 14, 2013

Here’s the over-long post under the July 8th comic.  It includes the winners of the second contest and the rules for the third contest.  I’ll also stick the winners of the first contest at the bottom of this post, since that blurb is currently buried in the archive.  This will have to stand in for my Rant for today (yes, I know I’ve been neglecting the Rants lately).

1)  Great WoB Extravaganza #I’ve Lost Count!

All right…a few things today.  Before we get to the contests, I’ll just say that because I’m so very busy right now, this seems like a fine time to have a Great WoB Extravaganza.  I may not survive it, but I’m trusting it will kick me into panic mode and help me finish my damn marking as well.  Therefore, for the next two utterly exhausting weeks, West of Bathurst will appear every single day, theoretically speaking.  If I fall behind, which I may, I’ll eventually catch up.

2)  Contest #2:  Winners

Summer Contest #2 is now over.  There were many intriguing guesses as to what WoB‘s most Canadian attribute was.  In the “practical” category, I’m going to have to go with the very first answer:

Nobilis:  “As a European who has never been to North America I probably won’t get this right, but I’ll try anyway:  WoB’s most Canadian attribute are the Maple Doughnuts at Tim Hortons.”

Sorry, Mimi S and fan; you tried, but your answers were too close to Nobilis’s.  And yes, Mimi, Nobilis does have an advantage when I post the contests late at night.  Today’s contest, luckily, will be posted just after noon EDT, which may or may not be inconvenient for Nobilis.  We shall see.

The “creative” point goes to:

Laura:  “I’m definitely at a disadvantage because I’m Canadian.  I say WoB’s most Canadian attribute is the mild insanity all of the characters seem to have.”

In Canada, we are proud of our mild insanity.

Nobilis’s and Laura’s points have been added to the tally.  Nobilis is currently in the lead and thus gets a bolded name.  Hurrah!

3)  Contest #3:  Rules

Let us now begin a new contest.  Hmm…let’s see:

This will be another guess-what’s-coming contest.  At some point in the course of this coming week, at least one character who has previously appeared in the comic (but is not a regular) will appear again.  (I should clarify that stipulation:  characters who used to be regulars but aren’t any more still count as “regulars” for the purposes of this contest.  Let’s say that anyone who has ever appeared on the character sheet will not be reappearing this week.  The character sheet is, of course, a few years out of date, and it includes one-off characters as well as regulars, but excluding it in its entirety narrows the field a bit.)  There may be more than one such character; there may be just one.  Guess which character it is.  You get only one try, but you may mention up to three characters.  The more you get right (remember that there may be only one), the more points you get.  You may repeat other entrants’ guesses.  There will be no creativity point this week, just because it’s difficult to be creative when simply naming previous characters (it’s possible to be obscure, but creative?  *Looks sideways at Erwaro, who is likely about to attempt to prove me wrong*).  If any characters you want to mention are nameless, describe them as best you can.  Links are acceptable too.

Have at it, valiant knights.

4)  Contest #1:  Winners

Barbara has now clarified her position a bit, so I can reveal the winners of Contest #1.  There were a lot of good entries (which you can see here),  ranging from the practical to the wildly inventive.  Doctor Who and Star Trek both offered inspiration.  But there can be only one winner.  Well, that’s not true.  There can actually be a number of winners.  That sounds much less dramatic, however.

The “practical” winners are as follows:

Earthgirl:  “Because Marie was there.”
Dances With Fish:  “The mouse came back to life because Marie was subconsciously trying to create a distraction.”
Nobilis:  “The mouse came back to life because Marie was (subconsciously) wishing it would.”

Dances With Fish was a bit off, but the “subconscious desire” element was there.  Nobilis also offered some supplementary Star Trek-related theorising but noted that the initial sentence could be right even if the theorising was wrong.

The “creative” winner was really no contest:


“’The mouse came back to life because Marie was the mouse the whole time!’

“How does that make sense? Marie is actually a shape-shifter, though she does so unconsciously, and has not, to date, remembered any of her transformations. Casey is an alien from a very, very distant galaxy who was sent here to study our planet, who also has (much less powerful) shapeshifting abilities. The mouse came about when Marie changed into a blob-creature and then changed back. While transformed, a bit of her dripped off onto the carpet, and was, unbeknownst to either of them, still alive. Casey figured out that this fragment of Marie was alive when a mouse touched it and the bit of Marie turned into a copy of the mouse. That was a bit of a giveaway. He tried to catch the Marie-mouse, but failed. After a while, though, he came into possession of the deceased remains of Marie-Mouse. He knew it was her because of alien shape-shifting-detection powers that make total sense. Reviving the Marie-mouse required contact with some part of Marie that was still living. He ended up getting a bit of her blood when she got a papercut. He revived the mouse, gave it a tracking device (an ALIEN tracking device) and set it free, hoping to gain a deeper understanding of Marie’s transformative abilities. The mouse has mostly just run around since then, though.

“Incidentally, Marie’s transformative powers are also the reason she can create fires. Her transformative abilities regard fire elementals as perfectly legitimate creatures. And, finally, she doesn’t have to transform all the way, duh. Just a little fire elemental will go a long way.”

That entry…is simply sublime.

Earthgirl 1
Dances With Fish 1
Nobilis 2
Erwaro 1
Laura 1

29 thoughts on “July 8 – 14, 2013

  1. After a refresher courtesy of the character page, I’m going to give this one a go:

    1- Master D. Ramsay
    2- Kenneth Graham
    3- Frankie Drake

    (full names used to eliminate any ambiguity- but I need to get around to a full re-read of WoB sooner or later)

  2. Mercenary Pen: Just be aware that “not a regular” means “not a character who has appeared several times as part of recurring storylines,” not just “not a main character.” I’ll clarify this by saying that the mysterious recurring characters are NOT on the character sheet (which I have shamefully neglected in recent years). You may try again if you like.

  3. Okay, I’ll bear that in mind- and try again if and when inspiration hits me, though to be fair, nonne of the characters I’ve mentioned has appeared much in the last few months, leading me to wonder whether they were still “regular” characters (people growing up, drifitng apart and all that)…

  4. Yes, that’s fair enough. I just didn’t make the term clear enough. I’ll go modify it in the official rules so that I don’t confuse everybody else as well.

  5. Okay, I’ve updated the rules. The update adds a further advantage; it narrows the field of possible characters. The comic contains such a lot of characters that this is not at all a bad thing.

  6. Hurrah, I’ve got too points: . .
    Aren’t they cute?

    I would have said Bleachy, because it’s summer, but she is on the character sheet. And Nico has already appeared again. So, let me guess:
    1) Marie’s therapist
    2) Basil
    3) the poor guy who kept failing at the Latin exam

    Kari, you might give a creativity point to the person who dug up the most out-of-the-way character whom not even yourself remembered, but who had been there …

  7. Nobilis: that’s true. Perhaps I’ll do that. Let’s just say there’s a possible point “at my discretion,” which means I can do whatever I like because it’s my contest.

  8. I think the characters coming back are:

    1. The mouse
    2. Casey’s mother (Though she never technically appeared.)
    3. Kari

    Even though there’s no creativity award, I’m a bit of a rebel, so here goes. Kari will appear as herself as a bit of forth wall bursting meta-fiction. Marie will turn out to be Kari’s long lost daughter, who had disappeared into the land of fiction one night when her house burned down, by way of a magical tunnel she created with her rare power to travel into fiction itself. She somehow ended up in her own mother’s mind, where her life continued as web fiction character, and all her memories for the past few years have been crafted from Kari’s mind. Kari created the comic as a way to remember her daughter, who everyone in the real world assumed died in the fire.

    After a few years, Kari started to suspect something ans will infiltrate her own comic, not just in non canon holiday one shots, but as a full fledged character. It will work too well and she’ll end up physically in the comic, culminating in a tearful reunion with her non ink daughter, complete with sappy violins and people tossing random roses into the air. Then will come the complicated plot to return both of them to the real world, with a twist that everyone in the comic is actually a real person that Kari subconsciously kidnapped. This revelation will drive Kari mad. Marie will have to defeat her mother video game boss style, so she can free her friends and they can have a life in the real world, where their post grad work means nothing (as comic credits don’t transfer) and they have to all start over or get a job at Tim Hortons.

  9. My three guesses are:

    Tiny model of the eleventh Doctor (with fez)

    (I would’ve guessed young Marie, but I couldn’t resist putting in the Doctor.

  10. …aw, dammit. At one point, at least, that was EXACTLY what I was going to post. EXACTLY. I was going to have a nicely creative paragraph about why the eleventh Doctor would constitute a character at that point, but…

    It just feels so hollow now. I’m gonna find a new character that no one else thinks is coming back.

  11. I’m voting for Basil. I was going to vote for Ursula until I realised she was on the Characters page.

  12. Alright, I might be running out of time, so here goes:

    My guesses are Basil, Marie’s therapist, and the model of the 11th doctor.

    The 11th doctor, however, is an actual character when he reappears. Weird Beard, you see, actually does have strange and mysterious powers. They aren’t all that impressive, but some of his abilities rubbed off on the doctor, which, combined with Marie’s abilities and the fact that she confides in it/him, gives it a strange form of life. The model of the 11th doctor becomes alive, able to communicate mentally with those who have created an emotional connection with him/it. At this point, that’s just Marie, though the doctor can also sense emotions of those who are physically nearby. Once the telepathic link is formed, though, it works over any distance. The doctor can also teleport, because he’s the Doctor. That’s pretty hard, though. And he can’t see, hear, or move in any other way. So teleportation doesn’t come up all that often. Still, though. And, technically, the Doctor is capable of moving a very little bit- he can make his fez spin around.

  13. 1. Basil
    2. Nico
    3. The Fates
    Does Nico count as a recurring character? He’s not on the list.

    I know these don’t count, but just to give the other possibilities a mention…
    Pyjamas Guy
    Marie’s therapist
    The barista at the cafe
    The homeless guy
    The taxidermist

  14. I would say Nico counts as a recurring character, as does Anthea. The others are fair game. Nico has also JUST been in the comic, so calling him a “returning” character is a bit of a moot point. You may choose another name for your third spot if you like.

  15. After giving it much thought and randomly clicking of links til I found one, these three will be my choice for the coming battle:
    “Patrick” (http://www.westofbathurst.com/westofbathurst060821.html)
    The Tentacle (example here http://www.westofbathurst.com/westofbathurst091226.html)
    Monster with NASTY! POINTY! TEETH! (Here http://www.westofbathurst.com/westofbathurst110713.html, wonder if that’s the same one as here: http://www.westofbathurst.com/westofbathurst110611.html)

  16. Okay, going to go with some interesting choices here rather than try and work out who is actually likely (after all, I’ve been too pre-occupied with other things to get to an archive trawl):
    1- The tenth doctor (who has consistently been out of frame in a TV screen through entire arcs of the story)- with Marie hallucinating, he might just turn up for ‘real’
    2- Errol (maybe he’ll turn up and manage to annoy Casey into actually being forthcoming)
    3- Some random restaurant server (yes I know I’m stretching the boundaries of a single character on this one, but I’m that short on ideas)

  17. Alas, Mercenary Pen, you’re a day too late; the contest is closed. However, as I’m all-powerful, I’ll allow it.

  18. At least its not as if any of my choices are serious enough to stand a chance of winning points- though Marie might be able to force a few admissions out of Casey if she threatens to imagine a few Daleks- after all, if evil Marie is real enough for Casey to hold conversations with, maybe imaginary daleks would be real enough to hurt him.

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