WoB Talk

August 28, 2013

August 26 – September 1, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kari Maaren @ 10:01 am

…So yeah…I’m a bit behind.  Sorry about that.  I’ll try to get Tuesday’s comic up later today, though no promises.  When you’re visiting your parents, there are time considerations.  Right now, I’m by myself mostly because it’s 5:45 a.m. here.

I actually finished the comic last night, but I was too tired to deal with the contests, so I delayed posting anything.  We had a few entries for Summer Contest #9, the objective of which was to guess 1) to which major WoB character the protagonist of the new comic would be connected, 2) what kind of connection it would be, 3) how old the protagonist would be, and 4) where the new protagonist has appeared in the WoB archive.  The guesses:


1) Barbara. 2) Niece (more specifically, Barbara’s oldest niece, whom Erwaro calls “Squirt”). 3) 15 / 24. 4) Initially this and this, then also this (well…he mentioned it, but someone else linked it because Erwaro wanted it to be a surprise or something) once I clarified how many nieces Barbara actually had.


1) Marie. 2) The Hostess in the taxidermist’s shop, who is connected to Marie because the Hostess has used one of Casey’s favourite and most maddening lines and thus may be one of Casey’s kind-of-sort-of-victims.  3)  Mid-to-late-30s. 4)  This and this.


1)  Barbara.  2)  Elder sister.  3)  Currently 44, but the comic will begin two years in the past, making her 42.  4)  This.


1)  Casey.  2)  Mom.  3)  Simultaneously mid-40s and extremely old.  4)  No links, but mention of Casey’s phone conversations.


1)  Rahim.  2)  College friend.  3)  About 25?  4)  ???


1)  Fred.  2)  Girlfriend.  3)  Mid-to-late-20s, but the comic will involve a lot of flashbacks.  4)  This and this.


1) Marie.  2) Evil Baby Evil Baby Marie:  the hallucination of a hallucination of a hallucination. 3) Ageless.


3)  14 billion years.

Nobilis also ventures to suggest that the new character might be Weird Beard’s identical twin brother, who has turned up twice without anybody noticing, and who is 4.5 billion years old.

All these guesses are diverting, but you guys should really pay more attention to Erwaro, who has basically nailed it.  What I can reveal is as follows:

The protagonist of the new comic will be Rose, Barbara’s eldest niece (whom I am now tempted to give the unshakeable childhood nickname “Squirt”).  She is 15, but the issue is more complicated than that, in a way I am not yet prepared to reveal.  Kudos to those of you who noticed my vague hint that the age thing would not be entirely simple.  The Christmas comic to which Erwaro linked contains Rose’s first ever appearance.  He has thus earned five points (two for the link).  Everybody else who guessed gets one point for creativity (yes, I’m being generous with the points, as the contests are winding down), and Nobilis gets two because she got the first question right.  And look at that:  Erwaro has taken the lead away from Nobilis for the first time all summer.


Summer Contest #10

This is the last summer contest, so there will be a fair number of points available, though not, again, in a Quidditch sort of way.  It’s true that Erwaro and Nobilis are way out in front of everybody else, but perhaps I shall award some second- and third-place prizes (theoretically speaking, as the entire prize structure is dependent on me actually creating a WoB collection).

It seems unfair for the final contest to be a subjective one, as many of the former contests have been, so I’ll make it a straight numbers game:

Provide links to every WoB comic you can find that mentions badgers.  DON’T post them in the comments section; send them to me at kmaaren(at)gmail(dot)com.   You will earn one point per comic found.

I actually have no idea how many comics I’ve posted with badgers in them, but I’m suspecting rather a lot (hint:  there are even some quite recent ones).  I…like badgers, I guess.

The deadline is Sunday at midnight.  I’ll also accept mentions of badgers in the alt-text.  I have no idea whether or not any of these exist.

Summer Contest Points Thus Far:

Earthgirl 1
Dances With Fish 4
Nobilis 11
Erwaro 13
Laura 6
Preethi 2
Lumair 5
Fan 3
Mercenary Pen 2
Tuxgeo 5
Errol 3
Tarina 2
Emily 3
Quasihumanist 3
Tobias 1

August 18, 2013

August 19 – 25, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kari Maaren @ 9:46 pm

Warning:  very long blurb follows.  It may be easier to read in the comments section, in which it won’t appear as white text on a black background.

It is once again time to score this week’s contest entries.  There weren’t many this time around, but we did get entries from Mercenary Pen, Dances With Fish, Erwaro, Quasihumanist, Nobilis, and Emily.  All of them advanced theories as to what Casey’s revelation might be (this week, anyway).  They were working on the following scheme:  three points for a correct answer, two points for the most diabolically ingenious answer, and one point for guessing that Casey would squirm out of revealing anything (as long as that turned out to be correct).  The results:

1)  The actual revelation is that Casey doesn’t have any idea how old he is because he doesn’t, in fact, remember who he is.  The memories he got back last year have now become so confusing and fragmented that he can’t be sure that they’re real.

2)  No one got this.  However, Erwaro actually came kind of close:

Casey will want, very badly, to remain his old reticent self. He recognizes, however, that things haven’t been working. And so he proposes a bargain. He offers to tell Marie everything, but with two caveats. First, “Everything” covers only what he remembers that is relevant to his relationship with her (not in that sense, you know what I mean), which may not be much. And second, for that information, Marie has to help him get all of his memories back, as well as properly sorted out. And the deal doesn’t include anything he re-learns in that way, though he might (MIGHT) be willing to part with slightly more.


His revelation won’t be everything (duh), but it will hit a few crucial points, including the fact that Casey has been around, in some form or other, for a LONG time, mostly because of supernatural reincarnation abilities that will probably never be fully, or at all, explained. Based on what he can remember, he THINKS that he probably made contact with Marie after the fire, based mainly on her hallucination and the fact that it seems to be the sort of thing he would do. He thinks also that he was lying to her for a long time, though he doesn’t now remember for sure, nor does he remember anything about what he was lying about. I mean, yeah, the whole supernatural reincarnation thing, but there was more to it than that.


In other words, revelations that mostly open up a huge can of worms, and a pact, such as it is, to find out more, with a tacit understanding that when and if they succeed, Casey won’t reveal anything else.

Casey hasn’t admitted to extreme age, but he has admitted to not knowing his age, and since he seemed to be a full-grown man rather than a fifteen-year-old boy in Marie’s hallucination, there may be some implications of agelessness there.  He has also more or less admitted that he may have been lying to Marie, though accidentally, since he doesn’t remember her from ten years ago.  He and Marie haven’t made a deal to get his memories back, but they seem to be having a conversation in which they try to puzzle out what’s going on, and that’s really a first for Casey.  So though Erwaro’s answer isn’t exactly correct, it’s close enough for jazz.  Erwaro has thus earned three points.

3)  The other answers are all quite creative, but two stand out, one for its logic and the other for its insanity.  First, there’s Emily’s guess:

I think Casey will reveal that he himself, a very long time ago, had a deal with the Devil. In this deal, he has gained immortality (and potentially other powers). What he has not realized is that the powers granted to him did not extend to improving his memory to cope with the centuries and centuries of memories he has accumulated (deals with the Devil often being tricky). To gain help, Casey has endowed Niko with some of his powers in return for Nico’s loyalty. Nico is bound by same of the conditions that bind Casey. Perhaps due to his degenerating memory, at some point after giving powers to Nico, Casey has failed to keep some condition of the deal, and is now damned to torment in Hell. However, he can be temporarily released if he finds someone else willing to make a deal with the Devil.

Of course, being Casey, he will not reveal all of this. He will only admit to having made a deal with the Devil a long time ago and having memory problems.

I agree with Tuxgeo that this is an excellent theory.  It may or may not be true, but it’s very clever.

Then there’s Nobilis’s guess:

Casey will reveal something – but it will be mostly lies.

Sometime these days, he will say to Marie: “No, I am your father.” Which would be possible, as he has been around for a LONG time. And of course Marie’s parents aren’t her real parents – in a story, they never are, even your aunt and uncle aren’t really your aunt and uncle (only if it’s your second and third cousin, once removed, then it might be true and you weren’t exchanged by elves after all).

BUT: Casey is lying, as usually. Marie’s real father is a backward aging pirate living in another universe, which can be reached through a vortex in the couch in the basement (which is why Marie is so attached to that place).


And: Marie’s memories are wrong, that’s why she has so much trouble with them. When crawling through that “tunnel” in the burning house, the real Marie Dumont went through a portal to fairy-tale world, where she now works for Frau Holle as Pechmarie (having grown up in the 20th/21st century, she doesn’t know how to deal with a fairy-tale household). The Marie we know came through the other way, escaping thraldom in Frau Holle’s household. To cover this up, Marie’s memories have been tampered with, resulting in her annual crisis when the real memories try to break through. Even when deciding to confront her memories, Marie couldn’t go further back than the tunnel – for obvious reasons. Casey is, of course, also from fairy-tale world and followed Marie – only time will tell whether he means well or not, but given that he is the fairy-tale devil the probability lies strongly on one side. Quite a number of other WoB characters come also from fairy-tale world, through different portals and with different amount of memories. Barbara, for example, knows that Casey is the devil.

She had me at “exchanged by elves.”  Nobilis knows my love of fairy tales well.

Emily and Nobilis have won two points apiece.

4)  The other three guesses are fun too.  Dances With Fish builds on a pre-existing foundation:

I’ll go with my previous theory. Casey’s going to reveal that Marie has been Satan the whole time, but she had traded places with Casey way back in the day. Casey tracked her down and decided to try and trick her at the hospital by pretending that he wanted to trade places with her (possibly actually switching bodies) for a while rather than a regular deal. In fact, once they traded places, she’d be stuck forever since it would really be a switch back.


Then again, the rumors could be true and Casey could really be a Time Lord stuck in some alien child’s fairy tale construction. (This isn’t a serious guess. It would just be awesome.)
http://i39.tinypic.com/fnbfr7.png (This is not part of the contest. I just couldn’t help myself.)

Do click on the link.  You will be amused.

Mercenary Pen’s guess is short and sweet and reminiscent of The Neverending Story (the book, not the film):

Casey’s going to reveal that he’s been relentlessly selling his memories in exchange for a better life.

Quasihumanist’s guess is shorter and sweeter and reminiscent of The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy:

Casey will vanish in a puff of logic.

Dances With Fish, Mercenary Pen, and Quasihumanist have earned one point each.


Nobilis is still in the lead, albeit by only one point.  Will Erwaro or some other intrepid soul come from behind?  We shall see…


Summer Contest #9

We’re nearing the end of the summer.  Two weeks from now, school will be starting again.  This will therefore be our second-last contest; we’ll have a grand finale with #10.  I promise sincerely that I won’t go by Quidditch rules (i.e., the final contest won’t have 150 points up for grabs, thus negating the entire point of the other nine contests).

We’ll have another guessing game for this contest, but a less involved one so that busy people can participate.  Everybody gets ONE (multi-part) guess this time.  You may repeat what other people say.  Answers must be posted in the comments section before midnight on Sunday, August 25th.

I’ve been thinking a bit about the comic that is going to come after West of Bathurst.  I can now reveal that it will be set in the same universe (i.e., its world will be consistent with the WoB world; it doesn’t mean that WoB characters will be wandering in and out all the time, but it does mean that Davies College will exist in the world of the new comic, even if it never actually appears in it).  The new comic will be rather more obvious about its not-quite-realistic qualities than WoB is.  If you read it, you’ll probably still want to kill me, but for entirely different reasons.

The protagonist is connected in some way to one of the major WoB characters.  Your job is to answer the following questions:

1)  Which character will the new protagonist be connected to?  (1 point)

2)  What kind of connection is it?  (1 point)

3)  Approximately how old will the new protagonist be?  (up to 2 points for reasons I shall not currently disclose)

4)  It is just possible that the new protagonist may have turned up very briefly–twice–in WoB.  If you find and link to at least one of the relevant comics, you will receive 2 points.

Here’s the rub:  if anyone gets any of these details right, I will confirm them.  If no one gets a certain detail–or all three details–right, I won’t reveal them myself.  So this is an opportunity for you to get a mild teaser for the new strip…but only if someone correctly guesses the relevant information.

Summer Contest Points Thus Far:

Earthgirl 1
Dances With Fish 4
Nobilis 9
Erwaro 8
Laura 5
Preethi 2
Lumair 5
Fan 2
Mercenary Pen 2
Tuxgeo 4
Errol 3
Tarina 2
Emily 2
Quasihumanist 1

August 12, 2013

August 12 -18, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kari Maaren @ 12:57 am

And here we have it, folks:   Monday’s comic is going up before bedtime.  The winner of Summer Contest #7, with three points, is therefore Tuxgeo, the only one of you who picked “7.”  Admittedly, I was trying for 7; there was no guarantee I would achieve it, but I was certainly motivated to aim for it.

Let’s see…what should our next contest be?

Summer Contest #8

Casey seems set to reveal something this week…or does he?  What will his revelation be?  Points will be awarded as follows:

1)  If you get it right, you’ll earn three points.

2)  The answer that strikes me as the most diabolically ingenious, even if it turns out to be inaccurate, will earn two points.

3)  If you cop out and guess that Casey will squirm out of revealing anything yet again, and you turn out to be correct, you’ll earn one point.

Am I playing mind games with you?  Yes…yes, I am.

Answers must be in before the revelation happens…if it does.  This may or may not give you much time.


I would also like to mention, as a sort of mini-Rant (the Rants are on hiatus at the moment because the comics are taking up so much time), that the death of my Wacom tablet (this is not what most people now think of as a tablet; it’s one of these), which I use to edit comics, forced me to replace it today.  Well…it wasn’t entirely dead, but it was dying and thus quite difficult to use.  I had to decide between getting another Bamboo–the cheapest type of Wacom tablet–and upgrading to an Intuos.  I went for the Intuos, and so far, I like it.  I feel disloyal to my poor Bamboo, but the Intuos is just more responsive.  In the process of getting it, I also discovered yet another Toronto mall complex.  Toronto seems to have an awful lot of mall complexes.  I passed two on the way to this one, and I knew there was at least one more a short bike ride away.

Summer Contest Points Thus Far:

Earthgirl 1
Dances With Fish 3
Nobilis 7
Erwaro 5
Laura 5
Preethi 2
Lumair 5
Fan 2
Mercenary Pen 1
Tuxgeo 4
Errol 3
Tarina 2

August 5, 2013

August 5 – 11, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kari Maaren @ 10:00 am

Okay…I actually finished the comic in the wee hours, but I was too tired to deal with the contest stuff, so I left it for the morning.  It is now the morning.  Let’s see what we’ve got:

Summer Contest #6 involved contestants writing little explanations of what Marie might do next if she subscribed to the philosophy “What would Batman do?”.  The explanations could have been submitted at any point in the last seven days, but they needed to take into account everything that had happened up to the point of submission.

There were entries from Erwaro, Dances With Fish, Lore Hera, Laura, Nobilis,  Paige,  Fan,  Tuxgeo, and Preethi.  Points (one each) go to the following entries:


The first thing she would do is keep trying to ignore Casey, just because there’s too much going on. When he persists, something shifts in her mind. She, in her mind, BECOMES Batman. Batwoman. Batgirl. Whatever. She immediately reaches out and grabs Casey by his shirt, demanding to know who he is and what he wants. Or tries to. Her physical state means she mostly reaches over and flops her hand towards him. Casey proposes his bargain- his infernal, sinister, bargain. Bat-Marie would ordinarily never consider agreeing with such a deal, but she is also consumed with a desire to avenger her parents deaths. So she agrees. The deal is done, and the fragment of Marie that considers herself to be Batman is quieted down after a nice nap. This fragment of Marie’s mind later changes to become Evil Marie, who suspects that Marie set the fire long before there was any real reason to suspect it. That’s why she antagonizes Marie like she does. It’s also part of why Casey can see and talk with Evil Marie- he’s conversed with her before, so why would it be strange now?

I was amused by the number of people who built theories about Evil Marie into their answers.  People also tended to notice that Marie had dead parents, just like Batman.  Erwaro’s explanation makes use of both these elements.  Erwaro usually wins because of his creativity, but this time actual logic plays a part too.  I do like the idea of Marie having a little Dark Knight/World’s Greatest Detective living inside her brain.

This theory has been disproven by subsequent events, but it was submitted early in the week, so that’s okay.

Dances With Fish:

Evil Marie will suddenly break through and start to talk to Casey, since Marie is actually Satan and Casey is some hapless soul she tricked into replacing her years before, while Marie made herself human and found a family to raise her. She locked away that part of herself while she lived out a normal life, (well, normal until the whole fire starting thing,) and thus Evil Marie was born. Casey’s visiting her in the hospital because he’s trying to trick her into going back to being Satan, but Evil Marie’s too smart and will show up to tell him to buzz off. So, this would be more “What Would Batman Do If He Happened To Be Two-Face.” I guess that would make her Bat-Face.

Yes, this is another early entry, but I swear I’m not just going down the list in order; the two first entries were two of my favourites.  Okay, so DWF has made Marie into more of a Two-Face than a Batman, but as Harvey Dent has always been one of my favourite Batman-related characters, I can’t help but approve.  As well, this theory provides yet another explanation for Evil Marie.

This theory has also more or less been disproven, though possibly not entirely.


Casey blinks, and the hospital bed is empty. He looks around shiftily, left, right, left again, and sees a huge fist moving in on his face at a high speed, knocking him completely out. BatMarie searches his pockets for clues, to no avail. Frustrated, she wakes up and spends the next seven years brooding and exercising in a cave that is accessed by a secret button hidden in the collar of the Elvis.

This one is short and sweet, but I approve of its sarcastic references to Batman’s violence and the whole brooding thing, the latter of which certainly fits Marie, even if the actual story doesn’t.

All the entries were fun to read.  Thanks for playing, guys.

Summer Contest #7:

Let’s make this one a contest that doesn’t require knowledge of Batman.  In fact, let’s make it a pure guessing game.

Since I started posting comics every day (and yes, that will continue this week), I’ve been putting the comic up whenever I happen to finish it, which is sometimes the evening before it’s “due” and sometimes the next morning.  I aim for evening postings, but that’s not always possible.  Today’s comic is, of course, already late.

Your job is to guess how many times this week the comic will be on time, with “on time” constituting “posted before I go to bed.”  This will be for comics posted for dates between Tuesday, August 6th and Monday, August 12th.  You may guess any number between 0 and 7, with 7 meaning “every comic will be posted on time” and 0 meaning “no comic will be posted on time.”  You are free to put as much or a little thought into this as you like.  Simply choosing a number at random is likely a perfectly sound strategy.

But here, of course, is the rub:

For the contest to be fair, entries would have to be posted (in the comments section) by tonight at 9:00 p.m. EDT (which is the earliest time at which I might post Tuesday’s comic).  However, that may be asking a bit too much of people.  The contest will therefore be open until Wednesday at 9:00 p.m. EDT, with the following scheme of points awarded:

1)  If you post your guess on Monday before 9:00 p.m. EDT, and you happen to be correct, you will earn three points.

2)  If you post your guess on Tuesday before 9:00 p.m. EDT, and you happen to be correct, you will earn two points.

3)  If you post your guess on Wednesday before 9:00 p.m. EDT, and you happen to be correct, you will earn one point.

Each person gets only one guess.  People posting later in the contest will have more information, but there will be fewer points up for grabs.

Incidentally, I think we can say that the contest involving people guessing which old characters would turn up is officially over now.  Congratulations to everybody who earned points.

Summer Contest Points Thus Far:

Earthgirl 1
Dances With Fish 3
Nobilis 7
Erwaro 5
Laura 5
Preethi 2
Lumair 5
Fan 2
Mercenary Pen 1
Tuxgeo 1
Errol 3
Tarina 2

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