BAM! The official episode title page! Yes, that’s a real explosion (naturally) although Max-The-Artist jazzed it up a bit. I knew I should have thrown in more matchsticks.

Messing with time apparently gives Nantaje butterflies.

The question of what theoretically happens after you change history has always been a matter of fun debate. If you alter time so that an event never happened – do you remember what it was? It never happened, after all. On the other hand, if the event was your motivation for messing with time in the first place, wouldn’t you know that? And how about other changes directly and indirectly related to the time meddling? For instance, due to whatever was changed in the past, one of the unexpected results is that you suddenly no longer have a sibling. They were never even born. Do you know that? Or is that just the new reality?

It’s one thing if you yourself go back into the past to change things – but if all you send is a warning and suddenly things are different, then wouldn’t that just be the way it always was?

It’s all a big ball of wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff.

Unless you have a Spirit Guide. The Maori apparently believe that Letoa’s Manaia, for instance, exists mainly outside our dimension, and what appears in three dimensions to the matakite is only a fragment; rather as though a human were sitting on a piece of paper inhabited by Flatlanders. The two-dimensional beings would see the outlines of a butt, and that would represent a human to them.

Bob goes straight for the elegant analogy.

Anyway, for the purposes of our comic, I’m extending that extra-dimensional aspect to all Spirit Guides, including Nantaje’s Bacho. (Sophie is a ghost, not a Spirit Guide – more on that later.) Among other things, Spirit Guides are like offline storage; an external hard drive, if you will. You may crash the main reality matrix, but the Spirit Guide will retain the information of the now-vanished timeline so you, at least, will know about the change. And thus you’ll know what do about the next time machine you encounter. AGM-114 Hellfire missile gas explosion right up the Tardis. It’s the only way to be sure.


Patreon supporters! This page is posted in glorious 1000×1500 size for you here!

And for those supporters in the “Digital Onslaught” level and above, there is a “Behind The Page” video showing how Bob did the house explosion that Max-The-Artist incorporated into this page.


More below!



In Charge


I’ve been a boss a couple of times. Technically I’m one now, but since I’m self-employed, about all I can tell you is that my boss is a jerk.

Oh, and that his employee is an idiot.

But I’ve been in charge of an animation production or two, and although the titles varied, they all involved having to make some tough decisions. Nothing that involved blowing up an occupied house, thank goodness. But I was put in charge of a troubled production at one point, in which I represented the client (who was paying the production company to produce a series) and against my advice, the client first insisted on going with a company that I knew to be risky. Most production companies who bid on a job have reasonable qualifiers. The price is dependent on the number of characters, number of locations, number of props/vehicles that have to be created, a limited number of changes, etc. This company not only gave the lowest bid, they flat out promised the client he could have “anything he wanted.” They could do anything. No restrictions.

To his credit, my client was aware that they were blowing smoke up his ass, but he had a bevy of lawyers on standby and assumed he could simply sue the company into doing the production at a loss.

Instead, the company managed to get almost 80% of the budget out of him up front (I was not privy to the financial transactions or I would have screamed) and then four months into the production, declared bankruptcy and shut down. I came to work one day and the axe was falling with repeated thuds and we were all wading through the blood of the slain.

Fortunately the artists were all skilled and were promptly hired at a different firm (the one I had recommended in the first place; and where the production and I ultimately ended up in any case.)

But the storyboard artists were screwed.

See, we’d contracted with a number of freelance storyboard artists to do boards for the show. This was still the era where boards were drawn on big 11×17 sheets of paper, and they ran about 250 pages apiece. A solid month’s hard work for a good artist. Each page was thick with Scotch tape and Wite-Out, and copying them was expensive – take something like that to Kinko’s and they’d charge you a hundred bucks. The studio had machines that could do the copying, but it wasn’t a priority. So most board artists brought in their originals and dropped them off.

Several of them had done this. None of them had been paid yet. And the entire studio had been seized by the court, with the Sheriff’s department locking everything down as “assets” for auction. Including the original boards, of which no copies had been made.

Now, the client – the person I represented – was not at fault. He’d paid the company a big chunk of cash to be used for paying storyboard artists. But even assuming we could get the boards out via court, he was under no obligation to pay the board artists. They had contracted with the production company, not him. And the money was gone.

Now, by rights, what I should have told the board artists was: “Tough cheese. Get in line for pennies on the dollar. Eventually. If you are lucky.” That was what I was being paid for. But see, since I was in charge of trying to get the production done, I had personally chosen these people. They had dealt with me. They had trusted me. So I did the only thing I could think of.

Using my spare passkey, I sneaked into the locked-down production facility late at night via the back door (the armed security guard was at the front) and stole all the original storyboards from the file cabinets in the production offices, ramming them down the front of the overalls I’d worn for the purpose. I was just finishing when the guard spotted me and chased me through the facility with gun drawn. Thank goodness he didn’t actually shoot me. I burst out the back door and flung myself over a wall, and the guard decided he was through. Since the boards were inside my clothes my hands were empty, and he probably assumed I hadn’t taken anything.

But I was able to give the boards back to the original artists, with instructions to pretend that they hadn’t turned them in yet. And when we got the production moved to the new facility, they were able to turn the boards in again and actually get paid.

I noticed that they had all made copies this time.

Now, this was, in many ways, the wrong thing to do. Aside from the B&E, the client (my boss) had to pay twice for the boards, and I should have been on his side, not the artists’. However, we did get the boards back much faster that way, and the artists were able to make rent, feed their kids, all those little things that bring home the painful reality of corporation-level bad business dealings.

So yes, it was the wrong thing to do. But I’d do it again.

In a heartbeat.

— Bob out

Artist’s Notes:  

Guess who was keeping watch in the getaway vehicle.  Oh, and it was in broad daylight, not late at night.