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Poor Madam U’s snakes, they have no idea what is happening on the other side of the room. It is not concerning to a snake if it is that far away. I also like Mr. Hyde’s expression, I’m guessing he had some idea what was going on the minute she walked in, bugbear magic and all.

While it’s been debunked that all snakes are nearly blind, even the species that hunt primarily by vision still don’t have eyesight as good as a human’s. If you go back to when Madam U was trying to determine what type of creature Anthony was, her snakes had to get pretty darn close to the page to read the text. So it’s a pretty reasonable assumption that her snakes are extremely nearsighted. At best, Michelle is probably just a big blur from that distance.

All Orville knew was that Michelle was a Mythical species he had never before encountered. He had no idea Michelle was a Sphinx.
Kory’s own words on this on Patreon:
“Orv knew she was something he hadn’t seen before but he was expecting some obscure critter he had never heard of, not a sphinx.”

Well he’s got a great poker face.

Every now and then I more or less wonder whether bugbears kind of work on their poker faces just to keep their eerie rep intact. I dunno, I guess the whole “being a complete mystery but being just enough ‘in the radar’ to mess with folks” is the kind of image equilibrium you gotta *work* on. It’s kind of a performance, when you think about it. And yes, Orv’s face here is *golden*.

That is a glorious rendering of Michelle. Screen wallpaper?

On Patreon, we’ve been asking Kory to do just that with frame 5 since first seeing the pencils of it, 5 days ago.

You’re on Patreon. We get it.

I’m sorry, I’m just getting frustrated. I’ve been rereading the archives and sometimes it seems like every other comment you make is some smug thing about Patreon-exclusive content. Sometimes you’re being helpful, which is great, but sometimes, like now, it just feels like you’re bragging. And then there are the times you’re just straight-up needling people to join.

“Us folks over on Patreon already know What Happens Next.”
“it would seem no-one has even glanced at the Patreon Bestiary PDF”
“I don’t check here for the update.
I check Patreon.”
“Join Patreon.
Less waiting.”
“If you were on Patreon, you would know what Ravi’s original form is.”
“If you’re merely reading the comic here, then you aren’t ‘all hooked up’.
Join Kory’s feed on Patreon.”
“If you were on Patreon, you’d have known something about it”
“If you were on Patreon, and had read this page, you’d already know that.”
“In the meantime, there’s always the archives to re-read in full, including all the comments, and joining Patreon.”
“But YOU would not know that unless you were a Patreon, and had all the Patreon Sketchbooks”

As much as I love Kory and want to support her, some of us can’t afford to spend $60 or more per year on a comic. I could eat for almost two weeks on that.

If you were just sharing information, I’d probably be grateful, and subtly reminding people of the perks of donating can make Patreon sound more appealing, but you’re about as subtle as a bag of hammers. I know it probably wouldn’t be so bad if I weren’t archive binging and reading through dozens of these comments over the course of a couple weeks, but I’ve started rolling my eyes every time you even mention Patreon, even if you have a legitimate reason for doing so.

I’m so tired of feeling harassed to spend money I can’t afford that I’m considering avoiding this comment section altogether. I’m starting to feel like poor plebs like me aren’t welcome here.

The last thing I want is for people to think that I’m lording content over them on the Patreon. I don’t want readers to feel like they’re missing out because they can’t contribute. It’s supposed to be fun extra stuff for people who have the means can help support me.

Jeni, I’m pleased that you like the content I post on patreon, but please stop mentioning here what you’ve seen on the patreon, as it is frustrating to other readers. I don’t want to alienate anybody.

Kory, I don’t think you’re lording content over us. I understand that Patreon stuff is just a bonus, and I wish I could contribute. You’re a wonderful artist and I think you absolutely deserve to make a living off of this. I think Jeni may be just trying to remind us that we can support an artist she loves, and that there are perks for doing so; she’s just really, really hamfisted about it.

It’s fine when she shares helpful information, like a new character’s name, or a bit of their backstory. I’ve been reading the comments in large part so I can know more about what is going on in the comic. It’s just comments like this, that seem to serve no purpose other than to remind us that there’s an exclusive club and she’s part of it, or the comments flat-out telling people to join, that bother me. It’s the difference between her above comment giving us a little insight into Orville, which I think is great, and her reminding us, again, for no apparent reason, that she gets to see the comic days before most of us because she pays to.

I guess I really just want her to stop and ask herself before commenting, ‘Is there actually a good reason to mention Patreon here?’

I am expecting her face and every single one of the snake heads to look completely dumbfounded

Orv doesn’t seem to be all that shocked. Is he going to say I already knew thanks to his radar?

While it’s still not a jaw-dropping experience for him, the look on his face still speaks volumes. He doesn’t seem to be shocked as much as the others, but for a bugbear, that is definitely a surprised look. Surprised enough to wipe that ear-to-ear smile off his face.

Okay, so I myself am blind, and Madam U’s response is my reaction to SO many things on a daily basis. XD

But you don’t refer to yourself in the third person like that, I take it? >;=)>

Now, of course, you have me wondering at the manner and level in which you are able to enjoy webcomics and other visual media, especially if they are not dialogue-based. I am imagining meetups where visual media fans, especially those who like describing such things to people, meet people who would be reliant on such descriptions.


Orville: I move we don’t tell her anythin’ until she stops talkin’ ’bout hersel’ in the third person.

Dr. Hobbes: …Seconded. She can use first person pronouns like everyone else.

Nuala: Gentlemen! Let us not hold things up with such trivia… although I do have to admit, it is irritating…

Mme. U: Just tell me what is happening!

Orville: There, that weren’t so hard, eh? :-} An’ Michelle Jocasta here’s just revealed husself as a Grecian sphinx.

Mme. U: Enough of your jests, Mister Hyde. Would anyone else care to tell me what has just happened?


Screen magnifiers. I know of a few legally blind people who can still do digital art with the aid of screen magnifiers.

Still, the outside world kind of lacks screen magnifiers, so anyone who does rely on those to view things on a computer are still in Madam U’s shoes when trying to view things IRL.

Orv’s expression is especially amusing when you consider that that’s probably the most surprised you’ll ever see a bugbear (that isn’t having its radar tampered with, as we’ve seen with Myra and Alec). It just amounts to a “huh”.

assuming a Sphinx doesn’t mess up a bugbear’s radar inherently some way.

though i’m not sure how much detail a bugbear could actually sense. i suspect they can sense the difference between humans and non-humans**, and possibly sense the difference between a medallion using species and a one that doesn’t, but i doubt they can determine exact species.

** with exceptions i suspect, given that Alec failed to notice Anthony’s inner nature

Has no one noticed how Michelle’s eyes are still glowing when she turns into a Sphinx?

Yes, we all did, and were expecting it.
Until she had actually gained access to the Knowledge that all Sphinxes used to have ready access to, her Sphinx powers were not accessible all the time. So Michelle’s eyes looked human, nearly all the time. But her eyes did glow, when her Sphinx powers did work.
But in the Visions in last chapter and this, we saw Jocasta, who had the glowing eyes all the time in full form and mid form. So it was pretty clear that Michelle would get the glowing eyes.

Hey thanks for replying on behalf of ALL of us, I’m sure ALL of us appreciate it.

Except we don’t, actually. Or at least, I certainly don’t. I wouldn’t presume to say I speak for literally everybody else, because that’s ridiculous. Personally, yeah I expected her eyes to glow while changing because she is indeed accessing her shifty powers right now, but as to whether or not they’ll continue to glow will have to wait to the next page to be seen. Them glowing 5ever like the original Jocasta’s might indeed be a thing, or maybe Jocasta just liked the effect. So it’s not clear at all yet. Especially since she’s been in at least partial midform for the last few pages, unless you think her ears are just naturally gigantic.

Ok I know stuff about full-form clothes have been answered but I don’t think I’ve seen an answer to this:

Where the hell do Michelle’s pants go?? XD

It was explained by Jim in one of the early chapters that clothes are magically stored by the medallion somehow (he admitted to not knowing exactly how it worked) but the magic of the medallion makes clothes disappear and reappear as needed.

Hmmm.. Am I the only one who finds the dialogue in panel 2 a bit awkward? ‘While’ and ‘but’ in this context both accomplish pretty well the same meaning and it seems redundant to use them both in the same thought. The sentence reads better if you ignore one of the two words I think.

Yeah, as the grammarian about whom your mother warned you, I tripped over that too. But while I thought that was awkward to read (see what I did there?) I took it as showing how discombobulated Michelle was from being suddenly thrust into having all these big-wig grownups staring at her, and them being sorta skeptical about why this sudden secret meeting was such a big deal anyway and their schedules being all interrupted and all that stuff.

I love the zoomlines on Madam U’s panel. XD That is such a classic Toph moment, I absolutely cracked up. Also, that monocle pop. XD

Those two panels make me think of a camera technique that I can’t remember the name of, but Alfred Hitchcock was fond of using it. It involved co-ordinating the camera dolly and the zoom lens in opposite directions — swooping in while zooming out (or was it swooping out while zooming in?). The face of the person reacting to the Big Surprise was mostly unchanged, but the background framing that face changed dramatically.

I am loving how this is coming together. Also, a big thank you! to Kory for the layout design, here. My eyes get fatigued after working at a computer most of the day, and I’m a little blind, to boot. There are comics out there that I would love to read, but can’t because of “visual fatigue.” I don’t know if there is a better word for it–but sometimes panels are so dense/busy that I’m unable to read them.

Thank you for doing what you do, and the amazing design you put into it that lets someone like myself enjoy your work. I didn’t know if anyone’s ever mentioned that to you, and wanted to say thanks. I don’t know if it is deliberate on your part, or just a nice side effect of your talent, but hey!

Addendum comment to Paetron or otherwise purchasable backgrounds: For someone like myself, dark backgrounds–they don’t need to be black, but darker colors are appreciated–help a lot. If an artist offers a great background, but it’s predominantly white, I can’t make use of it. It isn’t a fashion statement so much as eye fatigue. I don’t know if this is something that has come up, but maybe there are others out there, too! I read Skin Horse as well, and own the books, and am unable to use her bgs due to the light color.

Just wanted to post a good word here about the SkinDeep online community. I so much appreciate the cleverness and wit that shows up in the comments. It’s a lovely complement to the story & artwork (as in, “something that adds to or completes”). Yes, sometimes there’s a bit of a scuffle here and there, but I really appreciate a place that’s for the most part kind and welcoming and thoughtful. Yay for us! Keep up the good work, and all that.

Did she cut holes in the back of her jacket for her wings?

Huh, I hadn’t really noticed she’s still wearing her coat there. I seem to remember her, at least at times, wearing a backless shirt under another, longer-sleeved shirt or coat, and making the outer layer disappear when she has wings. I guess I’d sort of assumed she did it this time.

It seems to be the thing to do. We saw Mrs. Finn tailoring Jim’s shirts to fit his wings in exchanges. I’m guessing medallion magic makes any full/midform specific features in clothing absent in human form, though since it couldn’t hold once they took them off, it’d be kind of hard to explain to any humans why their clothes have holes in strange places and only when they aren’t wearing them o.O

“OMG Jim! Someone ripped up all your shirts!… And was really super neat about it for some reason. Wtf….”

Just want to mention that I did not previously ken how painfully adorable Madam U’s snakes are. Especially that last panel with the upper-right one tiltin’ his head all confused.

Can we get a wallpaper of that snake?

So apparently I’m the only one who noticed the elders magically teleporting while off screen. Or maybe I’m missing something about the layout. Seriously, Kory if you are using a map to keep track of where everyone is seated showing it would help my confusion a bit. Or maybe it’s just an honest mistake that most people wouldn’t notice. I work in waitstaff (so I’m used to having to keep track of thing like who is sitting where) and it still took me the better part of a week to notice something was up.

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