Skin Deep is back! I hope you like this new story, a lot of cool stuff is going to happen!
Thanks again for all your patience the last couple months with my hiatus! I didn’t get everything I wanted to get done, but I got a lot worked on, and had a nice break, and wrote this story! It’s been great, but I’m ready to get back to work with Skin Deep!
Yay, it’s back!
I hope that this one of those things where we see later in the story first and then we see how they got there. I don’t want to miss Michelle meeting the Liverpoolians.
…I’m told it’s “Liverpudlians”, but I don’t know whether the former residents who told me this were having me on at the time. They’re Aussies now, so perhaps they were having a joke at the expense of their ancestral home.
They weren’t joking about the name for locals from Liverpool.
I remember hearing the Beatles use the term.
the name and term Scouser is also used as well for a Liverpudlian.
I’d forgotten that, from reading about the dish, scouse, during Reunion, when we discussed ideas to try to cheer Anthony up.
we all forget things, but you never forget a good bowl of scouse :)
YES PRAISE THE WHATEVER GOD, ANGEL, MESSIAH, OR OWL YOU WORSHIP SKIN DEEP IS BACK BABY!
Yes parse be to the whatever owl god of the infinite sarcastic knowlage of teenages
Praise the Librarian, he who knows ten thousand things!
Oh yea! It’s updated!
(I WAS RIGHT IT DOES TAKE PLACE IN JUNE!)
Who’s going to update the timeline in the Wiki?
I just feel the need to ask. Why is Michelle’s just hanging around in fullform?
There’s gotta be a story behind this.
Default fullform is easiest for someone to transform to.
Midform can be quite variable, and so takes more time and effort to learn how to do properly. Recall that in Orientations, Jim used a winged midform, but in Exchanges, he used a wingless midform. How long did it take him to learn to do each of those transforms?
As for the other part of the why, being in the Cave alone with Jim, she has no need to hide WHAT she is. You remember Ridiculous Creatures? She could have been happily completely rugged up in winter gear in human form, but she was in fullform, grumbling about a cold butt.
Demons is a good answer as to why she should hide who she is. I would expect a little hesitation at revealing herself to jim’s family. even if they are alone in the caves Someone could come out and spot her if she wasn’t too careful.
I’m more referring to the fact that she’s sphinxy. And the fact that Sphinxes are SUPPOSED to be extinct and everyone remotely magical is certain they are extinct. It’s going to cause an upset when she reveals herself!
Yet here she is in Jim’s home all sphinxy. WHAT IS GOING ON.
I doubt she’d be in the caverns under the Finn house without revealing her nature to the Finns, even if Django (or whoever was on duty at the warehouse door) only saw that she had a medallion.
And, at least part of that cavern system is likely configured to be more easily navigated by quadripeds than bipeds.
You’re assuming that they’re under the LA though.
Ack I just read the entirety of the second paragraph you wrote! Feeling like a dope rn.
I suppose it does mean Michelle’s revealed herself to Jim’s family, or else she wouldn’t be down there in the super secret family cave.
We don’t know if Jim has told his family anything about Michelle, or what she might have told them.
But with how young and hyperactive Colin is, could he keep it quiet about what Michelle is? Somehow I doubt it. So, I don’t think Jim’s family knows much, if anything about Michelle.
Maybe he used the “winged lion” excuse he told to Eustace and Marshal.
Wow! Thanks! Turns out I somehow managed to completely miss the “Ridiculous Creatures” storyline a few years back, so I got to read it.
Ironically, the Krampus is becoming quite the famous character in comics lately.
Time for Michelle to start learning more about the mythological world, and hopefully more about Sphinxes and the War.
Sphinxes and the War sounds like a cool name for a metal band.
I hope this storyline will have more history despite Jim’s protests, so glad to see Michelle and Jim again (I’ve had a long love of gryphons and something about a bisexual gryphon seems both inherently right and equally funny)
I already know my metal band name- Sounds of Sodomy!
Yeah, yeah! More history! I love the worldbuilding! Love it love it loveiiittttt!
Some of it will likely be what’s in the Finns family history. Phineas the Red.
Some it might be in old tomes stocked by Vadoma.
But there’s also Ravi’s House Of Eastern Curiosities. We saw the shopfront for the first time, in the first frame of Exchanges chapter 3, though it was closed for the evening. It’s located between the entrance to The Underground on one side, and one of the local butcher shops; Carnivore Meat Market, on the other.
Looking at the Exchanges map, Carnivore isn’t listed, but directly across the street from Ravi’s, there’s Carnifex Butcher’s Shop. I wonder just how savage the competition is between Carnifex and Carnivore.
I love how there are tons of different colors of wax from all the candles used over the years, the choice of colored wax means that it’s easier to tell that a lot of different candles were used and nobody really bothered to clean up.
Welcome back! ^^
Whee! So excited to see these kids again!
The word-eaters look up, surprised. Apparently tomorrow has come early. For three months without update they have survived, and now there is little reason to be so surly.
Also, so Anthony has had almost a year to get settled now… Cameo? Side story? MAIN CHARACTER PART!?!?!?!?
I’m just DYING to see Tony meet Michelle. Two folks who shouldn’t exist, eh?
You know, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen people talking about how they want to see Tony and Michelle meet, but I think Tony and Greg about have a more interesting conversation comparing their difficulties with their Turnings. Plus, they they might bond over both being huge dorks.
Greg’s problems stem from his family not accepting what he is.
Anthony doesn’t have that problem.
That said, I can think of a reason for those two and Rhonda to get together. A string instruments jam session. :)
Greg’s problems also stem from his broken medallion. It would be interesting to see the two of them weigh Greg’s need to hide a small but obviously non-human feature while absolutely having to interact with humans on a regular basis on one side and Tony’s need to hide most of his body if he wants to interact with the human world while having the option of going long stretches of time without doing so on the other. Plus, Tony could get perspective on just how long he could have been left waiting for answers and just how isolated he could have been in the meantime.
Does it seem like Michelle has got smaller? Perhaps she just looks that way next to Jim, who is kind of huge.
Whoo, welcome back, Kory! I’ve missed his comic somethin’ FIERCE!
Also, the cave is bigger on the inside? How is it that there isn’t ONE SINGLE Tardis joke here in the comments? Fellow fans, I am disappoint.
Well, I was gonna, but you kinda beat me to it
I saw the brick, and let it drop.
It isn’t surprising that Jim would know of the TARDIS.
But think for a minute, would Michelle? Was Doctor Who ever broadcast in Springfield, Missouri, during Michelle’s teens?
Looking at the Original air dates she might of seen the 1st of the new season. Possibly the 8th doctor movie or reruns.
Eh, I was thinking more along the lines of “Bigger on the inside? OMG, Jim’s a Timelord!”
She could have been introduced to the original series, or saw the movie.
I was introduced to Doctor Who as a child, but those were Tom Baker reruns that my dad taped in the mid-80’s. (Chicago Area.)
A re-run of original series stories would be the most likely possibility.
Possibly on PBS.
Huzzah! Glad to see the return of the comic. :-)
Starting it off in media res, eh? I hope I use that term right. And Jim Jim’s here! He’s my favourite. I’m not the only one who calls him that, right?
Odds on, you’re not alone.
I think most popular, out of the MSU group, would be a very close run race between Michelle and Jim.
I was actually wondering if I’m the only one who calls him Jim Jim.
I’m so excited to see another Michelle story. OHGODHNNNG.
Ya know, as much as I loved the other stories, I am SO glad we’re finally back to Michelle and the gang.
Yay, this is back!
The only thing I can pick fault with, is that the place cant have existed in the 1400’s as that area where the warehouse is, is reclaimed land. So would have been out in the river at that time.
The cavern system is also heavily reliant upon the use of Magic.
Also this page does not give any clues as to how far below local ground level, the Cave is.
Good point Jenniskunk, there is the possibility that the LA moved and the tunnels leading to the caverns where simply extended.
I also wander if this is a subliminal reference to a well known Liverpudlian band who uswd to play at the Cavern Club.
The comic just says “Merseyside” not “Liverpool” so they may be a little further inland than you are imagining. ;)
Thanks for clearing that up Kory, now you got me thinking where on earth they might be located and give me even more of an excuse to go visit family and take even more photos.
I think the reason why folks are thinking the caves are directly under the LA is because of what Michelle says:
“I can’t believe this is all under your house.”
Thats what I assumed, because of that.
BTW Jeni, are you getting the emails to tell you about replies, as I’m not getting them.
Not getting any email notifies, because I specifically do not tick either of the Notify checkboxes.
Ah, ok. I’m not getting them and I have.
I hope the comments system doesn’t choke on another furball, like it did when we were discussing electrical fixtures, during Reunion.
I had forgotten about that little hiccough, but remember the conversation.
Welcome back! Missed ya.
I can’t help speculating on the possible meaning(s) of the title. The literal meaning of illumination is, obviously, light — or, more specifically, the shedding of light onto something.
One figurative meaning is the clarification of a mystery.
Another refers to the colorful marginal art found on old, or old-fashioned, manuscripts. The way this first page highlights wall carvings, this meaning may be relevant. Is there by any chance a library in the caverns? Or just some neat old murals and frescoes?
At this stage its unknown, but we may get a glimpse in page two.
I’d like to think that there is a library or hall of records down there.
Secret giant library time! *quivers with excitement*
I hope someone thinks to transcribe those Records to a computer database
The only problem with that is if the software on the computer becomes obsolete.
*GELF foxboy pads in, having heard keyword ‘computer’ * I offer to help with database — and digital files can include images and text, might fit on thumbnail size SD, and filter or convert to new (I’ve still got 8bit R:Base files from 1992). What I need help with is reading Griffin. Hugs to Michelle and Jim.
Something I noticed that seems to be looked over is that Michelle and Jim passed by what appears to be burial site for one of Jim’s ancestors. Does that mean that it is traditional for griffins to keep the skulls of ancestors in plain site. I’m surprised that Michelle isn’t creeped out by the thing. (please forgive any spelling mistakes).
Oh mans, how did we get to England anyway?
Do you mean how did Michelle get to Liverpool, England.
Probably the same way Jim got to the U.S, via an aeroplane.
More like an internal flight to Chicago, and then probably Flight AA55 (at the time iirc) from Chicago to Manchester, England, and a coach, taxi or car journey to Liverpool, which is about 20 – 30 minutes.
Why O’Hare in Chicago, rather than JFK in NYC?
For a start Chicago O’Hare would generally be closer and it has or would have at that time a direct flight from Terminal 3 via American Airlines, direct to Terminal 1 Manchester airport, which is about 30 mins from Liverpool.
However, no doubt I am getting my geography mixed up, as for some reason, I Michelle coming from Missouri (I’m guessing I’m now really, really wrong now, because I didnt look back) And its a similar route that I used to take when I visited my girlfriend in Iowa.
I thought she was Canadian? The school was Anya.
Thought who was Canadian? What school is Anya? I don’t understand this comment hah hah, sorry!
*frowns* I had the impression Michelle might have been Canadian…?
I was having trouble remembering where the college was located too.
Michelle is from Vienna, Missouri, or thereabouts. The gang has been attending Southwestern(?) Missouri State University in Springfield, MO.
… Will there be no more witty Alt text?
Hopefully, but that may be limited to Dave (tv channel) which is the home of witty banter.
And eternal reruns of Top Gear?
Yes, eternal repeats of Top Gear and QI, though they do have some new programmes now and again. That suits me down to the ground as I love Top Gear.
Woo! I’ve been checking for updates at least 3 times a week since they the hiatus started. By the way, did anyone else notice that Michelle has been getting more and more of a muzzle since orientations. at first her face in sphinx form was almost completely human. now look at her.
Yes I noticed this as well, but it was talked about on here some time back, and someone did post a link as for the reasons for the change, cant remember who and on what page.
Welcome back Kory! I hope you enjoyed your break. I know it’s important to take some time off now and then, but I’m just glad the story is starting up again.
This comic’s art has gotten more and more beautiful, I’m so proud of you, Kory.
I said this before, but I’ll add some stuff to it. Michelle is gonna find out more about the War, learn more about her Sphinxy powers, and I think the shoe is gonna drop about her being a Sphinx and the entire Avalon is gonna know. She’s gonna meet Tony and (possibly, since she’s so powerful) help him in some way. Maybe tell him if he decides to go back human his kids would suffer the same fate as he. She’s gonna meet Tim and together they learn magic. Merial will meet other nixies/nokks and have a fun time together. Greg is gonna have a hard time with all the satyrs around but will learn they aren’t all bad.
I guess I’m just putting down what I wish would happen. I dunno, maybe I’m wrong, or not
I hope Michelle will also be able to take a closer look at the spells on other satyrs’ medallions, and use her jewelry knowledge from watching her dad to try to fix Greg’s medallions. (Very hopeful about this)
so the story is still ten years back? interesting. and it’s bigger on the inside!
Welcome back. I’m very excited for this plot line.
Jim does have a tendency to “wing it” so her concern is valid.
Can’t decide if pun or not.
Considering how Jim winged it, to get Michelle to fly for the first time in Orientations, Ben’s post is indeed a very bad pun.
Of course he knows where they’re going!
They’re going down.
Down as in downstairs.
Down as in downtown.
Down as in Down Down
Status Quo – Down Down (Top of the Pops, 1975)
tell ya what, they where friggig awesome to watch live!
They still are.
Agreed, I last saw them live at the Cholmondeley Pageant of Power last year, they still got it, though I heard they packed it all in now due to ill health.
In an earlier round
“Ugh! Who’s skull is that?” Michelle exclaims.
“Hrm?….Oh that old thing? That great uncle Euclid. They always said he was useless.
Story goes that after a bit of a row, Aunt Aster threatened to ‘…shove a lamp up your arse, might brighten you up you dimwit!’ He promptly rewrote his will, conferring his earthly remains ‘…to the family. May they whatever use they bloody please for me.’
At Michelle’s horrified expression, Jim chuckled,”I ‘ave no idea who that skull is love. Might not even be real.”
oh god that needs to be canon NOW
Super great to see these characters again. <3
I’ve missed this comic so much, its like having a dear friend come home to see them return :D And good heavens I forgot Jim was such a big lot
In the strips where Jim is in humanform or midform, you don’t notice it so much.
Fullform, though, compared to the others, Jim is massive huge.
Welcome to the mancave ladies and gentlemen.
“bigger on the inside” EEEEEEEEE *doctor who theme starts playing as I do the muppet arm flail*
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Are all totem animals considered one species or are there medallions for fox totems, raven totems and so on?
Totems don’t have medallions, they can shapeshift on their own.
We see three gryphons carved here. In hindsight, I’m wondering if maybe the floofy one on the left had red hair, the one with the long, straight hair in the middle had green, and the curly one on the right had blue hair. The three might just be carved in different styles, the but the left one looks kind of like Phineas, the middle one reminds me of Jim, and the curly hair reminds me of… someone else. I wouldn’t be surprised if those weren’t just being shown as set pieces.
ITS BIGGER ON THE INSIDE!!!
ITS BIGGER ON THE INSIDE