Ladies and gentlemen, at long last, the answer to where the hell that sword came from!
*Holds for applause. Crickets chirp. Coughs*
Well, sort of. We now know how she made a sword appear, but given that panel four states that she has to refresh the symbol every so often and it's unlikely she brought any of those weapons back with her, we don't know precisely where that specific sword was being kept. It would be safe to say that Susan owns at least one real sword, however.
This comic also reveals what was up with that mark on Susan's back. If you don't remember it being in the comic before, don't feel bad. It was a blink-and-you'll-miss-it reveal (look closely at panel five).
When it came time to do the layout for this comic, I realized I had no idea what to show in panel six. It made sense that it would show Susan summoning a hammer, but what gave her reason to? Yes, they're teaching them, but there are rules to the hammers.
I considered having the male immortal clearly saying offensive stuff without reading from something, but between them appearing in the room at night and putting a mark on Susan back, it just seemed really creepy. Having him read from something while clearly not being into it felt a lot better to me, and having it be someone's "complete works" amuses me.
I know full well that's not true for everyone, however, so just picture someone getting hit by a pie if you didn't find it amusing.
The full title of the book in panel six is "The Complete Works Of Frank Miller" with the text in the starburst saying "Ass Shots!" For those unfamiliar with Frank Miller, he is a comic writer, artist, director, etc. who has developed a reputation for portraying women in a negative and overly-sexualized light.
To help put why his name was chosen in perspective, the reason it says "Ass Shots" is because Frank Miller specifically wrote in one of his scripts for the artist to focus on the butt of a woman instead of her face, or an "ass shot" as he called it (and yes, the character was still talking in that panel).
All it takes to shame me into not including excessive fan service in my work these days is to say "Frank Miller". It's like a magic incantation that makes me want to be extra respectful of my female characters.
The webcomic Shortpacked puts the primary criticism of Frank Miller well
, and this video review by Linkara of one of his works
is definitely worth watching. Linkara's "Miller Time" reviews are pretty much why the "Frank Miller" spell works on me, and the linked video is where I learned of the whole "ass shot" fiasco.
So long as I'm linking to them, let me say that David Willis of Shortpacked!
and Linkara (Lewis Lovhaug) of Atop The Fourth Wall
do good work. Odds are good that many EGS readers are already familiar with them, but for the rest of you, they're worth checking out.