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  • Weatherheight

    “Penny for your thoughts?”

    ::watches Alison pick up Kaley Cuoco and hand her to Guwara::

    “I’ll take two please…”

    ::watches Alison hand over Penelope Cruz as well::

    “Now, you may have my two cents worth…::
    (Also, first.. ever… anywhere…)

  • Dean

    Gurwara is now ready to give his two cents worth.

    • lizasweetling

      “penny for your thoughts”

    • AveryAves

      I was wondering about penny for your thoughts thank you for getting at the joke

      Gurwara is…Something. I can’t decide if he’s an ass but I lean more towards generally good person all the time. That said he’s probably _still_ an ass.
      What I’m saying is, Chaotic Good.

      • Miyto

        I daresay, he might be both a good ass and a smart ass?

        But it does seem that he genuinely cares about his students, past and present.
        He, just like any great teacher of murky subjects (History, sociology, psychology, many soft sciences, heck pretty much any study of humanities deeper works/workings), knows that you start the first day of class offending as many sensibilities as possible so that students can get the reactionary trains of thought out of their systems first.

        • Lheticus Videre

          Good ass, smartass, AND badass. XD

      • EpsilonRose

        He’s a philosophy professor. That’s its own alignment.

        • scottfree

          Philosophy professors understand the alignment chart better than anyone, and they can justify inhabiting any spot for any reason.

          • AveryAves

            If you think philosophy professors can do it well you should witness D&D players stealing from peasants.
            Even when they’re new “I am chaotic good! I’m acting chaotic for the good of the party.”

          • CPelliss

            So, Lawful Evil?

          • Rhin Forti

            Well, Lawful evil could possibly fit that as well. But they generally stick to their own personal ‘laws’ or moral code while working for their own personal gain. I’m not seeing what personal gain Gurwara would get from this. If anything, he’s being comparatively charitable to the way he was last time we saw him. The way he was before could be interpreted as being a dick for the sake of forcing/provoking thought.

          • JohnR

            Or, alternatively, they can justify inhabiting no spot for no reason at all.

      • Weatherheight

        It is possible to be decent and an ass.

        ::waggles his long ears and flickers his tail for emphasis::

        • Rhin Forti

          Nice ass? *rimshot*

          • Weatherheight

            This is going to get me in so much trouble.. but when you get a straight line like this…

            A nice ass deserves a rim …

            ::abruptly stops and flees the pursuing pun police::

    • AdamBombTV

      …Oh God Dammit.

    • motorfirebox

      A penny for his thoughts? Playa you best dig deep in that pocket! Two pennies minimum!

  • Danygalw

    Her face in the lowest left panel is just… oh my goodness, yes.

  • Lysiuj

    I think I’m in love

  • weedgoku

    I hate this. The dialogue feels incredibly unnatural. Is there a literary equivalent of the uncanny valley? Because that’s what this is like. It reads like they’re pulling his dialogue straight out of Civ V’s diplomacy screen and any second now Guwara is going to declare war on Alison.

    • Rens Houben

      Yeah, well, Ali’s words are backed with NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

    • Aile D’Ciel

      It feels a bit unnatural because Gurwara LOVES to screw with youngsters’ minds. From his initial appearance in the comic, he’s been rusing everyone including (especially) Alison, and I think it’s done mostly just for the heck of it. Maybe, he’s doing it this time to throw Alison off-balance since “confused” is a better (and more recipient) condition than “lethargic”, Or maybe it’s just a side effect of him doing what he loves (messing with people), we’ll see soon.

      • Seer of Trope

        While I personally don’t mind, I do get why some people won’t like it, or be pulled out of immersion to be more specific. What was Guwara thinking he was going to do if Alison didn’t have two cents specifically? Just walk away? If I wanted to offer a philosophical argument to someone who just opened up to me and I barely know them (and I’m pretty certain Guwara wouldn’t pass up such an opportunity), I would not risk potential awkwardness just for some clever wordplay.

        But who knows, perhaps Guwara is the kind of person who is confident in his improvisational skills. Maybe he has 98 cents and all kinds of change, or he was planning to invite Alison on the condition that she has at least two pennies, or he was planning to take any amount of money that is more than one cent, or he could have been prepping to joke that Alison will owe him two cents.

    • Try reading Guwara in a British accent, it sounds fine to me.

      • rogue_lettuce

        I’m British so I read everything in a British accent, and it seemed fine to me. It’s certainly very formal phrasing, but I got the impression that was intentional and self-aware on his part: that he was being kind of ironically mock-professional as a joke.

      • weedgoku

        But that doesn’t make the dialogue any less bad. Or do you think British people all talk like characters in plays? Because I’ve finally pinpointed that. That’s what he sounds like, amateur theater.

        • Callinectes

          I’m British, and my speech startlingly alternates between wordy period stage production and missing episode of Firefly.

          • GreatWyrmGold

            I’m American, and I occasionally go “wordy period stage production”.

          • Callinectes

            Do you find that it impacts your daily fortune?

        • When we’re joking around, yes. In a situation like this it’s a common way of exhibiting mock-outrage.

        • saysomethingclever

          I’m also American, and I and my entire household (husband, 2 kids, + roomie in the apt over the garage) converse like this. So do half of our friends. We laugh a lot.

        • Marcia Wilson

          Or my old boss at the college library. These two could be twins. Some people can carry off dialog others couldn’t.

      • Stephanie

        I think his accent is probably something other than British–I think he speaks English (fluently) as a second language. His phrasing has always been subtly “off,” not in terms of being “wrong” or bad writing, but just in ways I wouldn’t expect from a native speaker. For example, IIRC he sometimes doesn’t use contractions at times when a native speaker would almost always use them. I can’t tell what nationality he is, but it’s probably possible to figure it out from his name.

    • Patrick

      Your literary critique is always appreciated, weedgoku.

    • Cyrano111

      I agree in a very small way. “I’ve got a penny” does not seem like something anyone would say in this situation. They might if they had also entered into Gurwara’s joking spirit (“You have to place a value on my opinion – Well, I’ve got a penny”) but it’s pretty clear that Alison has not yet caught on to that.

      Actually in all of Alison’s interactions with Gurwara she has played the role of “straight man” perfectly. In class, it was not only that she responded to his questions: she proposed the axiom which allowed him to perform exactly the exercise he had already planned. And now here her offer of a penny allows his initial joke “I will require at least twice that” and the subtle “two cents worth” allusion it creates. But the fact that those sorts of things are not terribly likely to arise in ordinary conversation doesn’t’ worry me – most ordinary conversations would be quite dull as the dialogue in any work of fiction.

    • SJ

      I am honor-bound to upvote a Civilization reference.

      • RobNiner β™«


      • weedgoku

        Civ VI is pretty fun despite the little flaws that I hope they fix, much like how they made Civ V infinitely better with updates. Also being able to play as Roosevelt owns.

    • Ptorq

      It seems entirely natural to me. Perhaps I spent too much time in academia, but I have dealt with people very like Guwara before (please note that this does NOT predispose me to like Guwara, rather the opposite in fact). There is a certain type of professor that seems to have really wanted to be an actor but wasn’t talented enough to make it in that field, and they tend to talk like characters in a particularly stilted melodrama (so your comment about amateur theatre is spot-on, but while that makes it seem phony to you, it makes it that much more real to me; it’s mimicking real phoniness … if that makes any sense).

      Also, people like this seem to favor statements that would be delivered by the villain, maybe because the bad guys get all the good lines. Re-read that and tell me you can’t imagine Snidely Whiplash coming out with “My services will not be rendered free of charge” or “An insultingly low offer!”

      One professor in particular that Guwara reminds me affected a British accent pretty much exclusively, despite having been born and raised in upstate New York.

    • SmilingCorpse

      Dude. It’s a story. Have fun with it.

  • Stephanie

    Alison’s expression in the bottom left panel is perfect. I fully believe that getting people to make that face is the highlight of every day in Gurwara’s life.

    • Lysiuj

      A worthy cause indeed.
      Maybe that’s why he says “now we may begin” – he wasn’t waiting for ‘enough money’ or even for ‘enough money to make the joke complete’, he was waiting for that face!

      • Balthazar

        “Your expression of confusion and exasperation is payment enough.”

  • Cokely

    Why does his hair keep parting to different sides from panel to panel?

    • Ellis Jones

      Because it goes straight out from his forehead, so different angles make it look different.

      • Cokely

        Which I would agree with, but one page ago there was a panel of his face directly facing the audience, and his hair was definitely parted to the right.

  • Manuel Simone

    And now I’m expected for the professor to just tell her: “you did nothing wrong because…” then ask her for more money and so on and so on. It will be gold if he’ll do that and so fitting for him.

  • zellgato

    Gosh dangit man.
    You just made a “let me give you my two cents” joke
    AND a damn “tell you of the dead. I’m probably evil” joke there!
    Possibly another obscure reference I don’t knowd as well

  • milesk28

    dude is totally some kind of cosmic trickster entity type dealy

    • Weatherheight

      I sort of wish that were the case.
      Imagine a world where the Trickster God got bored and decided to give powers to a certain percentage of one generation. Imagine then that this still left him bored and he decided to insert himself to mix things up a bit.
      It might look and sound a little like this…

  • wahahaha

    No Allison stop! Don’t fall into the abyss that is microtransactions!

    • Dean

      Alison can skip straight to the end of Gurwara’s lecture by paying 50 crystals, which may be purchased from the in-game store.

      • Rugains Fleuridor

        Get your season pass for 200% of the base product’s price to get a re-skin of the Park map, the “crying on a bench” emote, exclusive “I Survived a Lecture” stickers, the exciting Diorama Mode, and new colors for your superhero suit. Oh, and you have to buy DLC to unlock your superpowers! πŸ™‚

        • Mechwarrior

          *DLC Superpowers are only usable in PVP matches vs left-handed Indonesian women named Bob.

  • Etveck

    A penny for your thoughts.

    • Thursday Violist

      Oh, no, I’ll sell ’em for a dollar

      They’re worth so much more after I’m a goner

  • ∫ClΓ©mensΓ—ds πŸ™


    THE DRUNK HOBO MASQUERADING AS ALISON’S PHILOSOPHY PROFESSOR takes a run for it, now two cents richer.
    ALISON stands motionless and stunned for a few seconds before flying back in front of THE DRUNK HOBO MASQUERADING AS ALISON’S PHILOSOPHY PROFESSOR’s path, expectantly.
    THE DRUNK HOBO MASQUERADING AS ALISON’S PHILOSOPHY PROFESSOR falls to his knees, curses gout, pleads for forgiveness, makes a mess of ALISON’s jeans with his tears, gets out his BAG OF ROCKS as potential exchange currency.
    ALISON leaves THE DRUNK HOBO MASQUERADING AS ALISON’S PHILOSOPHY PROFESSOR alone and ranting to himself in awkward silence.
    THE DRUNK HOBO MASQUERADING AS ALISON’S PHILOSOPHY PROFESSOR waits until she’s out of view to regain his composure and whistle to himself for a morning’s work well earned.

    • Walter

      Hey, 2 cents is 2 cents.

    • RobNiner β™«

      You conned an ex-superhero out of two cents. You earn 2,000 EXP and level up to ‘dire hobo’

      • Hey, he also managed to scam an office to sleep in, and all the faculty coffee he can drink. That’s not bad for a drunk hobo masquerading as a philosophy professor.

        Indeed, I’m pretty sure that most philosophy professors are actually drunk hobos who realized that philosophy departments keep crap records and don’t realize when there are vacant offices for drunk hobos to move into.


        • RobNiner β™«

          That is my favourite site now.

    • Lostman

      One thing you can say about Alison: she maybe penny wise but very much pound foolish.

    • Weatherheight

      Years ago in an RPG I was a player in, several other players found seashells in pouches on goblins. Assuming they were goblin currency, they carried the seashells for literal years IRL, hoping that, someday, they would encounter a not-hostile goblin tribe with which to engage in commerce.
      Thank you for a happy memory. πŸ˜€

      • jag

        Your friends obviously haven’t seen the movie Demolition Man.

      • weedgoku

        There’s a very handy guide online about proper seashell usage.

        • palmvos

          does it cover the Demolition Man movie?

          • Weatherheight

            Grand L. Bush.
            Just saying…

        • Weatherheight

          What? No embedded link?
          Barbarian! Sluggard! Meanie!

          ::attempts to assume an offended demeanor and only achieves dyspeptic::

  • Walter

    Where did she get the second penny?!?

    • Lysiuj

      Where did she get the first penny?

      • Weatherheight

        US Mint in Philadelphia?

    • GreatWyrmGold

      She probably just dug a little deeper in her pockets.

  • Gus Snarp

    I think I like this guy.

  • Karmik

    This is brilliant to me for 2 reasons
    1) It’s throwing her completely off balance. He’s pulled her train of thought away from “I am a monster, I hate me blah blah” to “What the heck is this crazy old man getting at?”. It momentarily takes her attention away from her situation and draws her state of mind out of the doldrums and into something more neutral and ready to think.

    2)By doing the above, he is also subtly making her more attentive to what he has to say. She is confused and curious and wants to get to the bottom of this weirdness. She is also now literally invested in the conversation since she has now paid for the privilege.

    • Arklyte

      3)he gained 2 pennies?

      • GreatWyrmGold

        I’d count that as a negative, really. What can you use pennies for?

        • Walter

          Paying professors in the park, duh.

          • Rugains Fleuridor

            Oh, man. Now I’m hoping there’s a whole subculture of professors who visit parks, waiting to exchange thoughts and pennies.

          • SmilingCorpse

            At this point, It’s the only thing keeping the penny alive.

          • Karmik

            The best thing about pennies is that they are worth far more as a symbol than as currency.

          • RobNiner β™«

            I think it’s the only employment most Philosophy majors get.

          • telk

            Every Sunday you’ll see
            my sweetheart and me
            as we pay the professors in the park?

            We’ve gained notoriety
            and caused much anxiety
            in the philosophical society
            with our games.

            They call it impiety
            and lack of propriety
            and quite a variety
            of unpleasant names!

          • Syncline

            That is an impressive reuse of Ton Lehrer
            And now that I’m looking, I don’t see a single Pigeon in the park…

          • Shweta Narayan

            but it’s not against any religion
            to pay for a thoughtful logician…

        • SomeGuy411

          They work wonderfully as counters for various things, or weights for miniatures that aren’t properly balanced

        • Arklyte

          on their own or considering the amount of advice he has to give various people in his life just because “it’s connected to his profession”? Have you counted the amount of times people asked your help outside your job because “but you’re a doctor!”/”I’ve heard that you’re a programmer, can you look at my PC”/”hey, can you take a look at my car as an old something-something of mine” and soooooooo on? There is even a proverb about “if I got a X for every time I’m asked to Y”.

          • GreatWyrmGold

            …Are you sure you replied to the right comment? This one is a joke about pennies.

          • Rugains Fleuridor

            I think they’re saying that the pennies would really add up.

          • GreatWyrmGold

            Have you ever tried to use a hundred pennies for anything?

          • saysomethingclever

            like Palmvos said, (among lots of other great ideas),

            3. make coinstar work for it! (when you have a bunch)

          • Rugains Fleuridor

            Hey, man, don’t ask me. I’m not the one who said it, just the interpreter…

            And no. No I haven’t.

          • Balthazar

            I bought a candy bar at a convenience store when my friend was at the catchier in pennies.

            I think there were exactly 167 including tax and because of protocol he had to count every one.

            We aren’t friends anymore.

          • Weatherheight

            There was a fellow in my town, many years ago, who was quite upset when the water company, owned by the city, had a sizable increase in the rate-per-gallon (or whatever volume they were using). This came after the city had just made several very large capital improvements.

            He attempted to pay his water bill in UNROLLED pennies. They declined and gave him a legal citation that, apparently, in my state, pennies are not strictly speaking legal tender and could be refused as a form of payment for debts owed to the state, county, or city, at the discretion of the agency to whom the debt was owed.

            1) The fact that there was a law on the books about this means someone had tried to do this sometime in the past.
            2) The fact that the persons behind the counter knew this indicates that it likely had been tried more than once.

            Humans are amusing. πŸ˜€

          • GreatWyrmGold

            Is your state one of the ones with a US mint in it? Because it would be amusing if pennies were produced in a state where they technically aren’t legal tender.

          • Weatherheight

            Heh – nope.

          • Lance Allen

            It seems to me that demanding a penny (or two) to give advice based on your profession outside of a professional context would have the benefit of reducing the smaller concerns, just over the trouble of garnering up a penny or two.

            As an IT guy and amateur programmer, I’m considering taking up the practice myself.

        • Weatherheight

          Rhetorical Drama.

        • palmvos

          1. annoy cashiers
          2. keep self checkout machines busy
          3. make coinstar work for it! (when you have a bunch)
          4. 5 make a nickel
          5. 10 make a dime
          6. penny for your thoughts jokes (ding)
          7. put your two cents in (ding)
          8. 10 million pennies will buy a $100,000 house (if you do this… post pics!)
          9. a variety of automated and not so automated crafts.
          10. keep two different shaded ones in a pocket- throw them when in a fight to distract your opponent (the two shades are critical)
          11. wishing well.
          hows that?

          • Balthazar

            If you get wrongfully sued you can hire uhauls and pay the litigator in pennies.

          • {14} – No. Coins are only legal tender for debts up to one dollar.

          • Balthazar

            Wha- then how will I ever beat big business now!? Curses!

        • Slingshot ammo.

    • Ellis Jones

      I think he’s also saying his opinion isn’t actually worth much more than anyone else’s. In a less jokey, more serious fashion than proverbial “2 cents”.

      • Karmik

        I kinda wonder of Alison cottoned on to him actually wanting “a penny for his thoughts” and offered it up and he, in combination of smugness and self-deprecation, declared his thoughts were worth twice the going rate.

        (Normally “My Two Cents” is the phrase when no one has asked for your opinion but you throw it in the hat anyway)

  • GreatWyrmGold

    I wonder what all that about “I’m usually paid to do this” was about. It seems rather…odd, considering that he ultimately just took two useless chunks of zinc off of Alison’s hands.
    What I’m saying is that Gurwara is an odd character.

    • Filthy Liar

      He’s a maniacal supervillian/Literally the Devil and she just completed a bargain with him. Or he’s just philosophical. That he’s covered in scars and walks with a cane might mean he got tortured at some point, probably for philosophizing at the wrong time.

      • Arklyte

        So now we’re going to theorise that he was captured in NK?

      • GreatWyrmGold

        I’d be surprised if we met anything explicitly magical/diabolical/etc in this comic; the setup isn’t there. So probably not the Devil.

    • Ellis Jones

      He might be trying to indicate that his take on things isn’t that much more worthwhile than anyone else’s.

    • Weatherheight

      I’m taking it as a rhetorical device used to unbalance the other person to leave them more receptive, albeit unknowingly, to what he has to say. I do it fairly often when in similar situations – although I’m a bit more obvious with my humor. Guwara’s sense of humor is really, really dry – or I’m reading humor into what was intended to be serious from his point of view.

      Odd is very good word here. πŸ˜€

    • Kalirren

      …You didn’t see that as a rhetorical device that Gurwara used to get Alison to realize that she should have at least tried to pay Max? which Alison just completely failed to catch in panel 2, eliciting the “I beg your pardon?”

      • GreatWyrmGold

        I mean, maybe it’s that, but that’s not something that came to mind all on its own. Maybe it could be supported by later arguments or techniques of Gurwara’s, but nothing so far fits.

  • Who carries around pennies?

    Superheroes, that’s who.

    • Lysiuj

      She keeps a few in her pockets at all times, so as to give inspiring tokens to children.

    • Zac Caslar

      Imagine how hard Allison could flick a penny.
      It’d be a molten copper projectile by the time it hit a target.

      • zarawesome

        Isn’t that like that urban legend with dropping pennies from the Empire State?

        • Roman Snow

          I’m no physicist, but I would imagine Alison can flick a penny with enough force that it will move faster than a free falling penny at terminal velocity.

          • Mechwarrior

            Yup, the terminal velocity for something as small as a penny is pretty low.

          • Zac Caslar

            Oh, reminds me: I tried to answer your question about “how many times” and my answer is zero -except as situational ethics demands under only the most extreme situations.

            There is no true, all-applicable answer. And torture is ethnically grotesque and should be and stay utterly illegal.

            But the problem remains a real one with real world challenges. There are problems for which conscious evil is the best solution, and who’s life do you sacrifice to keep your own hands clean?

          • Mechwarrior

            The problem is that there’s never going to be a time when you can truthfully say that torture is absolutely necessary and the only option or that it absolutely will be successful in saving lives. We’ve seen in the War on Terror that once torture is checked off as justified in case there’s a ticking bomb that it tends to be used in less and less urgent situations until we reach the point where it simply becomes a routine interrogation technique. This is because the “kidnapped and alive but locked in a dangerous situation with hours to live” and “ticking nuclear bomb” scenarios are exceptionally rare and the people responsible for overseeing the torture programs tend to feel like they’re not getting their money’s worth- you spent all that time and money learning to waterboard people, seems a shame that you never get to do it. So restrictions get eased, then since you’re already using it you might as well use it a little more- there’s a chance of getting more intel, right? And then you start using it on people you don’t actually have any reason to believe know anything critical, but hey, they might know something. And then you’re using it on people you know don’t know anything, but hey, it’s their fault for being where you were picking up suspects…

            This isn’t a hypothetical, this is what we’ve already seen happen. Now we’ve got people sitting in Gitmo because after being tortured we’re afraid to let them out even though they never did anything to begin with. And that’s why I have absolutely no issue with putting torture off the table no matter the justification.

          • Zac Caslar

            You really could have saved a lot of time with a phrase such as “the problem demonstrated is that the Slippery Slope becomes real.”

            Of course being ignored is how that rare intel gained through torture is of even slight worth -this also is well established- so people demanding more be got of it aren’t getting better results in any quantifiable way.

            So, cool. We have opposing positions about it’s possible necessity. I don’t imagine either of us is surprised, and all that’s worth considering. We don’t have to agree to disagree, but disagree we will.

            The financial angle’s a real killer, innit? Truman cites the same thing propelling the use of nuclear weapons in while “sending a message to the USSR and Japan” might have been part of the calculus it was domestic pressure about the atomic bomb’s development budget and a lack of demonstrable results that got Hiroshima and Nagasaki (and originally possibly Kyoto) destroyed.

            We also have people sitting in Gitmo who did nothing and who were tortured anyway because of “bipartisan demand” that Gitmo stay open and full -and I bet the money spent on operations there is probably part of that as well.

            Ah War -no matter how bad you look you really are worse than you appear.

          • Mechwarrior

            Oh, and I’m not sacrificing anyone’s life to keep my hands clean.

            Torture is an ineffective means of gathering information. This is widely known. Therefore, even without the ethics issues there’s no practical reason to do so. Pro-torture advocates really just want to show how “tough” and “macho” they are while fantasizing about being Dirty Harry or Jack Bower.

          • Zac Caslar

            I was aware of how useless torture has been in the War on Terror (or as it’s very appropriately pronounced “the WoT” as in “u WOT m8?!) and as a regular practice it’s the stuff of national shame.

            And I just realized a practical reality that’s been demonstrated over and over: it’s worthless if you don’t have someone to torture.

            That sounds obvious, but do the math with me.

            It’s useless for Lone Wolf attacks like these random mass shootings. It’s useless against Super Cell structure organizations because unless you get an actual active terrorist there are too few people informed on the operations. It’s useless against conventional crime because of both the above factors and possibly because of the efficiency of conventional interrogation.

            The whole enterprise is kind of a farce, isn’t it? In order to learn anything you have to have a >useful< suspect and those are nearly impossible to get.

            Even the OBL kill didn't involve torturing anyone as the CIA spotted a known courier, tracked him to an Islamabad compound, and returned word to the then POTUS.


            You're right, the real problem is the fear that demands "SOMEBODY DO SOMETHING! ANYTHING!" and the answering posturing.

            Damn. I'm embarrassed I didn't work that out sooner.

          • Nobody

            About 35 MPH with Earth’s gravity and atmosphere. If it made it all the way to the ground(wind would tend to blow it back into the building landing on a lower roof) it would give someone a nasty welt, maybe break the skin, but nothing more.

            Someone with super strength throwing it could probably get a lot more speed and therefor damage.

          • Mechwarrior

            Now I’m picturing a character whose superpower is to hurl pennies at relativistic velocity.

          • palmvos

            hard enough that the penny takes forever to get there yet impacts in an instant?

          • Mechwarrior

            That depends on whether you’re looking from the perspective of the penny or the target.

            Also, the impact releases a near-infinite amount of energy and annihilates the universe.

          • palmvos

            The perspective part was the joke. Otherwise. ..sigh…. as long as Aliso is not adding energy in some form other than velocity.. no it can’t even come close to that level. Unless Aliso throws the penny so hard it breaks some quantum barrier and either becomes pure antimatter or becomes an equal volume of absurd matter (neutron star matter and up) even then it may destroy the stellar neighborhood and violate the HSA earth is part of… but not the universe.

          • Mechwarrior

            An object’s mass increases as it accelerates toward the speed of light. If Einsteinian physics are correct, it would take an infinite amount of energy for an object with mass to be accelerated C. This is why most most talk about building some sort of FTL drive revolves around “exotic matter” that doesn’t work like normal matter.

            And Alison isn’t anywhere near strong enough to throw a penny that hard.

      • Weatherheight

        A Certain Scientific Railgun, indeed…

    • Weatherheight

      Hey, I’m a superhero! Yay!

      ::leaves to seek out a seamstress since they don’t carry capes in his size off the rack::

      • palmvos

        you deserve it…
        “NO CAPES!”

  • Filthy Liar

    I like how we have no idea how he got so ludicrously scarred. You’d think if she was interested in him as a person Alison would have found out at some point.

    • Arklyte

      Would you ask if he’s not telling you? No, you wouldn’t unless you’re friends and even then you’d be cautious about it. As for any rumors: 1)I’m pretty sure there are numerous contradicting and outright silly ones as usual and 2)it was simply left “behind the scenes”. But he doesn’t look in his early 20’s to be any kind of metahuman to you, does he?:

      • Filthy Liar

        Clearly one of his metahuman abilities is rapid aging.

        • Weatherheight

          Me too.
          I tend to also compliment tattoos I like on other people
          I also inquire if I can help people who appear to be limping or otherwise having problems moving.

          No, I was never a Boy Scout.
          Yeah, people look at me weirdly a lot.

          “It’s fun being weird, you should try it sometime.”

      • Stephanie

        Very true–plus, why should Alison be interested in him as a person at this point anyway? This is only her second encounter with the guy, and he pissed her off immensely the first time.

  • AustinC123

    Reposting from the last update because I would like more eyes on it to respond:

    Is there a word for, or anywhere I can see discussion around, the phenomenon we’re seeing here where the pace of serial storytelling leads to excessive space for the reader to invent their own preferred outcomes and solidify a position that anything other than that ending is unacceptable?

    • Arklyte

      It’s usually happens to every good webcomic(as well as any good periodic media) because 1)there is a time between pages being posted; 2)authors “cheat” by looking at discussions:
      I don’t know the term, sorry. Speculating?

      • Arklyte

        “It’S… happenS”. Can I still claim that it is a fault of my tablet?

        • Zorae42

          There’s just a missing “what” after the it’s (or after the usually).

          • Arklyte

            yeah, that’s also an option.

      • Cokely

        But whether the authors cheat or not has very little to do with the phenomenon here. Readers have been going slowly insane for months over whether the text is going to ultimately justify or condemn Alison’s actions in this chapter. In discussing it, they’ve added a stridently moral character to the argument: “If you think the comic should go any way other than the way I think it ought to go, your preference is not only wrong, it shows you are an immoral person.” Go back to the last page and you’ll find people are now just calling each other evil, and the only reason a punch hasn’t been thrown is because it can’t.

        TVTropes describes that phenomena as well in terms of a Broken Base, but it doesn’t describe the buildup, and how the medium contributes to that buildup.

        • AustinC123

          Re: your comment from last update which I missed, ‘This has made me curious about if/how people wrote about this kind of
          thing during the heyday of serial fiction in the Victorian period’

          After Doyle killed off Holmes in ‘The Final Problem’ :
          ‘the backlash from the fans was incredible. Some accounts claim that
          people walked the streets with black armbands to mourn and protest the
          death of Sherlock Holmes. Another story says that Doyle was actually
          physically attacked by a woman with an umbrella for the sin of killing
          off his greatest character.’

        • Arklyte

          Well, the authors don’t claim to have a moral high ground here, they don’t know if there is one in some situations even and they don’t try to propose “the only porper solution”. Allison is simply lost too. So yeah, while some parts are enraging, I’m not going to blame them for doing something wrong here because technically they didn’t.

    • Filthy Liar

      MSPAitis, it’s incurable and leads to weird things in the fandom.

      • saysomethingclever

        what does MSPA stand for?

        • Stephanie

          “MS Paint Adventures,” i.e. Homestuck and Andrew Hussie’s other work. If you’re not familiar, Homestuck is a webcomic that enjoyed huge popularity a couple of years ago. Its fanbase was known for being really actively invested in the story–lots of cosplay, fanart, fanfiction, fandubs, etc.

    • Zorae42

      According to TVTropes the original meaning of “Jossed” is what happens when the story throws out all the large amount of fan theory that was built up.

      That’s more of the eventual state this is heading towards rather than a descriptor of what’s happening.

      • AustinC123

        Yeah, Jossing headcannon is where we’re going, fanon is what’s being created, definitely related ideas.

  • Philip Bourque

    So, pennies for his thoughts? They still use pennies?

  • Nojh

    I hated this guy when he was introduced. Now he’s quickly becoming one of my favorite characters. Your comic and writing is amazing.

  • Pol Subanajouy

    Gurwara’s love of idioms is actually charming here. I admit it. I might actually start liking him despite myself.

  • spriteless

    I wonder now, was he just stalling for time?

  • Kt Squiggles

    Ok I still like this guy.

  • Doctor client privilege?

  • JohnTomato

    Looks like a Heidelberg fencing scar. Real sabre, not epee.

  • Seer of Trope

    Dastardly puns. Now we have to wait four more days!

  • Bobo Chimpan

    Reminds me of the stories about Yogi Bhajan, who brought Kundalini Yoga to the west. He insisted that students pay for lessons, because otherwise it would imply that his teachings had no value. But some people who wanted to learn were too poor to pay, so he left coins hidden around the outside of this classroom that people could find and use to pay for classes…

  • StClair

    While “two cents” is the idiom, of course, I will note that it’s also the traditional fee charged by the ferryman Charon for passage, and placed over the eyes (or in the mouth) of the deceased.

  • Ophidiophile

    Nobody values what they get for free.

  • Lucy van Pelt used to charge 5Β’, and that was way back in 1959.

    • palmvos

      the price of some things have come down since then… look up what a computer cost in 1959… and see what a comparable computer might cost today. (minus the card reader! them things are collectors items!)

  • Markus

    If you find someone who looks at you the way Gurwara looks at pocket change, never let them go.

  • I Am Helpy

    Rapidly becoming my fave character.

  • FlashNeko

    Oh hey! Alison finally paid a price for her actions!


  • Ben

    This reminds me of an incredible tale of the moral philosophy of evil. Harlan Ellison, the man who penned the greatest Star Trek episode ever, wrote a short story entitled “Would You Do It For A Penny?” It was originally published in Playboy and then collected in his anthology Shatterday.

  • Hiram

    Guwara just wanted to get a raise out of Allison.
    (I’m not sorry)

    • Mechwarrior

      Change you can believe in?

  • Gregory McIntyre

    I really honestly dislike this guy. I’ve been in school a long time and honestly he’s one of the worst kind of professors, the ones that go screw the rules I’m gonna be special and teach these kids a life lesson. He failed her because she chose a rock that’s all. School is an investment, school costs a lot of money, student debt is a horrible thing.

    So no matter how silly or clever or funny he is here, even if after this conversation he reverses her failing grade I won’t like this guy. He’ll do the exact same thing to someone else next year, costing them serious time and money.

    • Cuindless

      I’m glad someone else said it. I’ve also spent an inordinate amount of time in school earning a graduate degree, and professors like these are the absolute worst. It’s not even the whole “life lesson” and “screw the rules” thing… It’s something less tangible than that. It’s the familiarity. He’s breaking academic professionalism, becoming a “friend” or something else like it, and setting up the students and their future professors for failure when they don’t have this relationship.

  • Soqoma

    Oh, gods. I love Guwara.
    (In a “please be my uncle” kind of way)

  • Jordan Hiller

    OK, so he has a sense of humor. Good to know.

  • Couchsessel

    I love this dude. I wish I had a philosophy teacher like this.

  • Kifre

    Oh Ali, grow a sense of humor.

    • Lostman

      Took her a while. πŸ˜›

  • Sercee

    I really like that guy. πŸ™‚

  • Dirka


    1. Philisophy Professor questions Al’s moral axiom.
    2. Stuff happens that pushes Al to the limits and beyond re: above axiom.
    3. Al seeks solace to survey the wasteland of her morality.
    4. The Prof just happens to happen across Al as she finds herself extremely receptive to guidance.

    Could all be a coincidence. But with Pat’s delivery of the secret file in the mix, some sort of manipulation seems likely.

    Might even be with good intentions. Someone might’ve realized that Al’s black-and-white moral outlook coupled with her *punch stuff* approach to problem solving might not be a healthy combination in the long run.

    I’m on the edge of my seat as always. Excellent work.

    • Arklyte

      Considering scars on professor’s face and Al earlier problem with another professor that resulted in him quiting(and explanation to viewers how goverment is trying to cut corners for Al just to make sure that reenactment of Irredeemable won’t happen)?
      It never seemed like a coincedence because it never was one. It’s a goverment appointed person with sufficient expirience and skills. My bet is on former war veteran psyhologist with PTSD specialisation who’s also have requirements to be appointed here without hurting other student’s courses.

      • IE

        I like that theory, except I’ve never heard of the government being that competent and savvy before.

        • palmvos

          the government being competent is about as newsworthy as the police arresting a shoplifter.

      • weedgoku

        Al going full plutonian would be an improvement imo

      • Dirka

        I meant that not just the Prof’s appearance is manufactured, the whole crisis and intervention thing.

        The moral dilemma posed to the class is suspiciously similar to the adventure with the dickbag almot BF.

  • Matthew McMahon

    I’m starting to like this guy. He’s a troll, but a friendly one.

  • Wikimancer

    I was going to post a comment when this page was 1st uploaded, but I couldn’t find the MST3K “Padding, Padding, Padding” clip in the wild.