SFP

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  • bryan rasmussen

    well at least it wasn’t his parents having sex.

    • allium

      Wait until the clouds clear up and you see the moons.

      All twelve of them.

  • dbmag9

    Oh Max, you big ol’ telepathic cliché, you.

  • zegmustprovebrains

    We built this city!
    We built this city in Patrick’s Brain!

  • Background Character

    Oh, nice. It’s the “THINKING OF YOU” art on the wall.

    • Herwood

      Oh thats what it said!

    • tygertyger

      So glad I’m not the only one who caught that!

    • Dave M

      Well spotted, I missed that. I’m fond of the clock with no hands, and the round peripteral temple (almost identical to the temple of Hercules Victor, but with a cooler roof) not to mention the central tower that just screams a “someone is imprisoned at the top of this, and awaits a heroic person to free them” vibe.

      Oh, and I’m sure the fact that large parts of the scene appear to be walled off, thus subtly railroading Alison to a particular path (leading to the tower) is not at all anything to worry about. 🙂

  • Weatherheight

    This is the city where Patrick keeps all those duplicates of all those persons whose knowledge he’s co-opted and absorbed.
    It’s getting crowded and yet the streets are empty…
    The very phallic tower that seems to be the focal point of the city was a nice touch, I think…
    Alison will now attempt to punch them all into submission. Either that or attempt to explain herself to them.

    • Gotham

      I adore the needlessly curvy path leading to the tower’s entrance. Patrick has no knack for color but he makes up in tiling.

      • Weatherheight

        There are some magical traditions where spirals are really, really important, or so I’ve been told. My psychology background tends to reframe magical traditions as approaches toward a particular type of consciousness, and one can analyze the goal towards which the magician is striving and thus gain insight into the methods used by the tradition to achieve that goal.
        Not something I’ve spent a lot of time on, so I’m not exactly sure of what implications are usually associated with spirals. Makes me wish I’d spent more time on that.

        • tygertyger

          In Chinese folklore the pathways into houses meander because of the belief that ghosts can only travel in straight lines. That’s another possible contributor.

  • AdamBombTV

    At least there’s no Bowie Level Goblin King in this labyrinth.

    • Weatherheight

      Or is there?
      Duh duh DUH!

    • bta

      If there is, it’s probably Bugs Bunny.

      • Lostman

        Or some sort of metal band playing in there.

      • Arkone Axon

        Bugs would be a very useful companion, I’d say. He’s USUALLY benevolent (especially after his earliest incarnations where he was a total jerk).

        • Weatherheight

          Innocuous, at the very least…
          Rarely helpful but also rarely malevolent…
          “Gee, that’s tough Mr. Abdominibobble…”
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RT_amYcDP4Q

          • Arkone Axon

            Bear in mind that Bugs rarely goes after anyone who doesn’t come gunning after him first – Elmer Fudd usually only gets tormented because he showed up looking to hunt wabbits and ducks for sport (incidentally, DC did a hilarious film noire comic where Elmer Fudd goes up against… Batman). Same thing with Yosemite Sam, who was created after WB realized that Elmer just wasn’t in Bugs’ league (incidentally, DC ALSO did a western comic where Yosemite Sam teams up with… Jonah Hex). And Bugs has been known to go after more than one bad guy specifically because they were picking on someone else, including little boys named Hansel…

            https://youtu.be/TVYT2OJyhBw

          • Weatherheight
        • tygertyger

          Considering that Bugs Bunny is an avatar of Br’er Rabbit, who is the Americanization of Anansi, I’d say that “benevolent” is relative.

          • Arkone Axon

            Yeah… it’d be awesome to see a remake of the Br’er Rabbit stories. Instead of letting them languish in that old movie “Songs of the South” (the one Disney tries to pretend doesn’t exist because it’s a bit of an embarrassment for… numerous reasons…), make an updated version without any glamorization of plantation life. Just go straight to the cartoons and Br’er Rabbit outsmarting his enemies…

            …Of course there’s some other characters who are also worth exploring. I’ve been learning about Sioux culture for a project I’m working on – and Iktomni is just… awesome! He’s a spirit who can transform into a coyote or a spider, and he’s always getting into trouble because of his foolishness and his appetites – for food, for sex, for whatever he wants (“mah ducks! They be stealing mah ducks! Now I’m hungry…!”). It’s been said that the Internet itself is a fulfillment of a prophecy about Iktomni’s web one day coming to encompass the world – and from everything that’s said about Iktomni, it’s perfectly believable that he would encourage humanity to create a magnificent and complex network of advanced technological devices to… get all the beautiful women of the world to upload pictures and videos of themselves for his viewing pleasure. Seriously, he’s like an adult shape-shifting Eric Cartman… :p

    • Pol Subanajouy

      YET.

  • Hiram

    At that moment Patrick awoke in Alison’s body, shouted “your problem now, sucker!” and flew off into the night.

    • i think this is the first time i’ve been genuinely glad i opened the comments so thank you

  • Glotos

    The clock has no hands. Is this a timeless place?

    • Weatherheight

      Good eye!
      Timeless? Time is Meaningless? Unending Time? Time Stopped?

    • Scholiast

      Well spotted.

    • Glotos

      I think it’s funny that the other disqus-equipped comic I read is All Night Laundry (http://www.all-night-laundry.com/), which is about time travel…almost tempted to go hunt down a pattern now.

    • tygertyger

      [rim shot]

  • Suddenly, a Titan breaks the wall.

    • Eric Schissel

      Prometheus when ready.

    • palmvos

      maybe a judge will order the walls torn down.

      • Weatherheight

        The way you’ve made her suffer,
        your exquisite would-be lover,
        fills her with the urge to perambulate!

  • RobNiner ♫

    Welcome Alison, welcome to my MIND MAZE! Today you can win a pair of rollerskates, a hamper or a CAR!

  • Filthy Liar

    “I can fly you dip,” she mutters to herself as she takes to the air.

    • Scholiast

      You think she can fly in there?

      • Filthy Liar

        I thought it was funny. Also, her self conception now includes the ability to fly, no reason a mental projection of her shouldn’t be able to.

        • Scholiast

          I think it very much depends on whose rules are in force. Since it’s his mind, I think he probably sets the rules, to a certain extent.

          This whole sequence reminds me a bit of the film “The Cell”.

          • Filthy Liar

            Oh, very much so. The mental space that depends on undefined rules is a staple of scifi/fantasy, it’s just that her conception of self seems pretty strong and I thought it’d be aces if she just bypassed all his defenses because he underestimated her.

          • Scholiast

            Yeah, I’m not going to disagree with you on that. It all depends, though, on the nature of this situation. Is he truly in circumstances beyond his control, or is this some elaborate mindgame he is playing on her? I think it’s the former, but I really wouldn’t put it past him for it to be the latter. Even though he’s fighting what apparently is a fight against a larger evil, let’s not forget that he really is a monumental arsehole,

          • Filthy Liar

            Oh yeah, I never have. I mean, we still don’t know for certain he didn’t just make all those people up.

          • MisterTeatime

            I would say “then why would he include all those verifiable details that could be investigated and discovered to be false”, but if there’s one person who can guess how suspicious you’ll be of their lies before they’ve lied to you…

    • Eric Schissel

      So long as she doesn’t dip too much when she flies.

  • Gotham

    No inappropriately placed train tracks, Leonardo DiCaprio would be pleased.

  • cowensiv

    Looks like Patrick is good at . . . compartmentalizing.

    • Gotham

      All church-bearing crosses in the small space on the right of the tower reminds me of my terrible city planning in Caesar II. “More temples you ask, you eternally unsatisfied plebs? More temples you will get! Five at a time!”

  • Dave Van Domelen

    The gods don’t seem to want this particular Kadath.

  • Gotham

    Guys. Guys. GUYS.
    What if Patrick is colorblind?

    (Alternatively, Alison just time travelled back to issues 1 to 3)

    • bta

      Even if he was, he’s spent the major part of his life seeing the world through other people’s minds.

      • Oren Leifer

        Perhaps if Patrick is colorblind his internal city is still colorless because it is his. And in a way, that would continue the theme of personally thematic powers and seeing others’ perspectives, with Patrick only able to see the color through other people’s minds.

      • Gotham

        That may not matter. We know he’s experiencing more than just mere conscious thought but, if you asked me I would have figured he needed to learn a language (no matter how easy for him) before he can mindread someone who doesn’t think in his native tongue.

        His own brain is always a filter, a lens through which others pass through. He’s not seeing through other people’s eyes, he’s seeing with his own the same image they see.

        That is, if I’m correct. But if I’m not and he can truly inhabit another consciousness to the fullest extent, if he can make sense of other people’s qualia… he’s way more terrifying than he was before, and that’s saying something.

    • Weatherheight

      I think it’s more likely this is just blatant attempt by Brennan and Molly to silence me and Loranna about their use of color and what it means.
      You mean this isn’t about me? OR Loranna? OR COLOR!?!
      Incensed! The indignity of it all!

      ::giggles uncontrollably::

      • palmvos

        :: hands weatherheight an apple::

      • Nightsbridge

        Futile. There is meaning even in the absence of color, where color was already established to exist. Like talking about the negative space.

  • AustinC123

    ahh Molly you can’t fool me, I’ve seen the Little Mermaid box cover art
    paging Freud, Bachelor of Architecture

  • Mad Mat

    Can we call this chapter ‘Head Games’?

    • palmvos

      no.
      The Talos Principle

      • Eric Schissel

        … is that a reference to Dr. Talos (who walks with Baldanders)?

        • palmvos

          its a computer game. it teaches some basic philosophy and has some clever puzzle mechanics. there is a central tower in the game. which the player is strongly discouraged from exploring.

          • Eric Schissel

            Ah ok, thanks. I was thinking of a character from a series (The Book of the New Sun) by author Gene Wolfe to which I was recently introduced (but which was published in the early 1980s.)

  • Guzzyma

    Anyone else think the storm in the background is representing The Storm that might be responsible for everyone’s powers?

    • Gotham

      The Storm™ is already claiming copyright infringement.

  • Lheticus Videre

    Okay, if NO ONE else is going to make the obligatory joke about the central tower “compensating for something” I guess that onerous duty falls to me.

    • Gotham

      It’s so… sylphlike, though.
      I don’t see why he’s need to compensate for his car, it was a nice car!

      Why are you laughing

      • The only thing patrick is compensating for is a crippling inability to connect with other people and make friends.

        • Eric Schissel

          … Patrick, there really are better ways to compensate for even extreme forms of ASD than supervillainy. I’ve found support groups have helped me, for instance.

    • MedinaSidonia

      I think you mean Onan-erous.

  • elilla

    Well I say! That doesn’t seem ominous, creepy or foreboding at all.

  • Walter

    Strangeness!

  • Tylikcat

    It really strikes me that behind all the windows, the lights are on. This place might be all about organization and structure (and trust Patrick to need a memory city rather than settling for a memory palace like everyone else*, but it seems likely that some of those rooms are rather more vivid.

    Considering Patrick’s life – and the size of the city – I would not start opening random doors. Bad idea! While I can understand the impulse to identify the tower as phallic, I the the practical purpose is that is can see where everything is. That’s where I’d expect Patrick’s narrative mind to be hanging out (if he’s conscious) and seriously, this is the kind of trip where one needs a guide.

    Side note – Tara’s exhortation to get in the information Al needs and not get caught up in taking care of Patrick is also, though Tara doesn’t have the backstory, an exhortation not to get caught up in resolving all of Al and Pat’s emotional past issues. …and yet, if indeed a lot of Patrick’s past problems were about the asymmetry of communication brought on by his telepathy, gosh what a perfect situation. (Possibly, though, an awful time.)

    * (Okay, I admit, I have more of a collection of memory shrines in the woods. But I was a romantic teenager, what can I say?)

    • The lights are on, but is anybody home?

      I was thinking memory palace, but memory city fits. And perhaps all to well, seeing as everyone else’s memories are open to Patrick. And the tower able to stare into everyone’s windows/mind (rather like the Eye of Sauron) fits that iconography. Sort of a Panopticon for the biodynamically intrusive.

      The idea that Al is wandering Patrick’s mind, where normally he wanders everyone else’s, is fascinating.

      WRT the storm, ‘without me, the void’ perhaps? (With multiple readings of ‘without’),

  • llennhoff

    1) The lights are on, but no one’s home?
    2) Some people dream in color, but others dream only in black and white. But while the exteriors are black and white the light coming from the windows is colored, not white.

  • AngstyCrow

    Everyone sees that “Thinking of you” right?

  • AngstyCrow

    Everyone sees that “Thinking of you” right? I thought those were someone else manipulating his network.

    Maybe the amalgamation of all the people who’s mind Patrick has read have merged into a type of consciousness (Ala Superior Spiderman).

    Of course, I am 1 for 20 predictions in this comic, so it’s probably inaccurate. But still.

    • MisterTeatime

      I’m concluding that “Thinking of you” was originally a genuine signal from/within Menace’s network, and the hypothetical manipulator is/was copying it, to lend verisimilitude to their charade of “delivering orders from Menace.”

      Unmasking the manipulator as a rogue faction within Patrick’s accumulated consciousness would be a HELL of a payoff to this story, though, damn.

      Also, I just remembered that we have no idea who Graveyard (Daniel’s contact in Chapter 2) was or what her deal is. So that’s neat. o.o

  • shereadstoomuch

    I have fought my way here to the castle beyond the Goblin City…

  • MedinaSidonia

    So is this going to be Isengard or The Dark Tower?

    • palmvos

      the Talos principle.

      • Lysiuj

        Oh, so it’s the Imperial City from Oblivion.

    • Arkone Axon

      Well, if it’s Isengard there’ll be a big confrontation with an evil wizard pretending to be good. If it’s the Dark Tower Alison will… not be happy. I don’t want to give spoilers to people who haven’t finished the series, but Alison will NOT like it if this is the Dark Tower… @[email protected]

  • Mechwarrior

    This…. is your brain on drugs!

    • Lysiuj

      This is your brain.
      This is your brain on other people’s brains.
      Any questions?

  • Kensey

    walls inside the larger wall separating or grouping things…like a firewall, but once inside, there are partitions, and seemingly some organization (or separation) since it looks like the Christian churches are grouped together behind a set of walls…is the central tower a minaret? given the function of a minaret in Islam, the word “broadcasting” comes to mind…it all seems to make sense that we’d see Patrick’s brain represented like this. the storm could be a mental illness, a disease, an outside attack, but it’s something that is threatening, to say the least.

  • David Payne

    So is that the Ivory Tower of the intellectual… or Orthanc?

  • That is a motherfucking wizard’s tower if I have ever seen one.

    Secretly hoping Patrick is trapped in the tower, waiting for Al to rescue him.

    • Tylikcat

      Maybe that graffiti always was from Patrick.

      • Gotham

        That was always kind of confusing. Does Patrick make them himself? Wouldn’t it be super risky? Do people know and accept that they are from Menace, the villain who threatened to take over the world a few years ago? Or do they just don’t mind the “Thinking of You” showing up suspiciously around where Alison (world’s most well-known former superhero and very last person to see him) lives?

        Nobody mentions them (even Alison barely acknowledges them) to the point I was wondering if she was the only one who could even see them at some point. If they’re illusions and not two hours of work Patrick spent risking his identity, then it makes a bit more sense, but if someone needs to be not real to make sense…

        • Weatherheight

          Perhaps the beginning of this new power we appear to be seeing, and since we’re “following” Alison’s point-of-view, we’ve been getting glimpses of what she’s been seeing…?

          Interesting…

    • Arkone Axon

      Naw… it’ll be Max. Who’ll cower in terror from Alison’s approach and scream for Patrick to save him. “You promised me you’d find me a place where I’d be safe from her!”

  • JohnTomato

    “Hey kid, kid! This takes a ‘D’ ticket. You have a ‘D’ ticket?”

  • Weatherheight

    Is anyone else noting that post they have updated are not updated when they return a few hours later, or is it just me?

    • Gotham

      I can’t seem to make sense of what you mean. (My bad)

      • Weatherheight

        Hmm.. it appears the word “upvoted” somehow got replaced with “updated”. Also, a certain amount of gibberish has also crept in.

        I have upvoted a post, seen the upvote register, but when next I log back into the site, that upvote has vanished. Has anyone else noticed that, or is it the early onset of a delusional state?

  • Martin Cohen

    Does she have her powers here? If so, jump or fly.

  • This has all been Patrick’s complicated, roundabout way of getting Alison to play in his D&D campaign.

  • When you walk through other people’s minds, you should remember to wear shoes.

    That’s what I do.

    • martynW

      Alison has indestructible feet. First thing I saw her do when she went to her first battle in the comic was take her shoes off to preserve them.

      Of course, this is no help if you step in something disgusting. Even indestructible feet can get dog doo between the toes.

      • palmvos

        that is what showers are for.

        • martynW

          Actually, this is what a garden hose is for. I gotta walk through the house to get to my shower. If you’re lucky, somebody in the house can toss you soap.

  • Eric Meyer

    Holy moly what a Mind Palace!

  • Kifre

    I mean, of course, Patrick has an ivory tower.

  • palmvos

    ok, Alison. Do not go to the tower! go argue philosophy with the computer terminals first! if you do it right you will have a cat at the end.

  • Hmm, that poster/graffito on the third building down, ‘Thinking of you’?

    Which is pretty damned creepy, when you come to think about it. Is Alison really in Patrick’s mind, or is Patrick’s mind just imagining her in it, and broadcasting that out at her. Has she become a figment of his imagination?

  • Philip Bourque

    So how did she get inside his brain? Why would that work? If he’s randomly broadcasting imagery, why would she be able to get inside his head when she takes a nap? How would she be able to interact with anything? How does any of this mesh with what we’ve seen his powers do previously? How badly did he mess himself up to make his powers do things they haven’t done before?

    • MisterTeatime

      Patrick’s always been able to take input from other people’s brains.
      Now he’s generating output to Alison’s brain.
      A mental image that’s perceptible to Alison, and generated by someone who can perceive Alison’s intent, can simulate an interactive environment. She decides to walk forward, and instead of her physical legs moving, the image rearranges itself so that the things that were in front of her are now closer to her point of view, and the things that were behind her are now further away.

  • Jac

    All this greyscale is like a Hashtag Throwback Thursday