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  1.  (11301.1)
    It's Thursday! It's mid-afternoon in London! It's another wrongheaded morning in Mericky! Everyone in Australia is dead from spiders and snakes and poisonous accents, apparently. And it's time for more Crossed hideosity!

    Episode 81, live and free-to-air.

    Remember: Not safe for work, not safe for minors, not safe for people of a nervous disposition, not safe for the mountains I'm shortly to ski down.
  2.  (11301.2)
    Good, good stuff as usual. Anyone else have an urge ta feck Aoileen, crossed and all?
    • CommentAuthorNo Fear
    • CommentTimeMar 27th 2014 edited
    Not really as it would probably be an amputated limb of yours rather then anything else lol. You may need a hand though. Good episode though, really enjoying the Gamekeepers contribution.
  3.  (11301.4)
    Only on page 4 but had to drop everything, run over here, and say this:



    And now back to finishing another fan-fucking-tastic episode.
    • CommentTimeMar 27th 2014
    And the Oscar goes to.......


    Holy shit! These last few rounds of storytelling time have had me keeping a defibrillator next to me while I read...I dunno if my heart can take much more of this (perfection), Si!
  4.  (11301.6)
    So Shaky is God and... GK is the devil, then?

    I wonder if Shay will get the nun's 12 best disciples when he crosses over.
    • CommentAuthorDilo
    • CommentTimeMar 27th 2014
    Everyone in Australia is dead from spiders and snakes and poisonous accents, apparently.

    ...don't forget falling random aircraft...

    Cool! So it looks like we'll find out what happened on the flotilla!! If this was a movie I'd be pissed off with a large story retelling element like this but in this comic it works freaking perfectly. All hail the comic God and his ability to spend half a season leading us through a massive amount of storyline whilst telling us almost nothing and then backfilling the story with the edge of your pants history lesson.

    Holy snapping duck shit I'm impressed.
    • CommentAuthorgragh46
    • CommentTimeMar 27th 2014
    The gamekeeper may be a complete bastard (crossed without a cross is a bit too much, he did care enough about his followers to keep them alive if they obeyed. Too bad if you were female, though), but we can't deny he's a complete badass. Only Jackson might top him. And we get confirmation that aoilean wants him there, among oher things, to have a deep, interesting conversation with him. Aoileann is a fucking weird crossed, you know.

    Not sure on why Jasper's part needed to be included in the flashback. Perhaps as a way for us to know the reason why Teresa showed the letter in the dark?

    page 11's first panel with the crossed looking at Cava may be my favorite panel in the entire webcomic so far. Perfect summary on the motivation of the 3 main crossed. And the red font'd cuddles :D

    The gamekeeper saying how god is not on our side anymore, as he "heard" Aoileann's prayers was interesting to listen. So he walks among the crossed, but he doesn't really see them as "his side" now? Why is he telling all of this to Shaky again? mysteries, mysteries. Also, shaky now knows that is wasn't Ashoke's death what damned the entire dirftfleet and Tabitha. They were already doomed due to circumstances beyond their control.

    Let the battery of those radios keep going, this flashback is awesome :D I suppose the next part will be about Ashoke's death and the raping of the driftleet. I wonder if Aoileann and Tabitha got to talk before she was turned, the two of them loving the same guy and all. I mean, the nun spent lots of time seeing cava, she must know the 2 of them were close.
    • CommentAuthorShan
    • CommentTimeMar 27th 2014
    For this episode's question that totally wasn't the focus of this episode (or probably any):

    Where do you think the UN contingent was from and how did they get here? I'm guessing it was a Chinook because they can have a capacity of 55 or so and there is a lot of them. They speak a language other than English as well ('foreignese' as reported by Jackson). Since UN troops tend to be in units of one nationality and they're clearly mixed ethnicities, I'm going to go with French as the best fit. I wonder how they ended up around Scotland though, it's not their usual area of operations unless there was something going on with the Scottish independence movement that the public never heard about.
    • CommentTimeMar 28th 2014
    If this was a movie I'd be pissed off with a large story retelling element like this but in this comic it works freaking perfectly.

    I thought the same thing reading the last couple chapters...if this was a movie I'd be irritated as hell with this all but entirely, perpetual and one-sided "story-time". But in the comic (especially here) I could read another dozen without waning one iota.

    Si's storytelling is frickin' amazing...add in here as well the amazing artwork...and it all equals a whole lot of awesome jammed into one title that keeps me jonesing and chomping at the bit week after week!!
  5.  (11301.11)
    This is one of those little tricks you can do in comics that you can't do anywhere else. And as I hope we shall eventually see, it's here for a good reason. Though perhaps not the one you think.
    • CommentTimeMar 28th 2014
    As superb as that is and reads......DAMN that's a dirty trick Mr S.!!

    'Cause I'm not already cracked out for the next issue!!

    • CommentAuthorShan
    • CommentTimeMar 28th 2014
    @ ddavie "if this was a movie I'd be irritated as hell ..."

    Best you avoid the movie "Millennium" then, whose narrative kind of forces them to do it* (of the book by the same name by John Varley, which is quite a good read).

    *time travel may well be involved.
  6.  (11301.14)
    I too was curious as to why Jasper was brought up again, curious as to who the other members of his campfire party were before they were quickly dispatched, and curious as to how he knew it was Aoileen when she appeared in front of him and he said, "You." I knew he saw the notes Shaky was leaving behind, but how could he have known for certain? Anyway, so I'm not sure what the point of all that was, but at the very least it was some serious comic relief when he uttered "S-sorry. I-I done a shit." I nearly done a shit whilst reading that. And then Aoileen's chilling, stark response of, "Go. Away." immediately brought the tone back to pants-shitting-horror levels.

    I went back to previous chapters to skim the Jasper bits for any particular relevance. Didn't really find much. But there was that moment that Jasper, Des and the other hard knocks went back to the island with the standing stones to confront the crossed that were partying there to "Boom... Kill it." Now, as of the most recent chapter's back story, we know that Jasper was there at the standing stones at the beginning of that crossed blood orgy. So now I'm curious as to why in the actual fuck he would dare to return with only a few mates, armed or not!

    Also came across this old page, which I found interesting in a whole new way:

    Two things re: the above page...

    1. Reiterating my "So Shaky is God and... GK is the devil, then?" comment. I totally forgot that Shaky referred to him as the devil earlier in the story. I'm guessing Aoileen sees him this way too. So she has her god and her devil. "The end" scenario that she is slowly orchestrating is going to be fucking biblically epic, I'm sure.

    2. I wonder if Shaky see the GK alive again. Until now I would have thought Shaky's "and god - the last time I saw him alive" comment was referring to the moment that he left GK for dead tied to a tree, but now... maybe we can expect another uncharacteristic non-coward moment from Shaky IF he see the GK alive again?

    Whether or not any of the above is completely nutty, meaningless, speculative bullshit or not, I love the fact that this story has me flipping back and flat footing. I don't think I'd be lying if I said that WYWH is my current favorite escape from reality.
    • CommentAuthorShan
    • CommentTimeMar 28th 2014
    Can I make a couple of additional suggestions for escaping reality?

    Canada's really knocking it out of the park with sci-fi shows like "Continuum" and "Orphan Black".
  7.  (11301.16)
    So Aoileen wants Shaky turned, but doesn't want him harmed in the process. Interesting.
    • CommentAuthorShan
    • CommentTimeMar 29th 2014
    Question here for Si and everyone else (which I'm also going to copy and paste in the observations and theories thread).

    This episode has talked even more about the control Aoileann/Teresa has over her behaviour, which is something I've noticed for a while. It's had me thinking for some time about other people who've been doing that sort of mental training for far longer. Specifically, Buddhist monks. I know that Badlands had an arc set in Japan and I've seen the covers, so I have the bad feeling that some of my co-religionists probably ended up doing some things we wouldn't approve of.

    However, I would believe there would be at least a handful of the most experienced monks somewhere in the world who could beat the Crossed virus. Their bodies might be infected but their minds could totally overcome it. Real life examples would be the famous protest against the South Vietnamese government where even when immolating themselves, they didn't even move from a meditative position while completely on fire. That's as remarkable a control of the mind over the human body as you'll ever see.

    I believe it's possible a few could make it, I'm probably not getting all the detail here right but there is a very famous story about how the demon Mara tried to tempt the Buddha as he meditated under a tree (it's often interpreted as a mental battle rather than literal events) and failed. Someone with the mental training and capacity to fight the effects of the Crossed contagion could be like that.

    You could certainly have a one shot Crossed issue quite different to all the rest where it's some seated in a meditative position for the entire issue and everything takes place in their head. They'd have something continually yammering in their heads like what it sounds Patient Zero has but I suppose but in this case they'd be able to fight it and win.

    I guess what I'm getting at, if Aoileann/Teresa can manage what she has with her relative lack of experience (however it's only partial, she's still a psychopathic nutter with a weak leash on another bunch off nutters), there'd have to be a handful of people who could manage complete control and remain human. Maybe be able to go further and build a following that can also remain largely human and at least retain a resemblance of their former lives and at least stop killing and maiming people.

    For all we know, the Crossed contagion has broken out before and it took the really enlightened among us to beat it the last time, not through scientific or physical means but by beating it in a battle of mental prowess. It could be what Shaky's dope story in the last interlude was hinting at, something has to be put into human beings to keep them (make them?) human otherwise we get the complete breakdown of society and everyone trying to kill everyone else or worse. Some people who are sufficiently enlightened fight its effects off, become leaders to the others, reign it in, whatever the cause is disappears, society rebuilds and it starts again all through history (for all we know shades of something supernatural even, we're never going to know for sure).

    Thoughts anyone?
  8.  (11301.18)
    Fascinating idea Shan, and I thank you for it. It will surprise you not at all that I'm fascinated in the concept of self-control, and the conceit of the Crossed "virus" (or whatever it is, heh heh heh) allows writers to explore that to their grubby little hearts' content. Naturally there are reasons for why Sister Teresa behaves the way she does, and they'll be one of the things we look at as we approach the end of the story. Buuuut it's worth remembering the spirit of the Crossed books is and always has been wilfully contrary -- that's Garth's influence stamped onto it at a deep level. It feels far more "crossedish", I think, if your story were about a Buddhist monk who confidently predicts he'll be able to withstand the insanity of the infection using his meditative skills, but fails spectacularly, than the alternative. Whilst, say, a lowly nobody with no special training discovers that the Cross has given them a unique and serene relationship with the Universe. That's just a daft example, but you see what I mean. For me Crossed is almost entirely about tearing down expectations and exposing the True Human which lies behind this frail veneer of morals, cultures and modes of thought which we call civilisation. It's the most magnificently iconoclastic thing there is.
    • CommentAuthorShan
    • CommentTimeMar 29th 2014 edited
    @ Si

    Just my opinion of course but from what I've seen, unlike most Crossed, your primary antagonist has been able to exhibit partial control and extend a reduced degree of control over a group (as opposed to the wild and quickly self destructive ravers of the London Underground). They're still not people who you'd want to meet in the dark ... as demonstrated by the people who just met them in the dark. Extrapolating that to its logical conclusion, people who've devoted their whole life to training their minds in Buddhist and similar philosophies, there's at least a chance a handful might make it. Going even further, at various times I've seen or read descriptions of Crossed forming various kinds of groups following the leader's theme (I suspect I'm going to regret asking what the Crossed Pope came up with). I guess it's not completely impossible that someone founds a group whose theme isn't to kill and maim other people and maybe even to start rebuilding it (radical concept in this brave new world, I know).

    I think I know what the Buddhist monks I know of would say on the subject (though I'll be honest, I doubt I'd bring Crossed up with them). They'd say any monk who said in advance they could resist it would fail, if anything it'd be the ones who either said nothing or even said they'd fail who might make it. Kind of real world example to illustrate (sort of), one of the youtube talks I saw (our people are always on the technical cutting edge) gave the example of one of his fellow monks who could meditate for hours with seemingly perfect focus while the rest were all dozing off repeatedly (it's harder than a lot of people think). Ultimately though, he couldn't handle all the demands of living in a monastery and left the order. Meanwhile his colleague is still managing many decades later. Short version, Buddhist religious orders are just as guilty of competition, pride, missing the overarching point of the religion and so on. It'd be the ones who have beaten falling victim to this that might have a chance.

    edit: to add, there is what we call a Bodhisattva (apologies again if I get any details wrong), basically people who have reached enlightenment but choose to stay on Earth (am oversimplifying a bit) to help the rest of us also reach enlightenment. From what I've seen and especially in this chapter, for me someone who has genuinely reached this state would have to be able to fully resist the compulsion to do harm and all the other bad stuff. I see it as just like the time I described in the last post where the Buddha was meditating and demons were trying to break his concentration and tempt him with various things. I think they did give it their best shot for several days but failed. I could directly parallel them to whatever causes people to cross, it's just that unlike the Buddha, it seems everyone else we've seen so far has been found wanting (well, perhaps excepting Barry).

    I'm going to guess Crossed in Japan probably covers to some degree what you're describing, namely Buddhist monks acting unlike what we'd expect post C-Day.

    As for an overall theme of the whole Crossed epidemic revealing the evil that lurks in the hearts of men (and even more so with the uninfected thrust into the backdrop filled with infected), as I've posted before, in spite of everything, I do actually see hope for the human race (well, those few still left anyway) but that's for another post ...

    One last thing for this post though "For me Crossed is almost entirely about tearing down expectations ...". The impression I get is a lot of arcs seem to have groups that fall victim to their own infighting and in effect, the Crossed effectively sweep in and and finish off what's left. It could be that by now, tearing down expectations (or confounding them) is an arc which ends without most or all of the cast dead or turned and on a genuinely optimistic note.
  9.  (11301.20)
    That's true, Shan. So many Crossed arcs have had downer endings that at this point for me a twist ending would be one that was fairly upbeat and positive, lol.

    The arcs that have come the closest to this so far have been Family Values, 3D and the Australia special.

    And I can't really add anything more that hasn't already been said about the latest chapter. The scene with Jasper and the campsite was pitch-black comedy gold. I'm eagerly waiting (and dreading) the conclusion of this saga.

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