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(Transcript and visual captions below}

         "Wait, where are you going?" Angela asked, setting her knitting in her lap.
        "Jack is calling..." Vitus held a mid-stride stance. He hoped this call was just another Allison issue, they didn't require much work, and he had to admit... it was fun to get out of the house and be with the kids.
        "Don’t leave me! It’s probably just a trick to get me alone so I can be attacked!" Angela let her sewing work fall to the floor without a second glance, and stood with a pleading expression.
        "What do you suggest then? He could be in trouble!"
        "Take me with you, if you must go. With the new vehicle."
        "With the car?! What about last time with Gaston- ..Anyway..." Vitus was incredulous, but regretted mentioning the traumatic event.
        "This one is safer, I feel. And can't I trust you more than the betrayer of my heart?" she fluttered her tremendously dense eyelashes.
Vitus sighed and nodded, and Angela sprang to put on a fresh face of makeup.
        "...'Safer'? -With the bloody convertible?!" Vitus mumbled to himself as he jingled his keys loudly to inspire a swift exit. Unfortunately, it did not.

In which I must not make a sunglasses at night joke.

 Vitus rubbed his forehead briefly, trying to not look as frustrated as he felt.
      "Ha, I'm so glad you're okay," he said weakly, gazing into a blank brick wall, "You know how worried I was when I sensed whatever was left of you was in that tiny cardboard box? Why did you hide like that? Why not just fly away?"
      Jack raised his eyebrows even higher, "Aren't you listening? I couldn't! I... I don't even know how! Something is after me! I-I don't know why it didn't-- he didn't..."
Vitus closed his eyes for a moment, trying to think of the right words, "Wait, wait... I don't... A serial killer is after you? Jack... You're already dead. What would he want with you? It doesn't make sense."
      "You don't believe me?!"
      "I... No. I believe you saw something that scared you very badly. That's plain to see. Let's not, let's.. um.."
Sombreta tapped her non-existent watch.
      "--Okay, of course Jack," Vitus continued, "I believe you. How about Angela and I take a look around and see if we can figure out what's going on?"
      "No, I mean... that's the thing! I can't... It's like he wasn't really there somehow! But he was...!" Jack gestured uselessly, unable to communicate.
Sombreta sighed.
      "Um, one step at a time, Jack..." Vitus said, wishing he'd spent more time reading crime fiction.

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     July 26th, 2012
     By:  Kelly

I had a "I give up" message all prepared for this page, something about it being 'the motherfucker of all motherfuckers' and it was 'keeeeeling me!', but as soon as I had finished it, I was filled with a burning ambition to forge on. I don't know why, but this page was slightly hell on earth-ish. I did a major last minute rewrite on Sunday, that caused the delay that Christopher was thankfully able to fill in for, and then this week's work delayed this one as well. Sigh. At least I got paid to animate an angry taco this week. Sorry everyone... :(

Something more pleasant: Christopher is such a zoology nerd, when I showed him this page, he said about the panel where Jack can't fly "No Jack, that's maladaptive behavior!" xD WTF? For the curious, these funny little birds that the Sombretas can turn into are 'nightjars' as seen in this youtube video with our favorite ornithologist, David Lindo. They have little whiskers and giant mouths and are soooo fuzzy and cute. OK, enough bird-geeking out. I love you guys and am so sorry I disappeared for a bit.

             TRANSCRIPT:  This is the text of the comic, for purposes such as translation and internet searches.


(Vitus drives Sombreta. He is distracted by the telepathic calls from Jack, the effort of driving, and pretending to pay attention to Angela.)

ANGELA: Poor Gaston-Louis, he has surely been tricked into hating me.


VITUS: Mmhm.

ANGELA: Why would anyone hate me? I don't understand it. I never do anything bad, right?


(Elsewhere, Minchin's face leers.)



(Jack flees from Minchin, looking over his shoulder. Minchin speaks from off-panel.)

MINCHIN: Hide-and-go-seek? I love games!


(With a hissing noise, Minchin's head and shoulders emerge from a wall in front of startled Jack.)

MINCHIN: I believe I said, "Knock-knock."


(Terrified by Minchin's limbs magically grabbing at him from all directions, Jack transforms into a bird.)


(Jack is a startled-looking bird.)

JACK: (Thinks) What! How did I--


(Jack discovers he can't seem to fly, falling on the ground. Minchin stands nearby, mocking.)

MINCHIN: How many Southenders does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Well?


(Jack flaps around on the asphalt, letting out a sad desperate bird cry. Minchin's gloved clown hands reach out of the ground for him.)

MINCHIN: You've got no sense of humor.


(Jack's car sits abandoned in the middle of the road with the door open. Vitus and Angela talk from off-panel.)

VITUS: That's Jack's car!

ANGELA: What a silly place to park it.


(Vitus looks upset.)

VITUS: ...He stopped calling...!


(Vitus gets out of the car.)

VITUS: Oh Jack...


(Vitus looks for Jack and Angela follows.)

VITUS: I think-- I think down here!


(Vitus advances on a pile of small boxes while Angela cowers behind.)

ANGELA: No, I don't think so. I don't think he's here. We should go home now. He's just fine, I'm sure.


(Vitus finds bird Jack under a box with his eyes squeezed shut. Angela looks nervous, far behind.)

ANGELA: Probably just lost his keys. He's too needy, that one.

VITUS: There you are.


(Vitus cradles bird Jack in his hands.)

VITUS: I didn't know you could do this trick.


VITUS: Learned it without me eh--

(The bird interrupts him, turning into collapsing human Jack. Vitus looks alarmed.)


(Vitus tries to help Jack, who is shaking with fear and incoherent, while Angela has her arms folded in the background.)

VITUS: Jack! What’s wrong? What happened?

JACK: Minchin get me I-I don't know


(Wide-eyed Jack tries to explain to Vitus.)

VITUS: Please! Explain. What are you talking about?

JACK: Minchin-- S-serial killer.. He was chasing me, I couldn't get away!


(Jack's memory depicted, the clown Minchin menacing him.)

JACK: I mean I-I thought.. but it can't be-- I just c-closed my eyes but he didn't go away...


(Vitus looks back at Sombreta, annoyed at her indifference.)

JACK: I thought you would save me!


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