02/13/12 Walking Away


KickStarter Campaign!

Oh, and this Kickstarter campaign (and Dimitri) earned a shout-out over at io9 in their article “How To Get It On With An Alien.” (“Hello,” everyone who’s come from there!), and also another Kickstarter shout-out at Webcomic List, Thanks for spreading the word!


  1. Love your kickstarter page! I can see you got a kick out of making that video, if only to say “kppppppffffing”:D

    Sadly, I’m still blocked from making internet purchases. If it weren’t for that, believe me, I’d pitch right in!

    Are you just going to keep cutting pieces off of Martina from now until she dies? (I do remember you saying you were going to keep adding pieces onto Yuri, which culminated into her heptapod transformation)

  2. Christopher

    @The_Technical, the minimum was to pay for the printing of book #2. Additional money will go towards paying off the loans I took out for printing book #1 and to reprinting the Little Dee books (which are almost out of stock).

  3. Thomas S

    Martina’s attitude is very understandable and very annoying – thank god she had the arm missing and the last panel was well timed. Good (but poignant) page there.

    @Chris – you need some kickstarter funds to send your ashes into orbit once you die. Don’t forget to save up for one of those second hand Space Shuttles that NASA is auctioning off. You can probably get the interest by selling off individual full stops from within the webcomic – how awesome would that be ‘individually framed full stop from Page 15 panel 6’ etc., etc.,

  4. ronald

    Wow, I’d have thought their first post-massacre conversation would be a bit more…tense. The dialogue I was writing in my head certainly was. Not a criticism, just an observation.

    Since Nogg is presumably still telling all this to Mr. Zorilla, I presume that the others eventually find out that Martina didn’t die on Brograhm’s Teeth.

    At the risk of pointing out the mind-numbingly obvious, Martina could always kill HERSELF (I mean, if you want something done *right* and all…). I’m sure we’ll learn why she feels unable to do that, though.

    BTW, making sure I got this right (though I don’t guess it much matters at this point): The alien criminals, who were appalled by the Eebs’ treatment, were nonetheless the ones FORCED to carry it out by their brain-clamp “programming”? They were made to, in effect, watch themselves abuse, mutilate, etc the beings for whom they came to feel such sympathy, helpless to stop themselves from doing such horrendous things and knowing that no one would ever come to order them to stop? I mean, okay, vicious criminals who perhaps only dodged the death penalty by agreeing to work at Brograhm’s Teeth (where they perhaps came to WANT to die but were brain-clamped to be unable to kill themselves), but geez, that’s a worse deal than the Eebs get.

    Except for how Eebs are KILLED when they’re no longer “of use,” of course. I’d sincerely hope that IA has already tried to at least change the law enough that “worn-out” Eebs could at least escape death (or at the very very least be quickly and humanely killed). Even if the effort for whatever reason totally failed, surely the first step in freeing someone is to do one’s best to make sure they remain alive to BE freed. If not, well, that’s a “D’OH!” moment if I ever saw one.

  5. Wow, I’d have thought their first post-massacre conversation would be a bit more…tense. The dialogue I was writing in my head certainly was. Not a criticism, just an observation.

    I imagine it was like waking up after surgery plus waking up the morning after a huge emotional catharsis. In other words, a weirdly relaxed hollow feeling coupled with a sense of certainty about the way things is, and what can and can’t be done about it. Plus she’s obviously hella depressed.

  6. Also: I’m not sure IA knew the Eebs were being used for spacetrawlers. They were running on a campaign of “free the enslaved sentient beings”, not “free the enslaved sentient beings working in horrible pain as living trash compactors”.

  7. The Technical

    @Christopher Then I think you should make an update saying what the extra money will go for. Be transparent. Do it like the OOTS kickstarter, where once he got past the first reprint he set new goals specificaly for reprinting each additional book. That way everyone knows just how they are helping, and just what they are funding. I think you coud then link from your Little Dee page as well, possibly drawing in a few more pledges, though you might then want to make some reward levels for Little Dee books, after those goals are met. But let the fans know.

  8. Christopher

    @ronald, i think Joanna summed it up better than I can. I guess I could add, that in general IA has acted as a liberation organization; and as far as changing policy, you’ve already seen the effects of such attempts (the entirety of book #1).

  9. Christopher

    @The_Technical, thank you, excellent ideas. Yes, this is my first Kickstarter campaign, and there have been some bumps. I had mentioned it in the updates section, and have added it both to the project description and to the graphic on THIS page linking to the project.

    I might add the Little Dee books. This week I’m going to look at the pre-press for that and where it’s at. 🙂

  10. ronald

    >>>she’s obviously hella depressed

    Well, yes, but RED-9 might have been expected to still be quite ticked. She must have done some contemplation/soul-searching during the trip.

    True, IA clearly doesn’t know about the spacetrawlers deal* (or Nogg would probably have already mentioned it), but in this strip https://www.baldwinpage.com/spacetrawler/2010/03/03/spacetrawler-20/ Krep (who despite his cynicism is the one who seems to get most worked up about the subject when he talks about it at all) states that Eebs are “chucked” when they’re no longer “of use.” I presume that “chucked” is a euphemism for “killed.”

    In https://www.baldwinpage.com/spacetrawler/2011/11/15/spacetrawler-186/ Gulroth states (if I’m reading it right) that an Eeb can “live” as a Spacetrawler for 200 years. This, among other things, would imply that the Galaxy has been using Spacetrawlers for AT LEAST somewhat over 200 years, possibly much much longer. FWIW, THIS strip https://www.baldwinpage.com/spacetrawler/2011/06/26/spacetrawler-149/ *seems* to imply that Curn the Mihrrgoot is even older than that, but when he says that “we” visited the Eeb planet before they (the Eebs) started brain-clamping each other, he may just mean earlier generations of Mihrrgoots, and not him specifically.

    What can I say? I’m into continuity. 🙂

    That strip also shows that Pierrot did not at that time know about the brain-clamps, which implies (but does not PROVE) that neither IA (except for Martina, whom Red-9 told about it) nor most of the rest of the Galaxy know about it either. If Nogg and Krep knew about it, why wouldn’t they tell Pierrot and the others?

    It seems that as far as the others are concerned, Eebs have been enslaved because they are extremely useful yet are too weak-willed to stand up for themselves.

    Even Nogg, would-be champion of Eebs, simply flat-out states — https://www.baldwinpage.com/spacetrawler/2010/10/05/spacetrawler-82/ — that Eebs ARE weak-willed, presumably because that’s simply how Eebs are.

    Unless I’m wrong.

    Well, I’ve rambled on long enough. Except for the footnote. 🙂


    *Yuri does — https://www.baldwinpage.com/spacetrawler/2010/10/12/spacetrawler-84/ — but since it’s “an Eeb secret,” I presume that Gray17 only told HER about it because her brain is part-Eeb, and Yuri states that she can’t tell Martina or, presumably, anyone else, although whether this is because Eebs (even a human with a part-Eeb brain) are for whatever reason incapable of revealing it to non-Eebs, or whether it’s more of a “we DO NOT discuss it with outsiders” thing, is unclear

    and Gray17 (and thus Yuri) may not know the whole story, because even Red-9 knew only the “glossed-over” version (that spacetrawlers were made from DEAD Eebs, not living ones) until she found out about it at Brograhm’s Teeth

  11. Christopher

    @Ronald, you’re right! Nogg and Krep (and the others) believed Eebs were simply weak-willed and did not know about the brain-clamping or the Spacetrawler process. But they did know that old eebs get chucked/killed. Which puts me to my previous comment, that they’ve mostly focused on liberation, and only somewhat (and unsuccessfully) dabbled in policy change. Would it have been wise to try to implement a legalized Eeb reitrement planet? Maybe. Sure. 🙂

    Hm. Was there another question in there?

    And might I take a moment to state that i am amazed by your detailed remembrance of the strip? I am. 🙂

  12. Isaac Boyles

    Is it just me, or is there a panel where Red 9 looks like he’s almost experiencing a tiny pang of conscience? Probably not something Eebs are used to, I hope he doesn’t confuse it with stomach upset or something.

  13. Lydia Juerss

    Thought you maybe amused to know that I lost usage of my arm a couple of years ago due to a major stroke (though I still physically have the arm) but your strip today made me spit my cup of tea all over my laptop in amusement as I have not only done this exact thing myself I have also gone to casually lean on something forgetting my arm didn’t work and face planted quite spectacularly.

  14. ronald

    >>>And might I take a moment to state that i am amazed by your detailed remembrance of the strip? I am. 🙂

    Thanks. 🙂 However, I only started studying the strip last week, so it’s all fresh in my memory. Plus, as noted, I just have a natural tendency toward continuity.

    A few random comments (not questions) that have occurred to me so far:

    (1) https://www.baldwinpage.com/spacetrawler/2010/06/09/spacetrawler-48/ This strip vaguely troubled me at first because it seemed as if Yuri did indeed, however unwittingly, break the rule and cross the line on her own, meaning that she had “earned” the death penalty (even Orth was prepared to let the guards kill her if she wasn’t a trade rep) and she was only able to avoid the consequences of her own carelessness through a lie. I’m not sure why that point bothered me — no matter what she did, she certainly didn’t deserve to be killed and can hardly be blamed for wanting to save her own life — it just did, albeit, as noted, only vaguely.

    Then I looked closer and realized that she didn’t actually cross the line until she walked up to the guards, and she wouldn’t have done THAT if they hadn’t shouted at her in the first place. They lured her over to them because, presumably, no one else had broken the rule so far and they just wanted to kill SOMEBODY. So she was SET UP to break the rule, which isn’t the same thing.

    (2) https://www.baldwinpage.com/spacetrawler/2011/08/28/spacetrawler-164/ Dusty’s comment that he wants to “save” Earth begs the question of exactly what he thinks Earth needs saving FROM; it can’t be from the GOB, because they’re sworn to keep hands off of dark planets, and it can’t be the Eebs, because Dusty probably knows even less about them than anyone else. Really, the main threat to humanity is, and has always been…humanity. And that seems like a rather “deep” concept for Dusty to grasp.

    As I contemplated this point, I ended up mentally writing a monologue in which Dusty elaborated upon his thoughts about saving humanity but it ended up making him sound way nobler than he’s supposed to be (not that I was going to submit it or anything in any event). I may use it in some capacity somewhere, though, so thanks for prompting the line of thought. 🙂

    (2a) BTW — and this IS a question but sort of a rhetorical one — does Dusty wear his hair like that ON PURPOSE or is it just the way his hair grows and he can’t do a thing about it? He looks like Goldilocks…

    (3) https://www.baldwinpage.com/spacetrawler/2011/11/22/spacetrawler6ewrgb/ If Dimitri “realized almost right away [Dal] was an assassin,” that seems to imply that Dal snuck aboard the ship with the express intention of killing the crew, and was thus never part of the GOB fleet (of which she claimed to be a survivor) at all. Sort of a moot point now, and I’m probably interpreting Dimitri’s comment much too literally, but if such is the case, well, incurring life-threatening injuries (while refusing to let a Medibot treat her for them) and betting her survival upon her enemies’ compassion certainly demonstrated dedication to her craft…

    If more random comments occur to me, I may offer those as well.

  15. Christopher

    @Ronald, ha! Well, some of it you need to excuse for the sake of humor. 1. The “Yuri crossing the line bit” is largely me just fiddling with the gag of how some people see rules very strictly and don’t have the imagination (or feel they have the authority) to see gray areas. 2. Similar with Dusty wanting to “save earth.” Dusty is a nutter and sees the universe through his skewed filter. He’s simply paranoid and Earth centric. 2a. His hair naturally does that. It’s very wavy, and is just long enough that the ends begin to fwip up. 3. Dal later reports to the GOB of Dimitri’s death. She did come with the GOB fleet, and was an assassin in their ranks. The medical thing, was it her being extreme or an actual cultural thing… ? Hm. I never resolved that. I may. 🙂

  16. ronald

    Isaac: “Is it just me, or is there a panel where Red 9 looks like he’s almost experiencing a tiny pang of conscience?”

    Red-9’s behavior on Brograhm’s Teeth was a bit more complex than it might seem at first glance.

    Upon freeing Crimson-57, Red-9 seemed sort of — well, certainly not as appalled as Martina, but at least non-plussed — when Crimson-57 killed the three guards (she obviously didn’t expect that to happen) and made it clear that he would kill Red-9 and company themselves if provoked.

    She admitted that she had erred in how she had educated Crimson-57 and wanted to do a better job with the other Eebs (except that Crimson-57 released them all before she could do anything about it).

    Her disregard for the station personnel’s lives seemed more based on the fact that they were convicted murderers rather than the fact that the participated in the station’s atrocities (since, as I mentioned earlier, their brain-clamps really don’t seem to leave them any choice in the matter, a subtlety that Crimson-57 missed). And, really, no matter how sympathetic the criminals seemed, that DID NOT change the fact that they had, collectively, committed well over a thousand murders (of the four guards we met, even the one with the lowest body count had killed two people; multiply by a thousand and, well…); becoming nice guys did not absolve them of that. Better people than Red-9 might have been just as willing to write them off.

    {Parenthetically, although they could have personally testified as to what went on at Brograhm’s Teeth (even though they were brain-clamped to never leave the station, they could have testified by approxiscan OSLT), that doesn’t seem to have occurred to Red-9 *or* to Martina, since she didn’t bring it up (they certainly won’t be testifying NOW…).}

    When Eebs burned Martina alive, Red-9 saved Martina’s life, even though Martina’s death would have removed any obstacle she might have posed to Red-9’s decisions (it would have, for instance, prevented Martina from subsequently, you know, BLOWING UP the station). She probably brain-clamped Martina to obey her for the same reason, she simply didn’t trust Martina to do what she, Red-9, thought was best for the Eebs. And, again, motives notwithstanding, Martina’s actions sort of proved those concerns to have been 100% well-founded.

    (I thought it mildly odd that Martina never said anything to the effect of “Why’d you brain-clamp me, anyway, you knob? I thought we were friends.” Again, not a complaint, just a comment.)

    She admitted that the freed Eebs needed to be “rehabilitated,” and even when she seemed to think it would be cool if the Eebs figured out how to escape the station on their own, she was only enthusiastic about the idea of them ESCAPING, NOT about the idea of them going on to slaughter entire populations. Although she never said it in so many words, she did seem to agree with Martina that letting the Eebs massacre the galaxy would be a BAD thing.

    AND she took Martina with her instead of fellow Eeb Cornflower-94, despite the fact that Martina had just signed the death warrants of the freed Eebs and WANTED to be left behind to die (which C-94 presumably did NOT want). Even after everything else, Red-9 could have trusted Martina to launch the shuttle, since if absolutely nothing else Martina would at least have not wanted *C-94* to die.

    But while C-94 would have made a perfect lackey, Red-9 saved Martina instead, thereby herself signing one Eeb’s death warrant. As with most other characters, there is more to Red-9 than there seems.

  17. ronald

    But if the station had been moved OUT of Brograhm’s Teeth — as initially planned — that wouldn’t have been an issue. That was part of why Martina wanted to move the station, because she knew the criminals were brain-clamped to be unable to leave it.


    Red-9 was initially against it, wanting to destroy the station instead (and kill the criminals), although — and I’m not trying to nitpick per se — I can’t imagine how she thought they were going to get the imprisoned Eebs to safety if they did that.

    Notice that, when Martina in fact destroyed the station — the very thing that Red-9 wanted to do *in the first place* — Red-9 was at a total loss to save anyone but herself and Martina (Irony: It’s What’s For Dinner.). If she’d earlier had a plan for the eventuality, she didn’t even TRY it.

    So I think we can say that “thinking things through” is not one of Red-9’s strengths.

  18. Prairie

    I want a job right now soooo bad. You know why? So I can be Dmitri’s old love/ship. Sad. I need a life.

    I feel badly for Martina. She didn’t ask for any of this. She’s been thrust into these events and has certainly gone above and beyond what anyone could have expected of her. Since you’re selling things off, how much to *not* off her? Bwaahaahaaa.

    Oh right… no income. Sigh.

    At least can you get her something so she can feel pretty? She likes clothes so much…. if not awesome surgery (Yuri has extra arms laying around… which… omg… future epic battle between Yuri and Martina and their augmented selves?!?!?!) then perhaps a fluttery arrangement of veils. Or… pattern changing skin! Coooool. (“Who you calling ‘paisley-face?'”)

    So very glad you met your Kickstarter goal! \o/ ‘yay!’

  19. ronald

    >>>(Yuri has extra arms laying around… which…

    Well, remember, Martina has serious reservations about how Yuri’s handling her own situation. That might make her leery of replacing her arm with anything at all. Would that be an overreaction? Sure. Too bad that people overreact all the time…

  20. James

    *sigh* Why did Ronald have to link to a strip with Yuri pre-mutilation? She always struck me as the most innocent and naively enthusiastic member of the crew (and thus, my favourite :P) up until the point she started getting pieces removed and added on like a Mr Potato Head…

    …I miss old Yuri *sniff*

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