04/10/13 Qwahntoo’s Demands Met


Another fill-in I did was posted. This time it was a fill-in for James Anderson’s “Ellie On Planet X,” which is sci-fi as well as heartwarming, funny, and delightful.

Read My Fill-In, and then plow through the archive, you will not be disappointed.

Not a lot else new. I joined the YMCA (fortunately they have financial assistance for low income) and so I’ll get to play racquetball again soon. I can’t wait. I also got edits back on my novel, so one more round of writing, then text edits and then shop it around. Such a slow process!


  1. JugglerTony

    Sorry but I just gotta be one of those people: 2nd panel should be “faster than” not “faster then”
    For me it’s like hitting a brick wall. Luckily it was at the beginning so it was still an enjoyable comic.

    Also this is your PI page at least according to the URL. 314.

  2. Christopher

    hahahahaha! I love you guys.

    If I DO for some reason decided to actually give an explanation, would “He could be knocked back by the steam explosion, from the lazer boiling the water inside of him.” be the best?

  3. asdf

    So far, “He could be knocked back by the steam explosion, from the lazer boiling the water inside of him.” is the best explanation – I actually intended to write just that, but then I realized that it’s flawed, because he’d probably get injured by the steam trying to escape from inside his body and taking bits and pieces along. I’d think it’ll have to be an external, disposable layer of skin/exoskeleton/waxy covering thereon that burns or boils away like the ablative thermal protection stuff on a space capsule.


  4. Night-Gaunt

    I never could understand anyone giving up their weapon to someone who would kill them and the hostage. Never do it.

    If we were hit by a powerful enough LASER we would blow up from the steam of our body blasting out wards as it is super heated. Booom!!!

    Same with a plasma bolt. Like in the first Terminator, when someone was hit they just exploded.

  5. zb

    Yeah, explosive ablation seems most likely, if it actually is a coherent photon thrower and not some other kind of unspecified shooty ray gun.

    Of course, ablation means that it DOES have a damaging effect on him.

  6. It’s interesting that Emily managed to lower the level of discourse to the childish level
    “If you come at me, I’ll stop you”
    “Yeah? well if you stop me, I’ll just use my super sonic light saber!”
    “Yeah? Well if you use your super sonic light saber, I’ll..”

    until she got him monologuing

  7. Muzhik

    @Christopher, Qwahntoo only said that lasers don’t kill him; he said nothing about not being damaged. So he could have been thrown back by the explosive expansion of, say, two or three of those clamping claw things he keeps waving around, along with (as you mentioned) some black sooty remnants. However, something that has evolved that level of defensive mechanism (I’ve counted 3 of the claw arms and at least that many plain tentacles, all on the side facing us) has done so in order to combat some other nasty organism. The easiest way to provide defense is to simply detach the item from the body, like porcupine quills. So Qwahntoo’s defense may be to have the claw grasp the opponent; when the opponent pulls away it pulls the claw limb with it, which then tightens its grip to be unbreakable. Qwahntoo then consumes the opponent and regenerates another claw out of a non-clawed limb.

    So, yeah, Qwahntoo can probably survive the loss of a couple of those claw things. He’s probably want to take a vacation somewhere until he’s regenerated, but hey, that’s the price you pay for being at the top of your local food chain. (Given Emily’s behavior, I suspect humans are about to give Qwahntoo’s species a run for that prize.)

    And regarding lasers and bodies: [a href=”https://www.baldwinpage.com/spacetrawler/2010/03/10/spacetrawler-22/”]Laserblades and Bounty Hunters[/a]

  8. Ken

    Y’all are being too literal. The gun went “zap” not “pop”. Laser as a generic term for an energy weapon, not an actual coherent photon emitter
    Even a cutting capable laser that’s too small to be considered a credible weapon will make a helluva air pop. Baby thunder if you please. A serious laser pistol of the sci-fi future could possibly create an air disruption that might even toss a “waxy yellow buildup” like Qwahntoo back a bit. Old humorous insult, I know Qwahntoo is green.
    Pesonally, I would’ve remoted the ship’s zap guns to a tuned handheld laser designator. Qwahntoo scoffs, my puny hand laser pops, the ships’ nearest zapper sends claws everywhere!

  9. TB

    Dudes, it is entirely possible to overthink a comic strip. He got blown away because it looked cool.

    Anyway, there’s no such thing as a laser that can be set from “stun” to “kill.” Maybe you can set one from “crap, is that ever bright” to “crap! It burns!” Even the original Star Trek writers knew that and had to pull “phasers” out of their sphincters to wave it away. Aw, damn, I’m overthinking this, aren’t I?

  10. Brad

    “… lasers don’t kill me, because whatever you blow off just grows back instantly.” would work. And probably give Emily plenty of reasons to keep shooting.

    Then again, it’s well established Holywood Movie Physics that shooting someone with a gun causes them to be propelled backwards far in excess of what the conservation of momentum would indicate. 🙂

  11. Captain Jack

    Don’t know about you folks, but for me a remark like “You won’t shoot” gets an instant pull of the trigger. It’s a matter of honor with a healthy dollop of “Screw You” thrown in for good measure.

  12. CompaniaHill

    He was clearly knocked back by his own reaction. Maybe the laser frequency hit his nervous system hardest. “Set phasers to spastic!” Hee hee, now I am imagining Em making him dance like a puppet.

  13. minetruly

    Though Daniel clearly has the best explanation, I had to remark that it is, indeed, possible for a true coherent-light laser to propel someone backward, as demonstrated by xkcd:


    [As we join this quote, a hypothetical array of super-lasers has been aimed at the Moon.]

    “When a chunk of rock is vaporized, it doesn’t just disappear. The surface layer of the Moon becomes a plasma, but that plasma is still blocking the path of the beam.

    Our laser keeps pouring more and more energy into the plasma, and the plasma keeps getting hotter and hotter. The particles bounce off each other, slam into the surface of the Moon, and eventually blast away into space at a terrific speed.

    This flow of material effectively turns the entire surface of the Moon into a rocket engine—and a surprisingly efficient one, too. Using lasers to blast off surface material like this is called laser ablation, and it turns out to be a promising method for spacecraft propulsion.”

    If Qwahntoo is resistant to lasers, something about the character of his skin must allow it to ablate away in a manner that creates this plasma rocket, propelling him backward while only doing shallow surface damage to his body.

    Evidence supporting this theory include the iconically laser sound “ZAP,” the plasma-like burst at the site of impact, and the “Ow!” of pain. Furthermore, by estimating Qwanhtoo’s mass, the distance he was knocked, and the amount of time the laser was fired, we can discover the power of the laser gun.

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