West of Bathurst, by Kari Maaren

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Monday, August 5, 2013

Rahim is all, "I've been out of the comic for a month now.  Or, you know, twelve hours.  Why is there a beardy man?"

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Okay...I actually finished the comic in the wee hours, but I was too tired to deal with the contest stuff, so I left it for the morning.  It is now the morning.  Let's see what we've got:

Summer Contest #6 involved contestants writing little explanations of what Marie might do next if she subscribed to the philosophy "What would Batman do?".  The explanations could have been submitted at any point in the last seven days, but they needed to take into account everything that had happened up to the point of submission.

There were entries from Erwaro, Dances With Fish, Lore Hera, Laura, Nobilis,  Paige,  Fan,  Tuxgeo, and Preethi.  Points (one each) go to the following entries:


The first thing she would do is keep trying to ignore Casey, just because there’s too much going on. When he persists, something shifts in her mind. She, in her mind, BECOMES Batman. Batwoman. Batgirl. Whatever. She immediately reaches out and grabs Casey by his shirt, demanding to know who he is and what he wants. Or tries to. Her physical state means she mostly reaches over and flops her hand towards him. Casey proposes his bargain- his infernal, sinister, bargain. Bat-Marie would ordinarily never consider agreeing with such a deal, but she is also consumed with a desire to avenger her parents deaths. So she agrees. The deal is done, and the fragment of Marie that considers herself to be Batman is quieted down after a nice nap. This fragment of Marie’s mind later changes to become Evil Marie, who suspects that Marie set the fire long before there was any real reason to suspect it. That’s why she antagonizes Marie like she does. It’s also part of why Casey can see and talk with Evil Marie- he’s conversed with her before, so why would it be strange now?

I was amused by the number of people who built theories about Evil Marie into their answers.  People also tended to notice that Marie had dead parents, just like Batman.  Erwaro's explanation makes use of both these elements.  Erwaro usually wins because of his creativity, but this time actual logic plays a part too.  I do like the idea of Marie having a little Dark Knight/World's Greatest Detective living inside her brain.

This theory has been disproven by subsequent events, but it was submitted early in the week, so that's okay.

Dances With Fish:

Evil Marie will suddenly break through and start to talk to Casey, since Marie is actually Satan and Casey is some hapless soul she tricked into replacing her years before, while Marie made herself human and found a family to raise her. She locked away that part of herself while she lived out a normal life, (well, normal until the whole fire starting thing,) and thus Evil Marie was born. Casey’s visiting her in the hospital because he’s trying to trick her into going back to being Satan, but Evil Marie’s too smart and will show up to tell him to buzz off. So, this would be more “What Would Batman Do If He Happened To Be Two-Face.” I guess that would make her Bat-Face.

Yes, this is another early entry, but I swear I'm not just going down the list in order; the two first entries were two of my favourites.  Okay, so DWF has made Marie into more of a Two-Face than a Batman, but as Harvey Dent has always been one of my favourite Batman-related characters, I can't help but approve.  As well, this theory provides yet another explanation for Evil Marie.

This theory has also more or less been disproven, though possibly not entirely.


Casey blinks, and the hospital bed is empty. He looks around shiftily, left, right, left again, and sees a huge fist moving in on his face at a high speed, knocking him completely out. BatMarie searches his pockets for clues, to no avail. Frustrated, she wakes up and spends the next seven years brooding and exercising in a cave that is accessed by a secret button hidden in the collar of the Elvis.

This one is short and sweet, but I approve of its sarcastic references to Batman's violence and the whole brooding thing, the latter of which certainly fits Marie, even if the actual story doesn't.

All the entries were fun to read.  Thanks for playing, guys.

Summer Contest #7:

Let's make this one a contest that doesn't require knowledge of Batman.  In fact, let's make it a pure guessing game.

Since I started posting comics every day (and yes, that will continue this week), I've been putting the comic up whenever I happen to finish it, which is sometimes the evening before it's "due" and sometimes the next morning.  I aim for evening postings, but that's not always possible.  Today's comic is, of course, already late.

Your job is to guess how many times this week the comic will be on time, with "on time" constituting "posted before I go to bed."  This will be for comics posted for dates between Tuesday, August 6th and Monday, August 12th.  You may guess any number between 0 and 7, with 7 meaning "every comic will be posted on time" and 0 meaning "no comic will be posted on time."  You are free to put as much or a little thought into this as you like.  Simply choosing a number at random is likely a perfectly sound strategy.

But here, of course, is the rub:

For the contest to be fair, entries would have to be posted (in the comments section) by tonight at 9:00 p.m. EDT (which is the earliest time at which I might post Tuesday's comic).  However, that may be asking a bit too much of people.  The contest will therefore be open until Wednesday at 9:00 p.m. EDT, with the following scheme of points awarded:

1)  If you post your guess on Monday before 9:00 p.m. EDT, and you happen to be correct, you will earn three points.

2)  If you post your guess on Tuesday before 9:00 p.m. EDT, and you happen to be correct, you will earn two points.

3)  If you post your guess on Wednesday before 9:00 p.m. EDT, and you happen to be correct, you will earn one point.

Each person gets only one guess.  People posting later in the contest will have more information, but there will be fewer points up for grabs.

Incidentally, I think we can say that the contest involving people guessing which old characters would turn up is officially over now.  Congratulations to everybody who earned points.

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Comics copyright Kari Maaren 2006-2013