Magic Panty Pony Adventures?

Filed in Webcomic review

(From Something Positive. Click on image to see it full-sized.)

(Foreword: This review was written by Steve Anderson as I was feeling under the weather. There is a second review following this one.)

The impossible has happened, folks.

I just got Tangent back reading a comic he outright refuses to touch.

He sat there, snug and comfy in front of his computer hundreds of miles away from my Video Store Guy badassery, knowing that the technology had not yet been developed for me to reach out and give him a head-knocking via net transmission, so he just sighed, and yawned, and told me how disinterested he was in one of my personal fave webcomics.

Something Positive. (

Well, TODAY I got dear old Tangent.

All’s I had to do was point out THIS:

Oh, and THIS:

And between the two of them, I got THIS:

Tangent: Damn it, now i have to start reading it! Curses!

Hee hee hee hee hee.

See, there’s some history involved in this. For those of you who don’t habla, Kestrel is the brainchild of Aeire, one of the single baddest-ass personalities currently inhabiting the web today. She’s a freaking genius, folks. A killer artist, a good storyteller, and a positively vicious individual when she’s sufficiently irked. It’s like dealing with the pocket nuke of art.

And Tangent and I, back in the days when I went by the handle Black Narwhal, both had our share of go-rounds with this zenithic (not to mention downright HOT, thank you all to pieces!) personality.

We all haunted the same board, following around the good (not to mention frequently covered on this space right here, Tangent, you wimpnoodle) folks over at College Roomies From Hell.

Aeire was responsible for a slew of fanartings, whilst Tangent and I stuck to the wordsmithery. He favored the highly character developed, while I went the pure-on hack route, dreaming up about a dozen science fiction-esque scenarios for the characters to muddle their way through.

So now, needless to say, the reappearance of a dear old friend’s brainchild on a comic that I’m rather fond of and Tangent wouldn’t touch before now has gotten us both rather twitchy. Where the HELL is Randy going to take this? Is this a quick bit shot?

Is this a new permanent character reflecting the decommissioning of “Queen of Wands,” Aeire’s former strip?

Or is Randy just being Randy, an occasional bastard in his own right, and giving us all something to noodle over that means precisely nothing at all?

Only way we’ll know is to follow along.

Steve Anderson

With my death, live for me…

(From Misfile. Click on image to see it full-sized. I’d warn you about the nekkid girls but you can easily see it on the thumbnail and it’s from behind anyway.)

Written to Rasmus’s song “Not Like the Other Girls” because it so suited this scene… well, mostly the chorus of the song. Never read the lyrics until a moment ago, didn’t realize they could be considered that depressing. Oh, also written to Roxette’s “Almost Unreal.”

If this were Websnark, this would be submitted without comment. Because the images themselves, the dialog, this sums it up. But I’m not Eric, and I’ve a need to tangent on topics because I’m drawn to. And I would have done this last night but this rather insidious bug wormed its way into my system. (Indeed, I spent the day curled up on a reclining chair (real comfy one!) under a quilt, napping the day away. Even had the chance to sub today but… well, those kids might have given this bug to me, but I’m not about to infect everyone else in the school.) Even now I’m still sick but… well, I need to write this up.

This story has been a long time coming. From when we first learned of Kamikaze Kate and her dead sister Angelica, it’s been a weight hanging over Ash. And at first, Ash was hoping that having turned into a girl, she would now not have to worry about Kate, who was determined that no man would claim to be the best racer on any course Kate races. Unfortunately, that didn’t come about. And further, Angelica hadn’t moved on. Instead she hovered, a dread presence, over every race Kate was in, dragging down the other racers, ensuring they would lose.

Misfile has long been an interesting mixture of story styles. It’s been a story of friendship, of self-discovery, and more. It’s been a racing comic. It’s been an exploration into what it is to be a woman (from a man’s perspective, tossed into that world). But now… it’s a horror story. A tragic horror story. And not just because of how Angelica died, or that Kate has dedicated her life after that to throwing down anyone who claimed to be the best. The first time out, Kate crushed Ash… but the story didn’t end there. Because Ash was a girl, she was getting a second chance. A chance to give Kate a real race.

The second race would be different. Ash wanted to face down Kate, with Angelica’s spirit there… but after that the angels could deal with the dark spirit however they wished. So they tried.

Vashiel failed. His power bound (as he was not on Earth on business), Angelica was stronger than him. She refused to listen and broke free, leaving him collapsed on the ground. Interestingly, it was Rumisiel who took up the chains, Rumisiel who, being banished from Heaven, who was able to hold back the dark spirit. Rumisiel, who has done so much wrong, who has screwed up peoples lives, who manages to make Angelica’s spirit see the light.

It’s an interesting converse, the failed angel being the one being who can calm an angry spirit. I doubt anyone else could have done it. Because in a way, doesn’t Angelica feel that she’s failed her sister? She died. She wasn’t there for her. And her sister’s sorrow turned to hate. She swore to take down those who killed her sister… and to ensure no one would take the title that Angelica should have held. Angelica is chained to Kate. It is mutual bonds… but as Kate bound Angelica to her with her grief… so too did Angelica bind Kate to this never-ending cycle of pain, by ensuring that she’d constantly race those who tried to be the best.

So Angelica fades away, her chains broken, the light waiting for her. A door closes. A life ends. And a life begins anew. Kate becomes Katie… beloved sister, who needs to find a new story to tell, a new path to follow. And Angelica becomes Angie, loved and missed, forever a part of her sister’s life and yet finally being allowed to rest. Held one last time… but not out of a twisted need for vengeance… but out of sisterly love.

Of all the paths this story could have told, I did not see this. I saw a darker story in the wings, a story of possession, of Ash displaced and Kate’s sister reincarnated in Ash’s flesh. But Misfile is not a horror story. And while a story of spiritual possession, and of Emily and the angels struggling to free Ash from this form of spiritual oblivion would have likely been done quite well… instead horror turns to sorrow. Hate fades and becomes acceptance. And a soul is not lost… but saved.

Whether Ash wins or loses this race, the true victor this night is Katie, no longer Kamikaze Kate. (Not to say that Ash isn’t a victor in this as well. She’s able to mention bras and periods without stuttering or getting flustered. Yes, she’s got other things on her mind at the moment… but everytime she thinks of how horrible her situation is now… she can remember that she can cope, especially in times of great stress. And more, she faced down Kate and Angelica together and was not broken. She proved to herself that she could stand up to Kamikaze Kate. So I guess they both won this race. I wouldn’t be surprised if the race itself ends in a tie as well.)

I’m left wondering… how can Ash return to being a man after this? If she does, she loses so much. She loses her mother again… perhaps she loses Emily as well. But more than this, there would be no second race. Kate would continue her rampage. She would not find acceptance for her sister’s death. And Angie would drag Kate into death, and likely damn herself in doing so.

But then… I’m sure that the Creator wouldn’t let that happen. Perhaps things would be rewritten a touch; Kate would give male Ash a second chance. Maybe a letter, torn up, would instead have been mailed. And perhaps instead of Harvard, Emily would go to a local college… and remain there for Ash.

That’s for the future, though. And who’s to say that Emily will want to return her life to what it was, if enough time has passed and she’s grown to accept having lost two years of her life. Perhaps Ash would be enough to sacrifice that future, and instead forge one with the young lady-turned-guy whom she’s shared so much with.

I’m not sure if even Chris knows for certain. Characters have a tendency to change things when they truly come alive. And plotlines sometimes go astray, unexpectedly. But if it’s even half as spectacular as this story has been… it will be something truly worth reading.

Robert A. Howard

Addendum Note: I got a sudden chill… and a darker ending for this story. There is a principle of Chekhov (the writer, not the Starfleet Officer) that states if you see a pair of dueling pistols on the mantle in the first act, by the third act they will be used. Well, Colin saw Ash’s new car… and has a bit of hostility toward the new Queen of the Mountain. What if he shows up near the end of the race… to try and force Ash to lose? And lose big?

And Katie… so recently freed of her hatred and anger… tries to save a sister in arms from a crash?

Often in Shakespeare the difference between a tragedy and a comedy was that in a tragedy people died, while in the comedies people lived through the ending; changed, enhanced perhaps, but still alive. Might Katie’s end be a tragedy, so soon after accepting her sister’s death and finding joy in life again? We’ll have to see… Rob

Addendum Mark 2: Well, the race has ended and it appears that Colin hasn’t appeared. And Ash lost. Or did she? I think this is possibly the closest race that Kate has had yet… and it’s what she’s been looking for. She may have enjoyed this race more than any other since her sister has died. Besides, it’s not just the racer… it’s the car, and Kate’s car is very powerful. You did good, Ash. You did good. I’m just glad my suspicions were unfounded. Rob

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