skin-horse

Let’s face it

No matter how fast the world produces people who need punching, eventually we’re gonna run out.

Unless we plan now to extract people from history and beat the crap out of them, our children will have no one to punch at all! They’ll be forced to punch each other!

We are wasting valuable time here! Someone invent time travel so I can extract Thomas Jefferson from the past and punch his lights out.

“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

”—Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit

In which a queer genetically engineered Canadian battle dog operating a humanoid drone attempts to masquerade as a mad scientist in order to infiltrate a facility producing a “cure” for mad scientists that renders them painfully neurotypical, with the assistance of an antique death machine-turned-receptionist’s head retrofitted with mechanical spider legs by a friendly Disco-obsessed supervillain, while their coworkers—an omnisexual transvestite and a “piecemeal revenant"—monitor the situation. The characters in question are former Black Ops Social Services. I love this comic so very much.

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real, you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”-The Velveteen Rabbit 

“’Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but really loves you, then you become Real.’

‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit.

‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’”

- The Velveteen Rabbit

I’m legitimately impressed that Skin Horse has had one joke - “Robots have restrictive speaking rules”

And they just

Keep

doing it

in different ways

for weeks

It’s legitimately impressive. In a webcomics world where writers tend to throw as much lolrandom stuff as possible (and Skin Horse is kind of guilty of this at times as well), it’s good to have a reminder that even just one “wacky element” can provide a lot of joke mileage if you’re willing to dig a little. 

Speaking of getting mileage, it’s pretty amazing how much Bubbles can say with a six-word vocabulary and some expressive body language. 

youtube

Fantômas Melvins Big Band - “Skin Horse”
Live at Kentish Forum (DVD), London, 1 May 2006.

Meanwhile, Skin-Horse is still getting mileage out of “these three robots have weird speaking quirks”. You don’t need that many wacky concepts sometimes, and this is a comic where snakes talk about their “cool medicine fangs” 

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

— 

The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

This is one of my favorite lessons from childhood.

A lot of times I don’t archive binge comics, especially gag a day comics, and just try to follow along like it’s a newspaper comic. 

This is the strip that finally got me to go digging and figure out what the fuck is up with the blond girl. Apparently, she’s a sentient water-cooler who’s only capable of saying some variants of the phrase “Service is my only joy”, with a later arc adding “not” to her lexicon. 

This being Skin Horse, my reaction to learning this was “Okay, that makes sense now”