Hello everyone, and welcome back to my review. In the last part, we saw that minus is now dead, so this strip is called minus. – the ghost –. It opens with two women at a man’s deathbed. The man’s girlfriend melodramatically yells about how tragic this is and that she just wants another chance to speak with him. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to her, minus floats to the scene, though she is invisible because she is a ghost. However, she heard the woman’s plea, because the she touches the man’s body, and he awakens.

Cut to the hallway outside, where a nurse is telling a doctor all about this, but he (and a young man standing next to him) are not at all surprised, because this has been going on all over the hospital. The doctor says this is a miracle, and the way he is drawn, he looks genuinely cheerful about it. The three of them rush off to perform some tests on their miraculously resuscitated patients, and after a blank panel, we see that the patients are walking around like zombies, while the staff runs away in terror. And they were probably getting on quite nicely in the spirit world before minus yanked them out of it. This is continued on the next strip, which has no dialogue except for occasional squeaks of fright. Since most people who die at a hospital were likely deathly ill or horribly maimed, we see that some of these zombies are very damaged. One is apparently reduced to a skeleton. He comes across this guy dressed in a nice suit, and takes it from him. He looks kind of snazzy, even though he’s a skeleton. Apparently the skeleton leaves the hospital, and goes to a florist. When she sees him, the florist just screams for the next three panels, and he takes a bouquet of flowers. This guy’s not very nice, stealing like that.

Meanwhile, somebody is reading a book in his house, while wearing a bowler hat. The skeleton arrives at his window, and takes the hat from him without him even knowing what’s going on. Then the skeleton arrives at somebody’s apartment. When he knocks at the door, there is a panel where he waits for the reply. Then, the occupant sticks a shotgun out the window and blows his skull off, killing him a second time. Oh my God.

The 111th strip begins with the green-haired girl talking to Clary at lunch. So I guess it was relevant earlier that she was in their study group. The green-haired girl is apparently explaining to her classmates why minus is not at school.1 Clary questions why minus crumbled to pieces, and the green-haired girl says that she keeps them in a box under her bed. And then in the next panel she continues eating as though this were not disturbing at all. Okay, this is just morbid. What kind of person does that? The next panel shows the table from a different angle, revealing that the white-haired girl and the ponytailed girl are also at the table. The white-haired girl asks for confirmation that minus is dead. When the green-haired girl says yes, the white-haired girl looks at her, horrified, and calls her a murderer. Which is technically true, though it was she who proposed the idea of hitting minus with a rock to begin with. The green-haired girl looks at her funny, and says that minus is fine. But the white-haired girl doesn’t believe this, and so the green-haired girl yells that minus is fine. You’d think this would call more attention to her. The green-haired girl clearly doesn’t want to talk about it anymore, as we see her continuing to eat, while not looking at anybody else. She claims that minus is just having too much fun being a ghost to come back to life. But since none of them can see ghosts, I don’t think too many people will believe her.

We then cut to the green-haired girl in class, from the looks of things, trying to answer a test. minus’s ghost shows up, and tells her that the answer to the math problem is seven. I wonder how minus knows this, and the green-haired girl is also suspicious, because she claims that’s wrong. minus does her cool ghostly fade-out, and to her friend’s annoyance, arrives with the red-haired ghost, whom her friend has not met yet. She looks a little confused as to why she was brought to this kid’s test, and I can actually see why minus chose her and not Sara. The red-haired ghost looks a few years older than minus and her classmates. Unfortunately, since the red-haired ghost is something of a delinquent, she doesn’t know much about math, as she also says that the answer is seven.2 By now the green-haired girl has had enough. She yells at them that they’re wrong— and attracts the teacher’s attention. The teacher yells at her, that there is to be no talking during the test. The green-haired girl apologizes, but the ginger ghost is annoyed. Over the green-haired girl’s objections, she goes off-panel, presumably to haunt the teacher, much to minus’s confusion and the green-haired girl’s horror. And in the last panel, we hear the teacher screaming, while minus looks upset and the green-haired girl is reduced to a double facepalm.

Now, think about the strip this way. It is basically about a kid, whose friend dies in an accident that she was responsible for. Then, her classmates blame her for her friend’s death, and if them hounding her about it isn’t enough, the ghost of said friend reappears to haunt her at the most inopportune times. In any other comic, this would actually be really disturbing. I really wind up feeling sorry for the green-haired girl.

Anyway, the 112th strip has minus, still a ghost mind you, swimming in the ocean, taking advantage of the fact that she no longer needs to breathe.3 She looks at the pretty fish, and finds one as big as her whole body. She follows it, and the scene cuts to two kids, one of whom looks like he is one of minus’s classmates, perched on a rock, fishing. They are startled to see some fish leap out of the water and begin to fly. After first being terrified, the two decide to catch them with butterfly nets. There is no dialogue in this entire strip.

The 113th strip begins with a little girl, who is having a tea party with her stuffed animals. Apparently she has real tea, as she is seen drinking it in a later panel. Much to her horror, she sees a tea cup floating in midair before her very eyes. Sheepishly, she tries to escape by saying that she forgot the cookies… only for a plate of cookies to float into the room in the next panel.

Cut to later on, where we see this same girl dressed like a princess, impressing her friends. She is no longer afraid of minus, as when her friends ask where she got that dress, she says that she has a magic servant who just showed up one day. Of course, her friends ask for stuff too, but unfortunately for the girl, minus has already left, and she has no idea because minus is invisible. So when she asks minus to give her friends dresses too, they get nothing, and mock her by just pretending to be wearing pretty clothes. The girl protests that she does have a magic servant, really, and gives her friends a death glare when they don’t stop it. The last panel is her sulking at the table, complaining to one of her stuffed animals. I actually won’t blame minus for this one; she may have left before the girl’s friends arrived.

In the 114th strip, some ghosts are looking at the grave of one of them, a certain Ted Stone. Yes, a one-shot character is getting a name this time. So, this ghost teenager whose bangs cover her right eye is impressed with Ted,4 because his family have placed flowers on his grave every month since he died ten years ago— that’s 120 times for those not keeping track.

So the teenaged ghost says that Ted’s family must love him a whole lot, and while he basks in this praise, he points out that the grave next to his, which only has the epitaph “Ted’s grave”, has never been visited by anyone, which is really sad. But Ted Stone just says that the other Ted wasn’t cool enough in life, and doesn’t care at all that this guy isn’t remembered. Those two ghosts leave, and we just now see that minus and Sara saw the whole thing. So Sara suggests that they be the ones to decorate Ted’s grave with flowers. This they do, and they fly away, pleased with their handiwork.

Over the next four panels, much time elapses, and the flowers on Ted’s grave slowly disappear, until it is once again bare, a stark reminder of the transience of things. Sic transit gloria mundi.

I am actually surprised how many minor characters are suddenly getting names, as the 115th strip stars a medium named Lem McNole. Apparently he actually can see ghosts, since as will be seen, minus and the red-haired girl appear on his show, suggesting that either some people can just see ghosts in this universe, or minus gave him the power just for this upcoming prank.

So anyway, McNole opens his show with a woman, who asks to contact her dead daughter, Terry. And the woman doesn’t look that old; that’s really depressing if you think about it. Well, McNole asks Terry if she will appear, and the red-haired ghost shows up. Now, I do not think that she is actually Terry, as will be seen by her actions in this strip, so I will still be calling her the red-haired ghost. So she leads McNole on, by saying that she is doing just great in the afterlife. And here is why I don’t think the red-haired ghost is actually the woman’s daughter: while McNole looks on, helpless, the red-haired ghost yells at the woman about how her death was all her fault, while being well aware that the woman can neither see nor hear her, so the woman is grinning the whole time. It would certainly be in the red-haired ghost’s character to do this, let me say, taking advantage of people like that. There’s a reason I don’t like her. Now, McNole is completely appalled and rushes the woman off the stage, while claiming that Terry loves and misses her.

The red-haired ghost rushes off to a group of other ghosts, waiting in line, minus among them. She says that minus should go next, and for her to change her appearance if the next person doesn’t ask to speak with a kid. So the ginger ghost pushes minus up to the front of the line, much to the girl’s confusion.

As it turns out, the next guest is a middle-aged man who wants to speak with his uncle, Edward. So when minus appears, all she does is wear a tie and sport a handlebar mustache, and McNole is bewildered. That was the punchline, people; it’s on to the next strip. This one starts a very important story arc.

It opens with the red-haired ghost flying along, at a restaurant. I have noticed that she has appeared a lot more than Sara, likely because, though she isn’t really likeable, her character is more interesting than Sara’s. Ironically, this arc is actually going to give the red-haired ghost Character Development, in an attempt to make people like her. So she is flying along, and notices that one of the waitresses is a woman who looks a lot like her. This gives her pause. She tries to contact her, but of course, the woman can’t see ghosts. So the ginger ghost is depressed, and floats back to minus with her hands in her jacket pockets. She asks minus a favor, and the girl acquiesces immediately, without even asking what the favor is, much to Sara’s horror.5

We learn what the ginger ghost wants in the next panel, as we see her get older, grow legs, and come back to life. Interestingly, her hair is now green, probably so that we can tell her and the waitress apart. Even though she was dead for years and has no documentation, she is now also a waitress at the same restaurant as the other woman, who could be her twin or something.

In the next strip, the waitress has to deal with some unruly customers. We see that she is nothing like her twin, as she is submissive, and afraid when the customers start getting violent. But fortunately, the red-haired ghost, who is now neither a redhead nor a ghost,6 intervenes. She yells at the customer, even though this panel lacks dialogue. Instead, the readers get the same effect, by judicious use of color splashes, and characters’ expressions.

Her twin is really scared, and drags her away from the customer who is now leering at them and pointing at them threateningly. Their boss finds out and is pissed off, but she gets him to back off when she explains what happened. The former ghost is actually standing up for people, for once.

So when the boss leaves, her twin (who does not recognize her, because of her different hair color and the fact that she should be dead) starts to warm up to her. They become friends, and the last panel shows the twin bidding the former ghost farewell, as the former ghost sits on a brick fence, apparently smoking. That threw me for a loop too, but it does fit her character.

In the 118th strip, the other ghosts have found out what happened, that minus is bringing people back to life, without making them zombies. It turns out that a lot of ghosts want to be alive again, and speculate as to why minus suddenly started doing it.

Then we cut to the character formerly known as the red-haired ghost, who is walking along like so many people in this comic. There is a color splash as she sees somebody from her past that she does not like, and then runs up to the person while the background blurs past her. She knocks this woman to the ground, and moved so fast that her afterimage is still on the panel. She yells at the woman about how she never thought they’d meet again or something, and the man with them is horrified. The character formerly known as the red-haired ghost yells at him to stay out of this, and kicks him where it really hurts. So she’s gone back to her previous behavior. She storms off, and it turns out that her victim doesn’t even know what’s going on.

This mini-arc is one that I would liked to have known more about, but it ends here. It is nothing more than the lead up to the most important strip in the comic: number 119.

A bunch of ghosts confront minus, about how she has started to bring people back to life. Their leader, a ghost wearing a bowler hat and whose dialogue is in a Brooklyn eye dialect, says that she hasn’t considered that others might want to come back to life too, and when minus asks him who he wants to come back, he says that everyone should have that opportunity, or else it isn’t fair. Not only that, but someone else adds that their pets should be brought back as well. And minus, flatly, agrees.

The consequences of this will change everything. The next panel shows some people going about their business, while the panel after that has everybody on Earth crushed under the sheer mass of every person and animal who has ever died. Yes, this results in them all dying again. And this is why people should think before asking minus something. So many of the comic’s problems would have been avoided if characters just did that, but no.

And now, Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies. Nothing Is the Same Anymore.


1 You know what? What I’d like to know is where were minus’s parents during this whole thing. First, they don’t realize that their kid spent a whole week out of her mind, and now they seem to be paying no indication to the fact that she is dead. It’s like they don’t even care.

2 To be fair, we don’t see the question and so don’t know who is right, but something tells me minus doesn’t know these things.

3 Though this probably wasn’t an issue even when she was still alive.

4 Who, in addition to having Cool Shades, is one of the ghosts who wears pants.

5 You know, I’m not sure if those two have interacted before this point.

6 I need to think of something else to call her, now.

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  1. Royal_Terror on 10 November 2013, 02:43 said:

    I wonder how minus brought them back to lifeā€“did she reanimate their remains or create bodies ex nihilo? The first should result in people and animals getting ripped apart as they got fused with the original possessors of each atom in their body, and the second would throw Earth’s tilt off and cause massive, probably deadly climate change. I know it doesn’t really matter since everyone dies anyway, but still, both would be painful deaths.

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