So, as you recall, the last part of this review series got to the end of the comic, so you would not expect there to be anything more to review. However, Armand went to the trouble of showing some additional bonus strips to his readers, so just for completeness’s sake, I will at least go over them.

According to the extra page the seventy-eighth strip of the comic, which I reviewed back in part 7 or so, was originally going to be part of a story line. However, according to the creator himself, he scrapped it because he thought it was too depressing. Considering all the stuff that actually did make it into the strip, you really have to wonder…

In any case, he did draw enough of one strip for this hypothetical story line for it to be shown to us. It opens with an aerial shot of a busy road, with jagged speech balloons emanating from one of the vehicles, whose drivers are too small to be seen. They are freaking out, because this traffic jam will make them late to deliver an important package. OH NOEZ! Fortunately for them, who is in the back seat but the man whom minus gave wings, in Strip 78. He acts all heroic and says that he will deliver the package himself and save the company, leaving his coworkers overjoyed. Now, you may be wondering why they don’t just have him do this from the beginning; there is a reason for this. He flies off, happy as can be, and then the scene cuts to the man discussing some business proposition with the head of this company. The company head doesn’t want to hear it, so the winged man asks if a flight around the city will change his mind. Now, if you were expecting him to grab the other guy and suspend him in midair until the other guy caves, that’s not what happens. He’s a nice guy, and takes the other man on a friendly sky ride. So the business owner is impressed, and offers the winged man a job, but the winged man says he’ll stick with the company he currently works at.

Now we see why all this ridiculous stuff happened. It turns out that the winged man is at a job interview, telling this story to the interviewer in the hope that they’ll hire him. The interviewer isn’t at all surprised that he has wings, and brushes this aside, pointing out that the man doesn’t have any other qualifications for their job, but he does suggest that the winged man try his luck at a shipping company. So the winged man is despondent, and we next see him at another job interview, but with better luck: airplanes can deliver packages much better than he can. The poor guy. I like him; he is a minor character who gets development, and judging from this unfinished arc, he probably would have been rejected everywhere. No wonder Armand decided not to finish this one.

He does have an unfinished standalone strip, completely unrelated to the saga of the winged man, which he also posts on this page. Now, the reason that this strip did not make it to the comic is because he thought it went nowhere and was unfunny. I have to agree. In it, minus is eating ice cream on a park bench, when she overhears some women talking. These women are also eating ice cream, right next to her, and she didn’t notice before now. The women, completely oblivious to minus’s presence, are complaining about their sexist male coworkers. As the women are venting about their male coworkers making them do all the work while the men can’t do even the simplest things, minus, likely because this long conversation is annoying her, yells at the top of her lungs that men can’t walk. No sooner does she say that than a man who was walking along in the background, minding his own business, falls flat on his face. Crippling every man on Earth would probably cause mass chaos. And also, minus deciding that man cannot walk just seems so random, even if she is pissed off at these people because they won’t shut up. The last shot is of those two women visibly disturbed at minus’s outburst, and frankly, I would be, too.

Presumably, she undid this one because men can still walk later in the comic.

Now, there are still some more pages of extras. And as will be seen, the next extra is clearly in an Alternate Universe where minus is, if anything, even more callous and uncaring.

The first of these has a vastly different art style from the actual strips. It’s done in pen and ink, with the characters drawn in manga style, and making minus look kind of creepy, which is probably the idea.

It begins with her doing what she often does in the comic; draw with sidewalk chalk. I should point out here that the panels in this extra comic are much bigger than they are in the ordinary comics, so we see a close-up of what is going on. minus looks rather melancholy, yet she is drawing a girl with a smiley face. After a single panel of just her drawing, the next panel has it smeared by somebody’s foot. We get a close-up of minus’s eye, and it looks terrifying.

The next panel zooms out to show mangafied versions of the ponytailed girl and the white-haired girl, completely oblivious to what they have just done, while minus stares at them from the background, menacingly. This is so not going to end well. Because this minus is not the carefree little kid who doesn’t realize the consequences of her actions, oh no. This minus is a monster, a cruel, sadistic, malevolent monster who overreacts to even the most minor and unknown slights against her, and everybody who has extreme misfortune to share a universe with her is just her toy, to be abused and tossed aside without a second thought.

That sounds like an exaggeration. It is not. minus scowls at the two girls, and tells them that they ruined her drawing. I can just imagine her saying this with Tranquil Fury. Everything about the scene points to it. The ponytailed girl turns back to her and apologizes, completely unaware of the horrible fate that is to befall her.

We get another extreme close-up panel of minus, again creepy and emotionless, as she tells them that they will be sorry. Just so we know it’s serious, lines of force are radiating in the background.

The others are surprised, and much to the white-haired girl’s horror, the ponytailed girl is transformed into a chalk drawing. The white-haired girl can only watch, helpless, as her friend, frozen in terror, is smudged by minus’s foot… and blood pours out from where her head would be. I reiterate that this is because the ponytailed girl accidentally smudged one of minus’s drawings, and minus, being all-powerful, could just fix the damn thing herself in like two seconds. Yet she decides to punish her classmate on purpose.

Now that minus has casually murdered one of her classmates, she tells the white-haired girl that she is next. We get a close-up panel of the white-haired girl’s face, with terror frozen on it. Now, in the main comic I hate the white-haired girl, but here I feel sorry for her. She’s just an innocent victim in all this, as is her friend.

minus tells her not to worry, as it will be over quickly. The tension builds up as the white-haired girl is even more terrified. minus stares at her again, and she screams in terror and anticipation of a grisly death. But all that happens to her is that she gets kicked in the behind.

According to Armand, that was an April Fool’s comic, and I can see why. It was completely horrifying. It might have been drawn in response to claims that minus is callous, because the petty vindictiveness of this minus makes anything that the canon minus does look like harmless fun.

There is a third page of extras, which are again in the format of “strips Armand wanted to put in the main comic, but cut”. Now, it turns out that this cut story arc would have continued the ponytailed-girl-in-the-bathroom-kingdom story arc, where Armand could actually show her newfound badassery.

This strip introduces a bully character, whose hair is all messy and has an overbite. When football hero invites him over to play with them, he pushes him to the side and says that he’s taking over the school. Unfortunately for him, his next would-be victim is minus. He is completely ignorant of her, and tries to tug on her ahoge, which interestingly, he claims is a ponytail, so perhaps Armand was acknowledging the subtle Art Shift. As soon as he tugs on her hair, a monster comes out of it, and he runs away in terror. He runs off to the ponytailed girl and the white-haired girl, and asks what the fuck just happened. The white-haired girl tells him that she thinks minus is a witch. So the kids do have their own ideas on what’s up with her. The bully turns out to be a total coward, and asks if they’re witches too. The white-haired cheerfully denies it, completely unaware that the bully just asked this so that he could kick their ball away with no repercussions. Man, this kid’s a jerk. At this, the ponytailed girl loses it, and demands that he return their ball. The bully is just as ignorant of the ponytailed girl as he is of minus, and refuses. So, the ponytailed girl gets nunchuks from Hammerspace and kicks his ass. After a panel of the bully bruised all over, the next scene is of him at his house, asking his father if he can transfer schools again, and having this quest be denied.

Dayum, that was awesome. But apparently Armand thought the strip was too long, and never posted it in the main comic. So the next extra strip on this page was his new plan for the ponytailed girl to show off her Character Development. In fact, I will quote his own words here:

The comic was too cluttered though and I didn’t have room to fit in the ending I wanted so I decided to redo it later, which I never got around to and so I eventually came up with a new plan for her to beat up on something. I had an idea for a comic where minus shows up some street magician so he gets angry and tries to attack her in her dreams(maybe minus gave him real powers while screwing around in the past, I didn’t really think it through) and the resulting nightmares could lead to monsters in the real world… monsters that could be beaten up with sticks. Except by the time I got to actually drawing the comics the entire original idea was scrapped, so it ended up just being stuff popping out of minus’s dream for no reason, which I couldn’t really use but still kind of wanted to, so I thought I could tie it to the other thing I wanted to get in before the comic ended, but even another Larry Comic couldn’t save it.
I was able to get Larry in one last time though. Actually at one point “Larry is Doing Fine: The continuing adventures of the last man on earth” was going to be the official final comic. It was competing with “legs sure are ridiculous”(the winner!) and a comedy routine by minus and her friend about why they wished they were fish. With that one they would have been able to bow in the last panel or something. So anyways, in the end the red haired girl never was able to show off her fighting skills. She was supposed to though. Also, before that, she was supposed to have her head chopped off.

Gee, that’s not very nice. Well, at least now we know that the comic was kind of rushed towards the end, which explains certain things. I’m not too upset, though.

There is one last set of strips. Fortunately, these are all really short. Apparently, they are meant to be more of the April Fool’s comics, with a vindictive minus in them. All of them are actually parodies of earlier comics, in fact, showing that this minus is clearly different from the canon minus. They are also drawn in yet another art style, which for some reason involves minus having shadow under her nose, and looking kind of impish. Weird.

Since these are only one or two panels tops, I’ll go through them really quickly just for the sake of completeness. For some reason, all these comics are drawn such that they appear to be set, not in the modern day, but in the Gay Nineties, which may be a reference to Armand going for a retro newspaper comic feel in the main strips. And because it’s a parody of 1890s-era comics, the dialogue is so corny that I am almost certain that Armand was going for Stylistic Suck.

The first extra is, appropriately, a parody of the first real strip. This time, however, when the boys say they’re going to take minus’s ball from her, she turns them into trees preemptively. Perhaps a minus who isn’t oblivious to the world around her is not such a good thing.

The second is a parody of the second strip, and has minus make a headstone come to life, and pelt mourners with snowballs.

Again, the third one has minus turn a balloon salesman into a balloon for absolutely no reason, and spouts off a stupid one-liner. Ironically, this balloon salesman actually has a better fate than the canon one, because he is still recognizably human and doesn’t pop.

I’m not sure what the fourth one is parodying; maybe the strip where the hunter has to box the lion he shot? The circumstances are different though. A man who looks much like that hunter is apparently a professional boxer, and as he brags about being undefeatable in front of all his admirers, minus sics a bald eagle on him. This boxer didn’t do anything to deserve this fate, unlike his counterpart!

The fifth strip is really weird. It’s a sendup of when the red-haired twins get sent back in time; since they’re already in Victorian times, minus sends them to the Cavalier Years — on purpose. And all they wanted to do was stop themselves from breaking a vase.

The sixth one’s kind of creepy. minus is surrounded by a bunch of old men, who, though they acknowledge she’s a girl, say that she looks like a boy. So of course minus is shocked to hear this, and makes herself look like an adult woman. It’s just weird.

The seventh one I think was done as a deliberate Take That to all those who misinterpreted the strip where minus stops an asteroid from hitting the Earth. But I don’t know. Some people notice an asteroid is going to kill them all, and as they panic, minus says she’s just gonna play some baseball. She doesn’t care one bit about the rest of the world.

The eighth one opens with some guy on a hill praising life, only for it to cut to minus washing some clothes in an old-fashioned washtub, saying to the man that he only exists inside a soap-bubble that she made, and that he will die once it pops. I should point out that there is no equivalent to the green-haired girl in these parody comics, so it is likely that that bubble will pop, and nobody will rein in minus’s antisocial tendencies.

Now, remember that guy dressed in orange who stuffed minus into a briefcase? In the ninth and final parody strip, his counterpart is walking along, and minus just kicks him for no reason. This one is only funny because we know what happened in the main comic.

Now, there are five remaining extra strips before this review is well and truly over. There is just one slight problem.

These strips are in Japanese, and not translated. I have no idea what they are about, because I can’t read Japanese, and since the strips are images, I can’t even copy and paste the words into Google Translate. I can’t do a review in these conditions, so I’m just going to end it here. If anybody does know Japanese, that would be a help.

But in any case, this review series is finally over. Thing is, I said everything I wanted to say about the comic in general in the last part, so let me just end this with, Ryan Armand is a pretty cool guy. He draws comix n doesnt afraid of anything.

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  1. Lupus753 on 19 November 2013, 17:38 said:

    Title: Impossible Ant Drink
    Page 1 – Girl: “I can’t take it anymore!! This homework’s stupid!!”
    Alright!! I’ll take a break!!
    Page 2 – Minus: Hey there. Do you want to be an ant?
    Girl: Be an ant? Of course not!
    Minus: You sure? This stuff really works!! The “Impossible Ant Drink”!!
    Girl: Wh-wha?
    Page 3 – Minus: Look! You’re turning into an ant!!
    Page 4 – Minus: Hey, girls, do you want to go on a trip?
    Girl: A trip?
    Minus: If so, here’s the “Sudden Rocket Ticket”.
    Girl: He said it was the “Sudden Rocket Ticket”.
    Page 5 – Girl: Umm, why’s this ticket…
    I used some translation tools, so it may not be 100% accurate. I also had to guess the first sentence from context, as I couldn’t find the second kanji.

  2. Brendan Rizzo on 19 November 2013, 23:42 said:

    Oh, thanks. It finally makes some sense now.