Not only does the sixtieth strip focus on somebody other than minus, minus does not appear at all. Nevertheless, her presence is definitely felt.

The Victim of the Week for this strip is some random man, who, to Armand’s skill, looks different from all the other random bystanders who have been drawn so far. The man is walking along when he sees, on the ground, and old-fashioned oil lamp. I think you can see where this is going. The man seems to be Genre Savvy, because he isn’t at all shocked when a genie appears from the lamp. The genie is drawn something like a wispy cloud of smoke, without visible form, though it does have a rather… familiar wisp on the top where its head would be. This is foreshadowing, guys.

In any case, the man just asks for money like it’s nothing, and his wish is granted, with no negative side effects. Don’t you love these genies, that don’t twist your words? After being pleasantly surprised, the man uses his second wish to be surrounded by attractive women, and sure enough, two women get poofed right over to where he is, and don’t seem surprised at this. The man is now beaming, and for his final wish, asks for power. So what does the genie do? Push him into a mud puddle and disappear! The genie laughs in his face while the man is not happy at all, and walks away in disgust. In the last panel, we see somebody else walk past, eyeing the lamp curiously, while from behind a tree, we see the ginger ghost girl looking on, just barely able to contain her excitement at the fact that this guy’s gonna get thrown in a mud puddle. minus is merely clueless, but the red-haired ghost is just a terrible person. Behind a tree trunk, we see the only shot of minus we see in this entire strip, unless of course you count her appearances as the genie.

Naturally, this is continued into the next strip, where we see this middle-aged man wishing to be the strongest in the world, and getting a boot to the face. This is followed by a panel of minus and the ghost LMAOing. The genie’s next victim is a woman who wishes she could fly. Her wish is granted a bit literally by being flicked into the air off the panel. Once again, minus and her friend are in stitches, even though it really isn’t that funny. Ironic, yes, but not funny.1 The third and final victim is a girl about minus’s age who wishes that her mother was no longer sick. There’s a Beat Panel in which the genie contemplates punching her, and then cuts to minus and the ghost. They look at each other, and then decide just to grant the girl’s wish without punching her. The next panel is of the girl hugging her mother in her hospital bed.

I’ll just leave this here.

But since this wouldn’t be minus. without something strange yet funny happening, minus makes the girl and her mother’s hair sprout leaves and be a home to birds, while minus and her friend run off laughing.

The first panel of the sixty-second strip is a close-up of those weeds that manage to grow in cracks of the sidewalk. This is important, because minus comes across it in the next panel. She examines it for a few panels, and then makes it grow huge. I mean size of a tree huge.2 She makes it blossom, all while the background is done in warm colors, to symbolize the Sun. Once the weeds have grown into a fantastic tree, minus admires her handiwork, and leaves. This strip is nothing more than Armand showing off his ability to paint landscapes, to great effect. There was not a single line of dialogue in that whole strip.

The sixty-third strip is one of those rare ones that I wish would appear more often, as minus interacts with others and actually behaves somewhat normally. She’s at the park, feeding the birds, when this boy about her own age walks up to her and engages in conversation. Unfortunately for him, he drops his ice cream.

And here is why I like this strip. minus sees what happened and conjures up some more ice cream for him. She is actually developing into someone who isn’t a complete jerk. Unfortunately for her, the boy goes to his father immediately and explains what just happened. She has a rather perturbed look on her face when she realizes what is going to happen. So she wants to keep her powers a secret now, even though she had no problem showing off in front of her classmates before? So the boy’s dad appears, and asks if minus can make his hair grow, ‘cause he’s bald. She complies, and his hair is as long as a hippie’s. He leaves, and minus tries to go back to feeding the birds. That’s all she wants to do, ya know. Leave minus alone!3

Unfortunately for our heroine, a man with a top hat and cane shows up and asks for another favor. Sure enough, the whole park has found out what’s happened and swamped minus, asking for petty things! Yet I can’t help but notice that none of them batted an eyelash at all the weirdness that happened around Strip 50.

Apparently minus is uncomfortable around large crowds or something, because she just makes them vanish, and goes back to feeding the birds. I would like to think that she simply teleported them all back to their homes, but the green-haired girl never appeared in this strip, and usually minus only does something sensible when she’s around. Nevertheless, I still liked the strip, because it showed that minus’s powers can’t stay secret forever. This is foreshadowing.

That strip is followed up by this one, which is also pretty cool, because it gives another look into minus’s mind. It starts with minus bouncing around on a bubble (because apparently we need to be reminded that she’s a child and likes childish things) when she comes across a puppy, which always says “yip! yip!” So of course minus agrees with the readers that its Cuteness Proximity is off the charts, and starts to play with it. The puppy takes a liking to her, and she runs to her house asking her parents if she can keep it. Her mother does not approve, and slams the door in her face. You know, I am really starting to dislike minus’s unseen parents.

So minus is in her room, doing her homework, and once the coast is clear, shuts the door, reaches into her pocket, and pulls out the puppy which she miniaturized. And with her Squeeing over it, the strip ends.4

The sixty-fifth strip is Something Completely Different. It opens at a museum, in which minus’s class is on a field trip. In the first panel, we see the ponytailed girl, the white-haired girl, Clary, and… Oh Crap. You have got to be kidding me.

Apparently the short-haired twin was not sent back in time at the end of Strip 27 to be with her temporally displaced sister. I told you that was confusing! So either minus was being an even bigger jerk than usual, or her sister was lying to comfort her.5 So I take it we were supposed to interpret the final panel as being a flashback. Okay. Back to discussing this strip.

The four kids are looking at a giant statue of a horse, which, according to Clary, is of Sergeant Davy’s steed, Prendon. Meaning that all the way back in Clary’s first appearance when minus unwittingly humiliated her by changing the answers on a history test, that actually caused history to change, so that Sergeant Davy is a war hero and the museum has a huge marble statue of his steed. I just love all the Call Backs that are showing up in full force in this part of the comic.

Also, since we have four minor characters in the same panel for much of this strip, I suppose now is a good time to talk about how Armand is able to give all of his characters Distinctive Appearances, despite the fact that if you look only at their faces, they’re completely identical. He’s able to pull this off by giving them all different hair colors and styles, which is particularly evident here. But I digress.

So Clary brings up the subject of how cool it would be to have a real flying horse like Sergeant Davy’s. I don’t know why it’s Clary bringing this up, but oh well. The white-haired girl gets some more characterization, and says that that would be reeeeeeally nice, and is practically bouncing up and down with glee, as she suggests that they get minus to bring the Prendon statue to life so they all can ride it. The white-haired girl is just… I don’t know how to say this. A dumbass.

Of course, the short-haired twin vetoes this immediately, and with very good reason. The white-haired girl, in a stunning display of insensitivity to the fact that her classmate lost a family member ‘cause of minus, runs off to get the girl anyway. The ponytailed girl runs after her because they have to stick together, thus leaving the remaining twin and Clary alone, their facial expressions clearly stating “oh my God, this is so gonna end badly.” Which coincidentally, is exactly what the readers think.

So the white-haired girl and her partner come back, and shows them a potion minus made to bring stone to life, all while the short-haired twin is rolling her eyes. Of course, the white-haired girl pours the potion not onto the statue, but onto one of the pebbles surrounding the statue. See what I mean? She’s a dumbass.

As one can expect, the small pebble comes to life instead of the Prendon statue, and asks to go on an adventure. The white-haired girl is pissed off that she got cheated out of her pony ride (even though it was her own fault) and the surviving twin picks up the living pebble, anger evident on her face, and chucks it at minus’s head, much to the latter’s surprise. Of course her buddy is the green-haired girl, who just looks on with an expression that says “see what you’ve gotten yourself into?”

It’s the facial expressions that really make this comic, as dialogue boxes are often not needed.

As it turns out, this is part of a story line, which continues onto the sixty-sixth strip. They are now inside the museum, and the tour guide shows them some paintings. He gives the kids an Infodump that none of them are paying attention to, and that Armand surely knows because he’s an artist, culminating in some blank canvasses, that are apparently part of an artistic movement. The green-haired girl asks minus if she can believe that, only to discover that minus is gone. Worse, football hero doesn’t know where she is, either. So the green-haired girl walks through the museum looking for her friend, though she won’t find her because minus is inside a painting, having a picnic with the subjects.

As it turns out, this strip is another three-for-one deal, so there are two more strips on this page. minus jumps from one painting to another, which happens to be of a group of people in a bar. She lands on one of the subject’s heads, and, even though they are only globs of paint, the subjects notice this and get into a bar fight. So once again, minus has messed things up for no reason, and given sentience to subjects of a painting, which is now, thanks to her meddling, of two guys duking it out in a bar, while a crowd eggs them on.

In the third part, minus goes back to the museum and meets up with the green-haired girl, who warns her not to do that again. The two go back to the tour, where the guide is discussing a primitive tribe who, on first contact with Westerners, held the superstitious belief that photography could steal their souls. Of course, I am pretty sure that that is just an urban legend, but it’s Artistic License.

One of the children asks the tour guide if people really believed that, and he says they did, and they all start laughing. Pretty much everybody except minus and the green-haired girl are laughing at these poor primitives. That really isn’t nice, or culturally sensitive, for that matter.

In the next panel, minus brings out a camera. Of course, her classmates know what’s going on and get the heck out of there, much to the tour guide’s bewilderment. So he yells at them for believing in that crazy superstition. Oh, he has no idea what is to come.

Since he thinks that minus is just an ordinary kid, he lets her take a picture of him even though flash photography is not allowed in the museum. Now, the green-haired girl knows what’s going on, but makes no attempt to stop minus. Sure enough, after the tour guide gets his picture taken, the final panel depicts his ghost in a Polaroid. Death By Racism, I never thought I’d see that in this comic.6 The poor guy can’t even go to the spirit world, now.

The following strip, which will not be numbered, thankyouverymuch, is one of those rare ones with a caption: “A coast.” We see this coastal city, about to be swallowed up by a huge tidal wave, and some poor chap trying to outrun it. But before the tsunami touches down on the city wreaking havoc, the water starts to turn into birds, like in those M. C. Escher paintings. Gee, who could be behind this, I wonder? So the town is not destroyed, and the birds start flying over it.

The following panel gives us the strip’s second caption: “A city.” After some panels of buildings, we see one of them collapse. Oh, the humanity. Even though the tidal wave didn’t actually hit, there was still an earthquake.

…Cut to minus and the green-haired girl playing Jenga. As soon as it’s the green-haired girl’s turn, the earthquake happens, ruining the entire tower. minus throws up her arms in victory, while her friend yells that that doesn’t count.

So minus caused a tidal wave and an earthquake, causing unknown amounts of property damage, just to win a board game? Man, is she short-sighted.

The seventieth strip features minus walking down a 90-degree slope just because she can when the brown-haired ghost girl from before shows up. She tells minus about the theory of Ancient Astronauts, and since she previously thought a dandelion was an alien artifact, of course she believes it. So she gets minus to send them back in time to see if they can find some aliens. They arrive at an ancient city somewhere, and the ghost thinks she’s found something. minus translates the inscription, only to find it has absolutely nothing to do with aliens. They search high and low, but find nothing.

Back in the present, archaeologists uncover an inscription with minus’s face on it, portraying her as some horrific two-faced deity. Heh. Much to their shock, they see that it’s written in English. So minus just trolled the entire archaeological community!

Well, onto the seventy-first strip. minus is playing with a Frisbee. She reaches into her jacket pocket, and brings out her miniature puppy. Yay, the puppy’s back! The rest of the strip is her playing with the puppy, being as cute as is humanly possible. Not only do they play Frisbee, but she takes her puppy on a walk through those unnaturally steep mountains from earlier, and to that restaurant where she got the super soft creams. The poor, old waiter complains that they don’t serve animals at the establishment, so minus temporarily turns her puppy into an exact copy of the water, though still with canine mannerisms, much to the waiter’s horror.

minus also does what all little girls with pets do: hold up her animal right in other people’s faces, much to their annoyance. The last panel is of minus drawing her puppy in sidewalk chalk as the puppy chases a butterfly. I do think that the strips with the puppy in them are among the best.

But the next strip starts another story arc, so I’m gonna stop it here. I hope somebody actually comments on these eventually.


1 You know, if enough people know about this lamp, how come nobody has warned them that they’re just going to get punched in the face?

2 I wonder what happened to the wall that was behind her?

3 And with that Chris Crocker parody that is now like six or seven years dated, I have now stooped to a new low.

4 Wait, what am I doing? That was my running gag for the last article series!

5 Hey, don’t look at me that way. I’ve read this comic before, but I don’t remember everything about it.

6 Of course, knowing minus, she probably wasn’t upset about the tour guide making fun of that tribe as much as she thought, “ooh, a camera that captures souls? WHAT A COOL IDEA!”

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  1. Forest Purple on 1 November 2013, 01:00 said:

    Wish granted! I find these quite interesting, and I’ve been reading all of them, though I haven’t commented much. You introduced me to a pretty cool webcomic (I’ve been looking for one since I finished the Order of the Stick).

  2. HimochiIsAwesome on 2 November 2013, 11:04 said:

    Well, commenting on a review of a wonderful webcomic seems like the best way to reappear on this website, haha.
    it has been so very long

    Anyway, just finishing reading through the past 6 parts, and wow, this is a really really good comic!
    And I love the art style. It’s so cute and pretty and wow. Just wow. So glad I came back here else I would never have found it, haha. :)

  3. Brendan Rizzo on 3 November 2013, 21:54 said:

    Thanks for the comments, guys. You don’t know how much that means to me, that someone is actually reading these.

  4. gervasium on 23 November 2013, 19:37 said:

    Forest Purple, what do you mean, finished Order of the Stick?