We just passed the halfway point of the comic in the last part. See, I told you this was short. It’s time to celebrate.1

All right then, back to the comic. The seventy-second strip is one of those in which minus does not appear. These have lately been showing up with some frequency because other characters are being developed. Since I rather like Character Development, I am not complaining in the least. This strip is merely the first in another story arc, anyway.

The two characters in the scene are the ponytailed girl and her hanger-on, the white-haired girl. The second of these is twirling around, talking about how speshul her day was, being annoying enough for the ponytailed girl to run as fast as she can away from her. For some reason, she chooses to hide in the girls’ bathroom. Because her friend, who is also a girl, would never look in there! No sooner has she entered the room than she discovers that it has been transformed. It is now much Bigger On the Inside, containing a whole ecosystem. I think we know who is responsible for this.

So of course, the ponytailed girl’s curiosity gets the better of her, and she explores this place, thus leading into the next strip.

The first two panels of this strip are nothing but the same picture of the bush, with slightly rustling leaves. The next panel shows the ponytailed girl behind it, from out of nowhere. No sooner does she make herself visible than a voice from off-panel yells at her, using medieval language. She turns around, and much to her gaping horror, is staring down the gigantic lance of this man dressed all in white and in a face-concealing helmet, standing atop some fantastic horned beast that looks nothing like any real animal, who states that he is the White Knight of Hothrawn, wherever that is. Before she can say a single word in her defense, the knight accuses her of kidnapping the princess and two winged figures appear from out of nowhere to take her away.

Don’t you hate it when you stumble right into the middle of a Renaissance Fair?

They fly up to a domed castle in the clouds, and the ponytailed girl is brought before the queen of this place. Three guesses as to who it is, and the last two don’t count.

The ponytailed girl protests her innocence to minus. Her classmate stares at her for a panel, before ordering her decapitation. Yeah, she’s just playing around,2 but the ponytailed girl faints when she hears this.

As the ponytailed girl is carted away by one of the Winged Humanoids, the white-haired girl enters the bathroom which has become a portal to a fantasyland. The white knight immediately appears, and says that the white-haired girl is the princess. Was it ever established before this point that minus was friends with the white-haired girl?

Upon being told that she will get to ride a flying unicorn, the newcomer beams with excitement, and the last panel depicts her hugging the thing as they soar into the air.

The seventy-fourth strip is of the ponytailed girl being carted off to meet her doom. Man, minus is taking this whole thing too far. But I guess when you have magical powers that let you do whatever you want and interact with ghosts on a daily basis, the difference between life and death means nothing to you. Fortunately for the ponytailed girl, however, her captors are ambushed by a man clad all in black and wielding a piece of wood.


The ninja takes the ponytailed girl, and it turns out that he’s only about her height. Strange. They run off, but one of the winged figures brandishes a sword at him. This leads to the ninja giving off one of the best lines in the whole comic: “Fool! Do you think you can withstand the power of the Black Knight!? You cannot!”3 Even though that line is so cheesy and so cliché, it just sounds awesome, particularly since this guy is taking on an angel.

The Black Knight-turned-ninja clobbers the guard, and he and the ponytailed girl reach a castle turret. He assures her that she will not be harmed for as long as he is there, and they just jump off the turret like a boss, landing on a giant crow. Of course, the ponytailed girl is perturbed at what’s going on, while the Black Knight manages to look stoic even though his face is completely concealed. They’re in the air for a couple panels, and meet the white-haired girl halfway. She’s smiling without a care in the world, oblivious to her friend’s discomfort, and waves at her. Even though she has no idea what’s going on, the ponytailed girl waves back, but in a manner that makes it clear that she is only doing it out of obligation.

In the seventy-fifth strip, (another three-for-one deal) one of the angelic beings informs minus that the people of the villages are running out of food. With a smirk on her face, she says that they don’t have any to give them, even though she could just conjure up more food, and has done that before. To make matters worse, the white-haired girl is playing in the field of delicious cakes! That is actually what it’s called. Not even Marie Antoinette was this self-centered.

I think it’s safe to say that minus is just playing around, blissfully unaware of the fact that the beings she creates for her games are actually sentient, but that doesn’t make it any less disturbing. Cut to the white-haired girl looking at the cakes, when minus shows up and they get into a food fight. I still don’t think these two have ever really interacted before.

Cut again to the giant crow, and the black knight recruits the ponytailed girl into La Résistance. She has more empathy for the beings of minus’s imagination than minus does. The crow lands in a desolate location, with no vegetation in sight.

In the second part, the ponytailed girl lives among the villagers. This is told without words, but she helps them get supplies, and, when the ninjas get into a battle, she tends to her wounds. She even learns how to fight, herself, and in the last panel of this part, stares up at the night sky in ninja garb, probably thinking about how she got into this situation.

(I must say, did minus really need to make the fantasy world this extensive, when she herself will never even visit that part of it? Again, it shows that, even though she is starting to warm up to real people, the beings she creates are still subject to her mad whims.)

Unfortunately, there is no climactic final confrontation. In the third and final part to this strip, the bell rings signaling the end of recess, and minus has to go back to class. The green-haired girl asks where she was. She is shortly followed by the white-haired girl, who had a great time. After several panels of just the bathroom door, to establish that some time has passed, the ponytailed girl exits, takes one last look at that world that is probably now gone4, and leaves, silently, shutting the door behind her.

That was kind of anticlimactic, but was probably done to once again hammer home the fact that minus is easily distracted and doesn’t really follow up on things. But then, do actual children really care much about their make-believe sessions when they start doing other things? Probably not. The only problem is that when minus is involved, she actually makes them real, but does not seem to notice.

Anyway, the seventy-eighth strip is once again minus with sidewalk chalk. But this time, there’s Painting the Fourth Wall! She decides to turn her own world into a chalk drawing, and even the panel borders look as though they were drawn in chalk.5 Now minus is able to make things just by drawing them. She tries to draw a tree, but since she isn’t that tall, it winds up horizontal. While she is drawing a snake burrowing its way through the sidewalk, a man walks by, and it turns out that everybody except for minus turned into stick figures! But they do not appear to notice. They lock eyes, and minus helpfully gives him wings; he thanks her, and flies away.

minus returns to her sidewalk drawing, but, as one can tell from her facial expression, gets bored, and reverts the world back to its normal medium. However, her changes are still present. There is now a horizontal tree growing near the sidewalk, and unfortunately for the snake, it is cut into several pieces and dies horribly. minus has really got to start thinking these things through.

And in the last panel, we see that though he is no longer a stick figure, the man still has wings, and is happily flying among the birds. It’s a shame that minus’s meddling only rarely has a positive outcome. By the way, that man will appear again, but not for a long while.

The seventy-ninth strip is weird. It begins with minus watching a commercial for this super special awesome new amusement park in town ™. We get to see that when minus has Expressive Hair: when she is surprised, her ahoge6 sticks straight up. As soon as she sees the commercial, she runs off, presumably to go.

This is also one of the few strips in which I will call attention to minus’s hair color. It is green when she is watching the advertisement, but when she goes outside, it is now bright red. She’s walking along, dressed all snazzy in this jacket and projecting an aura of coolness, when she overhears this boy (who for some reason looks like a vaudeville performer) asking his mother if they can go to the super special awesome new amusement park in town ™. Once again, minus halts in surprise; apparently she has forgotten all about it.

In the next set of panels, minus’s hair has changed color once again, to blue. She’s drawing with sidewalk chalk for some reason, completely ignoring the super special awesome new amusement park in town ™. She is distracted by what appears to be a dust mote, which leads her in the direction of… the super special awesome new amusement park in town ™. Cut to the park, to see a bunch of copies of minus, identical except for their hair color, playing around. The few people there who aren’t minus are disturbed.

So I’m confused. Did minus just make a bunch of copies of herself before this strip started, for some reason, or is it that we were always supposed to think that each time minus changes her hair color, that it’s a different copy of her? The first explanation makes more sense to me, but you never know.

The eightieth strip is just pure awesome, ya know why? Because the puppy’s back! Hooray! minus has made it giant so that she and the green-haired girl can ride it. For some reason, her ahoge has become even more ridiculously long, but only for the first panel. They’re bouncing along the neighborhood, and minus lets them off at her house. Unfortunately, no sooner do they land then minus’s mother yells at her from off-panel again, about how she can’t have a puppy. minus panics, and says there is no puppy, only for it to bellow out “yip! yip!”

So minus is perturbed, and the green-haired girl glances behind them. Turns out minus made the puppy even more huge— and the readers can see this. Proportionally, the puppy is even bigger compared to minus and her friend in this panel than it was when they were riding it. Nice touch. Except… doesn’t that mean that minus doesn’t have complete control over what’s going on? This is foreshadowing.

But for now, minus hastily yells that it isn’t her puppy, oh no. It belongs to the green-haired girl, who is not pleased that minus has just thrust this responsibility on her.

minus’s mother is apparently gone, so she asks her friend if she can take care of the puppy. The green-haired girl says she can, if her parents allow it. minus bluntly tells her that they will, and sure enough, when she brings the puppy home, her parents literally jump for joy at the prospect of having one. So, minus can’t do anything to her own parents, but she has no problem with making other people’s parents do what she wants. Okay, then. This is getting stranger.

As an aside, we actually see the green-haired girl’s parents on-panel, unlike minus’s. They look normal enough, but her mother also has green hair. It must be a dominant trait, since her father has brown hair.7 That’s unimportant, though. What is important is the very fact that the green-haired girl’s parents make an appearance highlights the fact that minus’s parents never do so, even though she does have parents.

Well, I’ll cut it off here, because the next strip begins yet another story arc. See you later, though it doesn’t really matter because I’m not even sure if anyone’s been reading this.


1 This celebration was cut short because it’s bloody stupid to celebrate being halfway done a review.

2 And may well not even know that people die when they lose their heads.

3 This goes without saying, but just in case, I’ll provide the citation anyway: Strip 74, panels 6 and 7.

4 What were we saying about this earlier, minus?!

5 Though according to Armand, he used crayons.

6 Which no longer resembles a single hair, but arguably a strange, vertical ponytail in its own right.

7 Yes, I know that green hair could be recessive if her father carries the allele; I’m just simplifying things.

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  1. Royal_Terror on 4 November 2013, 22:37 said:

    I read these. I’ve already read the strip (and loved it) so I’m reading these to see what other people have to say about it.

    I was confused by the clones as well. When the strip began, initially I thought there were just several minuses (I think one girl said that the girl at the school was a minus, in fact), but your articles made me realize that the ones with different hair had the same dog, personalities, etc. My present theory is that there are multiple minuses (minii?) that share a collective consciousness, and can summon the dog because of their reality-warping powers. Only Armand knows, though…

  2. Brendan Rizzo on 5 November 2013, 12:23 said:

    I read these. I’ve already read the strip (and loved it) so I’m reading these to see what other people have to say about it.

    Oh hey. Thanks for the comment, man. I appreciate everybody who has left comments so far.

    Oh, and here is something interesting about the pluralization of the word “minus”. According to Wiktionary, not only is the word a Latin adjective rather than a noun, but it’s in the neutral gender. (Though I am pretty sure that Armand did not know this, though it’s funny since it’s hard to tell whether minus is a boy or a girl.) That said, according to Wiktionary, the plural form would be “minora”. Yeah, Latin is weird. I think we should just stick to “minuses”.

  3. Chipmunk on 5 November 2013, 16:44 said:

    Thanks for sharing this comic! I really like it and your reviews. I would have commented before but I don’t really have anything else to say.

  4. HimochiIsAwesome on 7 November 2013, 16:36 said:

    My first thought to comment is, unfortunately, the fact that, wow, that winged guy is really cute. Like dang. So happy. Best.

    This comic itself is cute as well but in a different way haha so it’s really nice to read through, especially with other thoughts on what’s happening, considering how hard some of them are to understand. Lots of different interpretations too.

    I read comic 72 before I read this part, and I just got the impression the girl really needed the loo or something, while you saw it as her being sick of the other girl’s talking?
    Which is pretty cool I mean, it could be either. Who knows? Only the author, really, I guess. But anyway, I guess my point is that lots of interpretations are more fun than just one or something I don’t even know haha.