at some point in the last 50 comics or so, dan shive has discovered how to vary line weight. and in general, there’s definite evidence of improvement. drawings are more detailed, poses less stiff. it’s not amazing but it’s getting better.
the next storyline translates to ‘gun of tedd’ in the alien language. ok.
Tedd’s dad informs Grace that he is looking after her because of a promise he made to some mysterious figure. The comic lampshades its habit of introducing characters in mysterious silhouettes.
Inspired by the earlier comment about General Shade Tail and Grace not dying in this dimension, Sarah appears to have a suspicion that Grace is a ghost, so she searches obituaries for anyone named Grace who died 17-19 years ago. You’d expect her to find hundreds of results, but we cut away before we see what she found.
Tedd appears to have slept in the same bed as Grace last night. Apparently she crept in and slept next to him because of her nightmares.
At this point, aliens show up!
They ring the doorbell dressed in deliberately-bad human disguises (a callback to when Tedd’s dad mentioned his efforts to disguise aliens?) and ask Tedd to take them to his Tedd. This is because they did not recognise Tedd without his glasses.
Since it’s coming up a few times in this comic: the kinds of close encounters originate with a UFO researcher called J. Allen Hynek. The close encounter kinds:
- you see a flying thing less than 500 feet away so you can see detail
- the flying thing has an effect on stuff nearby like scaring animals or burning shit
- you can make out a humanoid or robot. some other guy called Ted Bloecher added some subtyptes:
- it’s inside the flying thing
- it goes inside and outside the flying thing
- it’s near the flying thing but doesn’t get in or out
- it’s hanging about and there are flying things somewhere nearby but not in the same place as the humanoid or robot
- it’s hanging about but there aren’t any UFOs
- there’s no humanoid or robot actually, but you get a message of some kind
- you get taken into the flying thing (later addition to the list)
- you have a conversation with an alien (later addition to the list)
So the use of “close encounter of the fifth kind” is correct here.
The alien species are known as “Uryuoms” (an earlier commentary said this was “aliens” through the substitution cipher) and these two are apparently American citziens. I guess it’s an uncritical play on the “nation of immigrants” thing without any consideration of settler colonialism (wow what a wanky sentence but yeah like. thing.) The Uryuoms here are called William and Gillian.
Cut downstairs to Tedd and Grace. Grace is demonstrating her fusion forms, now named “Legion” forms.
Time for more awkwardly done gender discussion. Dan Shive has the Uryuoms don’t have “gender”. What I think he means is that they don’t have sex differentiation biologically; the Uryuoms here are clearly performing gender pretty hard, though it isn’t stated whether they have gendered identities. This simple concept apparently blows Elliot’s mind.
We get further details on Uryuom reproduction. They create “eggs” communually, which can accept DNA from a number of parents, not necessarily all Uryuoms. (this is something that can definitely go on the Homestuck parallels list! let’s not think too hard about why the Uryuoms use DNA of all molecules to encode genetic information.)
Grace apparently remembers an Uryuom lab worker called Mr Guyur, explaining why she knows Uryuomoco. He’s dead now.
In a flashback sequence, William and Gillian explain some backstory. They came to Tedd’s dad with a now-forbidden transformation device that uses forbidden object oriented programming (lol seriously) and is therefore more powerful than traditional Uryuom transformation tech. At least 2015!Dan Shive acknowledges ‘forbidden object-oriented programming’ is kind of hilariously silly.
Tedd apparently jumped at the chance to use the Forbidden OOP Transformation Tech (*cough* trans *cough*). Anyway Tumblr’s HTML editor (which I’m using to get a list with A, B, C, at least on the actual blog if not the dash) is bugging out with auto-scrolling so I’m going to stop this post here.