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To be fair, Layla HAS lived a life in which assuming the absolute worst about people usually turns out to be a very smart move. We should probably be at least a LITTLE forgiving of her snap judgements...
She only wants to know for purely academic reasons! Honest!

So, I promised you all something extra today that was SUPPOSED to happen on Tuesday, and here it is: T HE THIRD FAR OUT THERE MADLIB COMIC IS FINALLY AVAILABLE ON THE PUBLIC PATREON GALLERY! I know, it's been a looong time since I did one, and even longer since I put one out for the general public, but it's mainly because this most recent (ha) one turned out so incredibly long. I didn't want to put this one out for casual readers until I had something else going for patrons, and of course I've been struggling with maintaining a steady schedule there for quite a while. But that's the other good news: I'M FINALLY GONNA DO A NEW FAR OUT THERE MADLIB COMIC!

Okay, if you've only just started reading recently, you probably don't know what I'm talking about. One of the perks I offered when I got started on Patreon was, every so often, I'd post a short comic plot summary with key words left blank, MadLib-style. The post would only be visible to people donating $5 or more, and anyone in that group could write a filled out version in the comments. Then I'd take the first/best/only response and actually draw it out in comic form. The IDEA was that they'd be four to six pages long. T hat last one was sixteen pages. You can see how there was a problem with the process. I think I've found some ways to reign myself in better this time, though, so I'm finally gonna offer to do a new one again... in a few days.

Let's face it: I suck at the whole self-promoting thing, so it's entirely possible there could be somebody reading Far Out There right now who didn't even know I DID stuff like this through Patreon. Thus, I'm gonna give this little spiel the weekend to be seen by people (and also to spam the social media accounts a bit) and allow that b ig giant extra blast of content to entice people before making the Patreon post on Monday or Tuesday. If this sounds like something you want to get in on, start donating on Patreon! Anything over $5 a month lets you fill in the madlib, and even if you just want to read the eventual results without having to wait a year, donating just $1 a month still lets you read all comic posts right away. But come on, you know you wanna spring for the +$5 tier, right? You wanna make me draw a few extra pages staring that one Far Out There character you think I don't show enough, right? C'mon! Buy the right to tell me what to do!
See, that's actually sounds like something good that I'd be interested in seeing... which sadly makes it less realistic. The version I imagined focuses way more on cutesy/fanservicy school antics with the MC's harem (gotta squeeze in as many waifus as possible!), occasionally interrupted by totally unearned stabs at emotional resonance, and ultimately avoiding any kind of resolution in favor of maintaining the status quo. It sounds terrible, but it'd sell way more body pillows.
So, the gag here was ORIGINALLY supposed to be how geeks constantly try to hijack any conversation and steer it towards something they can rant about, but I think that light novel idea totally hijacked the comic. No joke, I just bashed that title out without much though beyond trying to make it as rambling as possible, but after just five minutes daydreaming in the shower, I was able to come up with an actually legit plot for My Childhood Friend Is Daughter Of A Yakuza Boss And Thinks She’s A Magical Girl And Keeps Trying To Kill My Family! ...and it's TERRIFYINGLY close to something that could actually be made and sold to people.

Also, as dumb as "History of Anime in Tax Law" sounds, I DID see a panel at Otakon once that was actually just a lecture on how to write a resume. This isn't much of a stretch.
Okay, so this is the last page... but it originally wasn't supposed to be. Believe it or not, my original plan had been to end this whole thing on the PREVIOUS page, which would have been effective in a certain way, but waaaaaay too dark for Far Out There. We needed some kind of denouement to (a) confirm with our own eyes that Pattie did NOT actually murder Mooney and (b) include at least a little bit of humanizing material to balance out the more horrifying bits. Thankfully, the sheer number of pages and intense exhaustion meant I had to post things in chunks, which gave me time to realize the flaws of that ending and tack on one more page... probably the only possible situation where adding ANOTHER page would actually have helped rather than make things worse.

Again, I cannot stress enough how there will NEVER be another Far Out There MadLib comic as long as this one, or overstate how badly the need to recover from this screwed up the schedule of all the other Patreon comics. Thankfully, I think I've worked out some more effective forms of self-discipline... and more importantly, I've gotten burned out enough on OTHER things that the thought of doing more MadLibs finally feels like an exciting escape from the norm again. So I'm gonna do another one, and you can get in on it! If you pledge at least $5 a month on Patreon, you'll receive the brand new Far Out There MadLib, just waiting to be filled in, sometime next week. Write your completed version in the comments, and I'll post a set of comments based on the winner for everyone to see! Well, everyone who's donating, that is (Remember, it's $5 to submit something, but anyone pledging anything, even just $1 a month, will get to read the comics when they're done)

...actually, what am I saying, "quiet"? Pattie hasn't shut up this whole time. Look at how huge the speech bubbles are in this page. That's not by design. I was just so used to leaving space for HUGE GOBS OF PATTIE DIALOG that I automatically drew them five sizes bigger than the page required.
Again, I can't imagine why Layla and Pattie don't have a better relationship. She's clearly GREAT with kids!
And that's another reason why this was such a tricky set of comics to write: I knew Pattie was gonna go on this self-satisfied rant about the narrative she'd constructed, which meant I really, REALLY had to make sure I didn't slip and have somebody say something contradictory. Few things are more obnoxious than a story that pats itself on the back for being clever, even as the reader can plainly see a place where it screwed something up.

But yeah, I truly am proud that I was somehow able to squeeze an entire epilogue for The Killer Station of Deadly Doom into a comic about detective fiction and a room with a zither.
Pattie is secretly the most terrifying character in all of Far Out There. At least, it USED to be a secret.
See? If I specifically call out the ways in which I did a bad job, I can claim it was all on purpose! Also, Pattie would make a good internet commentator. She hates everything.

Also also, SURPRISE WORLDBUILDING! We learn more and more about the Persean Confederation that keeps getting name dropped, AND a surprise call-back to that planet where Ichabod got called in to critique an art museum!
I've already said that I'm going to force myself to keep future madlibs from exceeding five or six pages, but another important rule needs to be "NEVER TRY TO WRITE AN ENTIRE SONG FROM SCRATCH." The rough draft for this page didn't QUITE consist of a big blank space with the words "write song here" scribbled in the middle, but it might as well have. I still wound up having to make most of this up in one go during the editing process, with only a vague (non-rhyming) outline to elaborate on. NEVER. AGAIN.

Oh, and this was the first page that went up after a MAGFest trip, too. THAT sure made everything a lot easier and in no way wore me out!
I dunno why Layla doesn't get along better with Pattie, she's clearly overflowing with a warm, natural motherly demeanor.

This is also the point at which this comic became the longest of the MadLibs, and I'm pretty sure it ends up overtaking even the longest Conventional Wisdom set by the end. Jenna's comic is still longer, though... and if I ever actually start posting more pages of THAT, the lead will become insurmountable!
I'm just gonna throw this out there: I've learned to play guitar and cello in my time, and I cannot even BEGIN to fathom the mental and physical coordination a person would need to have in order to competently play EITHER of them while singing. I was having a good day when I could remember not to drool all over myself while playing.
Once could argue that this is out of character for Mooney, since we saw her masterminding a scheme to sneakily get at a superweapon. I would counter that she was being completely bamboozled by a pair of con artists and the superweapon didn't exist. Clearly, complex thinking isn't REALLY Mooney's thing. She prefers simple, direct things. Like explosions. And things that facilitate explosions.
No, seriously. People talking and funny faces. Throw in some geeky scifi references and that's basically all I need as an artist.
Two characters sitting in a blank room, making weird faces at each other. This just might be the comic I was born to draw.
I said it before, but I really did love the chance to actually explore Pattie's character a bit and actually establish some interests and personality bits. Normally I only get to depict her reacting to Eric or in Layla's recollections, seeing her do stuff on her own was a really fun diversion.
So, this is a huge part of why these comics took so long to write. It's not just that there's a lot of them, but that they're SOOOOOO dialog heavy. And it's not just the presence of lots of talking, it's EXCLUSIVELY talking for the most part. It isn't like normal sequential storytelling, where there's also a visual aspect to help convey information, it's just two heads talking. The dialog alone really has to convey the plot, and it's a REALLY tricky, needlessly elaborate plot when you get down to it, so I had to rewrite and rewrite and rewrite a LOT of dialog to try and make it clear and digestible. I'm still not sure if I was consistently able to pull it off, but I do know that I REALLY want the next madlib to be primarily visual gags.

Also, I SUCK at drawing most instruments. I'm not even good at the ones I actually know how to play, so you'd better believe something like a zither, which I've never even touched, was guaranteed to look AWFUL.
Oh man, this was one has been lurking in the depths of Patreon for a LONG time, hasn't it? On the one hand, it just might be my favorite Far Out There thing I've done for Patreon, yet it's also the one this thing that ABSOLUTELY screwed everything up. After the last one, I'd tried to specifically word this madlib in a way that'd prevent me from going too long again... only for the winner to inspire me to make the longest non-Jenna-related set of comics I've EVER done for Patreon. That winner?

"Pattie and Mooney are stuck in a room, empty except for a zither. They have an argument about detective fiction."

In case you don't remember, that's Layla's rarely-seen Mom, and the little girl villain from The Killer Station of Deadly Doom... which, in case you ALSO don't remember, involved her repeatedly endangering Layla's Dad. The possibilities of all that background locked in a single room, and more importantly a chance to actually establish some of Pattie's post-retcon character in actual comic form, were just too fascinating not to explore, and the result is the probably the only Patreon MadLib that I'll ever officially declare to be cannon. Yes, everything you're about to read "really happened." This isn't some filler joke or anything like that, it's genuinely a part of the comic's backstory. So, yeah, I really do like result, but WOW did it ever take too long to do, and it pretty much screwed up any semblance of an update schedule. Clearly, I still haven't gotten that mess cleared up, BUT, at least now I'm finally letting the general public see what all the fuss was about!