#257: Santa's Workload


[Max and Alex are walking in the snow.] \n Max: What are you asking Santa for this year? \n Alex: Max, Santa doesn't exist. \n [Max turns to Alex.] \n Max: He does too! How come you know I'm a demigod but won't believe in Santa? \n Alex: Th-that's different! There's evidence! \n [Max climbs on to the USPS mailbox while handing Alex some paperwork.] \n Max: Well, if you change your mind, I brought extra paperwork. \n [Alex looks at the paperwork.] \n [Alex fills out the A-56 Delivery Request.] \n [An elf talks to Santa, who is buried under paperwork and resting his head on his desk.] \n Elf: Sir, you have some mail from an Alexander McJeannason. \n Santa: UUUUNGGHHH \n [Santa looks at a wall of files, while the elf inspects some papers.] \n [The elf reads, Santa screams.] \n Elf: It says he changed his name to match his gender identity in 2010, but our records still list him as Alexandra. So, we need to submit forms A-97 through И-54, then request a complete refiling of all with a last name of "McJea-" and wait 6-8 weeks for them to reorganize- \n Santa: AAAAAAAA \n [Alex is reading a letter next to the mailbox with Alex.] \n Alex: "Your form could not be processed because I really need a break?" \n Max: They have some great spas at the North Pole.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays! Managing mail from two billion children takes a toll, so delivery will be delayed this Christmas. (Santa is supportive of trans people, he is just overworked.)

 Oops, correction: Margonsfield's suburbs are in 92036, not 91916. 91916 is downtown.


#256: Bad Idea


[Fred, Amanda, and Elaine.] \n Fred: You know that power outage we had? \n Amanda: Yeah. \n Fred: I realized even though it was dark, I could still feel around for where everything was! \n [Fred holds a green blindfold.] \n Fred: I've decided to go blindfolded for a day to see what it's like. \n Amanda (off-panel): Uh oh. \n Elaine (off-panel): There are so many ways that could go wrong. \n [Fred's phone alarm buzzes on the table.] \n PHONE: 6:30 \n [Fred showering with blindfold.] \n [Fred brushing his teeth.] \n [Fred washing his face.] \n SFX: SPLASH \n [Fred eating his breakfast, cereal strewn about.] \n SFX: CRUNCH \n [Fred clicks his seatbelt.] \n SFX: CLICK \n [Fred drives out of his barn/garage in his 1952 Volkswagen Beetle.] \n SFX: VROOM \n [A Prius is waiting at a red light.] \n SFX: CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK \n [Fred's car crashes into the Prius.] \n SFX: BOOM \n [Fred, Amanda, Elaine. Fred is covered in casts.] \n Elaine: That..did not go well. \n Fred: But not in the way you might expect!
"Why didn't you just take off the blindfold to go to work?" "Hindsight is 20/20, okay? Especially when you can't see at all at the time."


#255: On Trial (Part Seven)

[Time, Fred, and Max.] \n CAPTION: BACK IN THE PRESENT... \n Time: well, time to go home, i suppose. \n Fred: Oh boy! Can we take the fire donkeys again? \n [Time and Fred.] \n Time: well, uh...you got here by eating negative saltines? \n Fred: And broke reality, which sent me here to prevent further damage. \n [Close-up of Time.] \n Time: um...you'd want to...obviously, you could...maybe...uhhh... \n [Fred runs away gleefully.] \n Time: sure, take the fire donkeys again. \n Fred: Yayyyy! \n [Max and Time watch Fred off-panel.] \n Fire donkey: ROAR \n Fred: Giddyup! \n [Max turns to see an annoyed Life staring down at him.] \n [Max talks to Life.] \n Max: Life, I know you're disappointed in me- \n Life: I'm not disappointed. I'm just mad. \n [Max begs.] \n Max: But I don't know what I was thinking and I'm really sorry and can I have another chance? \n [Life is moved.] \n [He grudgingly restores Max's magic.] \n Life: Fine. You can have your magic back. \n Max: Yay! \n [Time restores Max's magic.] \n Time: you know you'll have to recharge next year, Max. \n Max: I know. \n Time: so we're sending you to the Other Side to find magic. \n Max: Oh, ok. \n Life: We are? \n [Max juggles fireballs in the background.] \n Time: i know it's dangerous, but it's not his first trip and- \n Life: It's not? \n Time: ... \n [Life points at Time, who is angry, while Max drops a fireball and starts a fire by accident.] \n Life: I *knew* it! You *do* like that place! \n Time: those trips were strictly necessary! he needs to find some sustainable magic source! the less magic there the better! \n [Time turns to Max as Max waves and disappears.] \n Time: anyway, you should probably get going. \n Max: Bye! \n Time: your magic should last till Halloween '21, so you should leave for the Other Side around then. \n [Zoom out to show the main Universe HQ buildings are on a large floating island in space with patches of grass and vines. There are other similar floating islands with energy bridges between them.] \n Time: seriously though, how many mortals did you marry? \n Life: Just the ones I married? \n Time: *sigh* \n CAPTION: HAPPY HALLOGIVING FROM TINY STRIPZ
Finally, I can return to the present. Tune in next comic for Max's adventures with the Pillbug in the Other Side!


#254: On Trial (Part Six)

[Elaine and Alex are looking down at the camera, dark and blurry.] \n Max: Ughhh... \n [They become less blurry and lighter.] \n Max: Is that... \n [Zoom out, leaving Max's POV. Elaine and Alex are next to Max's hospital bed.] \n Elaine: Max! You're awake! \n Max: Wha...what happened? \n [Cut to Norris Poker leaning on a wall.] \n Norris: You and your uncle were found unconscious by Lookout Road with uranium poisoning. It was a struggle to save your uncle, but you were easy. It was like you has gotten a...a boost. \n [Norris takes off his sunglasses, which glow with a lens flare.] \n Norris: Almost...supernatural. \n [A nurse pushes Alex, Elaine, and Norris out of the room.] \n Nurse: Alright, out, you three. Patient needs his rest. \n Norris: Hey! Do you know who I am? \n Alex: But I didn't say anything yet! \n [Max lies in bed.] \n [Time and Life appear to the left.] \n SFX: ZAP \n Time: and that's our cue. \n Life: Hi Max! \n [Max lookes angry.] \n Max: Guys, you can't be in here! What if someone saw you? \n Time: it's ok, life cast an invisibility spell. \n Life: Wait, what? \n Nurse (off-panel): Oh my *god*! \n [Nurse is staring at the two gods. Alex and Elaine are trying to get past to see.] \n Time: seriously? what happened to your invisibility spell? \n Life: It's really hard to cast your brand of magic, ok? \n Elaine: Wait, what's going on? \n [Alex and Elaine stare at Max. Life and Time vanish.] \n Life: I'll see myself out. \n Time: as will i. \n Max: Guys! Seriously? \n [Alex crosses his arms.] \n Alex: Ok, you had better explain that, and fast. \n Max: Fine. \n [Focus on Max.] \n Max: So I got bitten by Fred, and then some gods appeared and wanted to kill me so I could work with them, but I said no, so they healed me but still employed me. Now, here I am. \n [Elaine is shocked, Alex is not.] \n [Same scene.] \n Alex: Wow. \n [They walk down the hospital hallway. Elaine is in shock for the rest of the comic.] \n Max: I kinda thought you would be...more surprised. \n Alex: I expected this to happen sooner or later. You always could control weather, and my room catches fire when you're mad. \n Max: Oh yeah. Sorry about that. \n [They walk to their Tesla past an ambulance.] \n Max: Do you think Mom will be ok? \n Alex: She's just in shock. She'll be fine. \n [Focus on the family.] \n Alex: Mom, are you ready to drive? \n Alex: ...Mom? \n [Max drives, Alex in the front seat, and Elaine in the back.]

Max shouldn't be driving for another 12 years, but there you have it.
I haven't updated in quite a while, so I guess this is my Halloween comic? He nearly dies and blood is shown, so that's good enough. In a blood bag, but it still counts.


#253: Happy Bi+ Day!


[Left to right: Amanda holds a lesbian flag with an asterisk, Life holds a pansexual flag, Fred waves two pansexual flags, and Alex holds a bi flag.] \n CAPTION: Happy Bi+ Day!

Happy #BiVisibilityDay for everyone who's bi, pan, poly or anything else under the bi umbrella!

Here are all the Tiny Stripz characters who are bi+ (and one who is lesbian). I'm aware that lesbian isn't bi+ but I missed a Pride Month comic.


#252: On Trial (Part Five)


[Max's spirit leaves his body.] \n [Max's spirit rises more. A sparkling light grows behind Max.] \n Max: Huh? \n [Max turns towards the light.] \n [Close up on Max's hand reaching for the light.] \n [The background cracks around Life and Time as they appear.] \n Life: Hey there! \n Max: WAUGH \n [Life waves.] \n Max: Who...what are you? \n Time: i'm time, god of physics and order. this is life, god of life and chaos. \n Time: i'm a conscious fold in spacetime required to exist by reality. \n Time: he's a disembodied consciousness evolved from my requests of the universe. \n [Same scene. Life raises a finger.] \n Time: and together, we rule the universe! \n Life: *Our* part of the universe. \n Time: ...yes. \n [Same scene.] \n Time: point is, we take recently deceased progidies from around the world- \n Life: -And employ them as Managers of Celestia! \n [Max is offended and nervous.] \n Max: I-I'm not "recently deceased!" \n Time: psh. with that bite, you'll be dead in a femtosecond. \n Life: Quicker than a Dracula ant's jaw! \n Time: anyways, you're the brightest pupil we've seen in a millenium. probably ever! \n Time: except for an, though... \n Time: whaddya say? join the team? \n [Max thinks.] \n [Max crosses his arms with a smug and daring expression.] \n Max: If I'm the brightest you've seen in a millenium, maybe we can make a deal. \n Max: I'll join your team, and you revive me and bring me back to my mortal body. \n [Time and Max.] \n Time: it's traditional to get Managers only after they've died. \n Max: Well then, you'll have to find another. I can't leave my family. \n [Time.] \n Time: but... \n Time: you... \n Time: how... \n [Same scene.] \n Time: *argh*! why do we always pick such smart alecs to Manage the universe! \n Time: fine. life, charge him up. \n [Life hovers towards Max's body, electricity crackling along his hands. Max's spirit is next to him.] \n Life: Here goes. This might sting a little. \n Max: Wait, wha- \n [Max's body is covered in electric bolts originating from his heart, which has a heart glyph. Max's eyes are wide open and glowing.] \n SFX: BOOM

Being revived from the brink of death isn't bad enough without a little shock.

So a little of the gods' backstory here. Time was the first thing to exist along with the Energy, which is the matter of the whole universe and is represented as one of the Glyphs. He demanded a lot of stuff out of the Energy so he could create the stars, galaxies, etc.

Eventually the responsive part of the Energy (Life) evolved a consciousness and independence, and ran away. Time chased him down and they agreed to a truce, deciding to work together.

Soon the universe would not be theirs alone...


#251: On Trial (Part Four)

[Fred and Life.] \n Fred: So why are we here again? \n Life: It's a murder trial. [Fred and Life.] \n Fred: So why are we here again? \n Life: It's a murder trial. [Fred and Life.] \n Fred: So why are we here again? \n Life: It's a murder trial. \n [Fred is confused.] \n Fred: Huh? \n Life: Remember? Max tried to kill you? \n [Fred squints.] \n [Life is annoyed.] \n Life: Yesteday? \n [Fred scratches his chin.] \n [Realization.] \n Fred: Ohhh! \n [Fred shrugs it off.] \n Fred: Nah, that's in the past. Water inside the bridge or something. Cleared of all cherubs. \n Life: But-but he tried to kill you! \n [Fred shrugs.] \n Fred: Happens to the best of us. \n Life: No it doesn't! \n Fred: Really? You've never had a mortal you needed to smite? \n [Life has a regretful flashback.] \n Life: I did the dishes yesterday! \n Man: No you didn't! \n [Fred smiles.] \n Life: Fine. \n [Zoom out. Max and Time are now visible.] \n Fred: So...what is this place, exactly? \n Time: Universe HQ. this is how your nephew has his powers. let me tell you a story... \n [Flashback to a charred room. Fred and a worker are picking up nuclear waste and putting it in a box. Fred has a contaminated SD coffee cup and is removing his mask.] \n SIGN: MARGONSFIELD, CA NUCLEAR POWER PLANT \n Worker: Ok, that's all the waste. \n Fred: Phew! \n CAPTION: 3 YEARS (AND 1 DAY) PRIOR \n [Fred drinks his nuclear waste coffee.] \n Worker (off-panel): Hang on, Fred, there's some in your coff- \n Fred: Five second rule! \n [Fred freezes in place, eyes wide.] \n Worker: Fred, that was incredibly dangerous! Spit that out! \n [Close-up of Fred. A network is forming in his eyes and his skin has green veins.] \n Worker (off-panel): Fred? \n [Zoom-out. Fred grows muscles and fangs and flexes them in anger.] \n Fred: GRAGH! \n [Cut to a neighborhood. Alex is trick-or-treating as a vampire, and Max as a bug-thing. Fred is still in the background.] \n Alex: Hey Max, I need to get something. Wait with Uncle Fred, ok? \n Max: Ok! \n [Max drops his costume and walks towards Fred.] \n Max: Hi Fred! I saw you on the weather news today! Check out my bug costume! \n [Beat.] \n [Max is nervous.] \n Max: ...Fred? \n [Zoom in. Fred lunges and bites Max's arm.] \n SFX: CHOMP
Hi everyone! Sorry this comic is late, I was on vacation. You might need to read #54 to get this. The non-flashback part of the On Trial series is set on November 1, 2020. This flashback is set October 31, 2017.

I'm not sure what exactly the COVID situation is in the Tinyverse, by the way.


#250: On Trial (Part Three)


[Life and Time. Time is growing angry and red.] \n Time: you MARRIED a MORTAL? \n Life: It gets lonely here with only you to talk to! \n [Time begins to assume his true form. Life's essence is sucked toward Time.] \n Time: there are hundreds of Managers here, and *billions* of humans in your "Afterlife"! \n Life: Whoa, calm down... Your don't want to annihilate HQ again, do you? \n [Time calms down.] \n Time: sigh...you're right. i guess- \n [Fred enters, glowing green. Time gets angry again.] \n Fred: Hey guys! \n Time: what-WHO WANTS TO EXPLAIN WHAT A MORTAL IS DOING HERE? \n [A confused Life squeezes Fred's face.] \n Life: Fred? How did you get here? \n Fred: Same as last time... \n [Flashback to glowing saltines surrounded by "-1"s.] \n Fred: ...One too many saltines.

I'm back baby! Sorry for only posting 5 panels after nearly 4 months of hiatus, but a 21-panel is ready to go for Saturday. This series is going to add a lot of backstory and make a few references to past comics. Fred is referencing Negative Saltines here.


#249: On Trial (Part Two)


[Close-up of Time.] \n Time: life, present your prosecution. \n [Close-up of Life.] \n Life: On October 31st, 2020, Maxwell McJeannson attempted to murder Frederico McJeannason. \n [Life and Time.] \n Time: is that a crime? \n Life: It should be! \n [Time.] \n Time: being plaintiff and judge should be illegal too, but here we are. \n Time: let's see what the Convention has to say about this. \n [A book with maroon leather and a gold clock engraved on the cover appears.] \n SFX: POP \n [Time reads from the Convention.] \n Time: *ahem* "thou shall not kill, except under one of the following conditions: 1) the victim a) is a mortal free of any Celestial affiliations. \n [The book has disappeared.] \n Time: stupid humans always misquoting me. \n Time: well, that settles- \n Life (off-panel): Wait! \n [Life speaking smugly.] \n Life: I happen to know Fred's great-great-grandmother was directly affiliated with a Celestian. \n [Time and Life.] \n Time: really? how? \n Life: Uhhh... \n [Flashback. Life is holding hands with his bride. He is mostly in human form but his eyes are the same blue as before. A preist reads from a book.] \n CAPTION: Mar 14, 1900 \n Priest: ...I now pronounce you man and wife.

Thou shall not steal, by the definition of steal defined in §135.4.6 "Definitions" and using the exceptions specified in §49.1.11 "Common crime exceptions".


#247: Crossed Fingers


[Max and Alex are walking, Max with his fingers crossed.] \n Max: Life hack\: Crossing your fingers lets you tell white lies. \n Alex: No, but ok. \n [Max crosses his fingers on both hands.] \n Max: Crossing *four* fingers lets you tell bigger lies. \n Alex: Wait- \n [Max crosses four fingers on each hand.] \n Max: So crossing *eight* lets you get away with *anything*. \n Alex: Max, this doesn't- \n [Max's speech is outlined with red. Alex's eyes turn gray. \n Max: My idea works and it's entirely ethical. \n Alex: Great ethical idea, Max. \n Max: Thanks!

🀞🀞🀞🀞 You loved this comic and will share it. Must...resist...


#246: Dark Matter


[Elaine is answering a mostly off-panel reporter, who is holding a microphone up to Elaine.] \n Reporter: What exactly is "dark matter"? \n Elaine: Well, that's the thing. We're not really sure. See- \n [Fred runs toward them in the background.] \n Fred: Guys! Wait! \n [Fred stands next to Elaine.] \n Fred: I missed a sign change with the gravitational formula. There is no dark matter. \n [Elaine angrily curls her fists.] \n Fred: Heh, all those years of work for nothing, right?

"But I solved the extra dimensions problem!" "Really?" "Yeah, string theory apparently also works in two dimensions."


#245: Good Riddance


[Alex is building a simple blobby snowman. Max is building a detailed snow stick figure out of snow, twigs, and vines. Fred is walking toward Elaine and Amanda.] \n Fred: Hi guys! \n Elaine: You made it! \n [They now have glasses of champagne.] \n Elaine: Wow, this year has been pretty terrible. COVID, RBG, wildfires... \n Amanda: Let's toast to a better 2021! \n Fred: Yeah! \n [They are laughing and chatting. Alex is accidentally sledding backwards, crushing his snowman. Max is hovering and meditating, with the Glyphs surrounding him. He is projecting a ray of red light into space.] \n [Zoom out to the entire Earth. The ray of light is visible in space, projecting from Southern California.] \n [A blank space. The "ceiling" has all the stars on it, and the ray of light is visible projecting from the Sun and surrounding Max, who is there. Also there are Life, Time, and two Celestial Managers.] \n CEILING: UNIVERSE HQ \n Life: Ok, what next for "Decade of Horror"? \n Time: earthquake in NYC? \n Max: UN budget shortage? \n Cyan Celestial Manager: Meteor hits Tokyo? \n Life: I love all of these ideas. \n [The right side shows a scene of fireworks and the cast of characters: Spider-Fish, Amanda, Alex, Fred, Max, Elaine, Grady, Time, and Life. A small signature design in the bottom-right corner.] \n CAPTION: HAPPY Bodha, Advent, St Barbara's, Krampusnacht, St Nick's, St Lucia's, Longest Night, Christmas, St Anastasia's, St Stephen's, St John's, Holy Innocent's, St Sylvester's, Pancha Ganapati, HumanLight, Hannukah, Yule, Kolilada, Yalda, Boxing Day, Dongzhi Festival, Hogmunay, Kwanzaa, Ōmisoka, Soyal, Winter Solstice, Chalica, St Basil's, Twelfth Night, Epiphany, Tu BiShvat, Lohri, Maghi, Pongal

Goodbye, 2020. You will not be missed. Editor's note: We take this back due to recent events: the EU collapse, UN budget shortage, and all the CIA files being erased due to an error in the flag-parser dependency.