Chapter 5: Lit, page 88.

Chapter 5: Lit, page 88.

Orpha stopped being a head cheerleader named Marilyn like 40 years ago, but she never really stopped, you know?

Discussion (60)¬

  1. Atraea says:

    I am LOVING Orpha right now. Just everything about her. Can’t wait to see more.

  2. Casey says:

    More Zebulon, please.

  3. Jerry says:

    Yeah, John has no idea.

    So when does the screaming start? [gets popcorn and settles in]

  4. Johnny B. Average says:

    Get out of here, Zebulon! No one likes your style.

  5. Wirrit says:

    Oh! I see she and Reagan shop at similar stores. And yet, somehow, Reagan’s is classier…

  6. Kayna says:

    Zebulon seems like the brains of this pair. Orpha must be the “talent”.

    • C. Mage says:

      Zebulon is the major-domo who does all the actual work, Orpha’s just the person who owns the “company” and makes the decisions, as well as sustains the arrogance and self-entitlement for her business. She probably has more trouble with Sincerists.

      • Hanna says:

        Oh dear lord, the mere thought of Orpha and the Sincerists… either she’s one of them or she would prefer to see them all burned at the stake.

  7. norm says:

    “Say what you like. It is impudent and I shall be accomodated.” … is now my motto.

  8. Pearle says:

    Orpha seems like the sibling Zebulon told himself to NOT be like when he was growing up.

    • Hanna says:

      If they indeed are siblings, that might be a good guess… except if he didn’t want to be like her, why’s he shopping clothes in the same place?

      • Chris says:

        This is the Oarlock. That may very well be his uniform.

        • George Spelvin says:

          Given that they both have hold the same title of “dove” and are both wearing the same jackets with the same odd mini cape thingy on the back (there may be an actual “fashion name” for this – I don’t know), I think uniforms is a good guess. Bad fashion sense can’t be that bad, but all bets are off where uniforms are concerned. Just look at the 19th century. Very silly.

          • AoD says:

            IIRC, that was more along the lines of “let’s make it so that we don’t shoot our own dudes by accident because everything is brown and muddy”. :/

  9. D. Walker says:

    Wait, I’m a tad confused how to read this.

    Panel three, Orpha’s speech bubble… is that a comma, or a period after the “Thank you”? Because it looks like a period to me, and that entirely changes the reading. If it’s a comma, then she’s addressing the fellow we see here by his name – to wit, Zebulon Dove.

    But! If it’s a period, she’s not addressing him at all. She says “thank you” to him sarcastically to dismiss his faux-reverence, then she starts her next comment with an oath. “Jesus Christ, xxx…” or “Neptune’s navel, xxx…” or something like that.

    Aside from the punctuation in question looking more like a period to me than a comma, there’s also the matter of how he’s speaking to her. He refers to her as “Miss Dove”, which would be somewhat odd if his own name was Dove as well.

    That said, the second instance of Zebulon is harder to read this way. One could see it as a double oath, like “Jesus, Mary Mother of Christ” or similar. This does seem a bit odd though, and an argument could certainly be made for the other reading, that she is once again addressing the fellow by his name. But again, isn’t it odd for him to call her “Miss Dove” then?

    • Pseudo says:

      Looks like period, makes more sense as comma. Mr. Zebulon Dove is the guys name. and hers is Miss Orpha Dove, but they may or may not be related. Leaders of the Oarlock sexual industry take the name ‘Dove’ as a pseudonym, and are collectively known as ‘the Doves’.

      • Hanna says:

        But I thought the ones calling themselves the Doves were female? I mean, sure, he can run whatever brothel he wants, but would he call himself a Dove? I still hope they’re related, because if he did, it’d make him lamer than I want him to be. (If that made any sense. =p)

        • Crowling says:

          I think the Doves refers to any prostitute, regardless of gender. So he’s probably a prostitute with mad skills at organizing stuff who ended up as Oprah’s second-in-command. He certainly seems too confident to be an underling.

          • Hanna says:

            Your description reminds me of the dark-skinned lady protecting Barney’s best interests in the face of the whore mob, only from the other side of the picket line. :-P (I’m too lazy to check the comic for her name.)

      • George Spelvin says:

        Warning: History Lesson ahead

        “Soiled Dove” is an old term used to describe prostitutes forced into the profession by their lowly circumstances and not through any choice of their own. For the best description of the term, look up “The Soiled Dove Plea” on the internets (and while you’re at it, look up Temple Houston, the man who made it – well worth the time).

        I have no doubt the C.E.O.s of incorporated prostitution Inc. in Templar, both male and female, all take the title (and assumed surname) of “Dove” as an ironic reference to “Soiled Dove”, as they are most definitely NOT of lowly status or limited choices in their livelihood (though I wouldn’t put it past any of them to attempt the Soiled Dove Plea for themselves nonetheless – especially Orpha).

        • tricksterson says:

          Am guessing it’s equivalent to the Communist “comrade” or the Quaker “friend”.

          • George Spelvin says:

            Given what Nicky Collision said in the first Damage Report (Chapter 3, Page 20) and from elsewhere in the comic, I’m pretty sure “Dove” is a title for high ranking house madams and other Captains of Horizontal Industry.

    • Mel says:

      We’ve seen in the last page that Orpha will speak. Like. The Comic-book. Guy. for dramatic effect so I don’t think that period is for grammar, just an abrupt stop in her speech.
      I’m personally hearing it as a haughty thats-enough-of-that-dear speech-interrupting “Thaannn-KEW(!) Zebulon Dove, but…”.

    • Linners says:

      This right here is why people should buy the books! In addition to being a great way to support Spike, there are tons of delicious little expository footnotes. The Doves are explained as being the governing pimps/madams of the Oarlock, having worked their way up from being simple whores to being the bosses. Zebulon is the only (current) male Dove. Pseudonyms are used to avoid scorn from families, of course, and the surname Dove is used as a sort of reference to the beginnings of the Oarlock, to the first Dove (Ma Dove, Miss Dove, the one they made the statue of).

  10. keith says:

    a woman in a poorly made (imeho) cast bronze bustiah (forgive, I can say it not spell it) has no right to criticize someone who dress for work in an appropriate manner. Or, do I owe the annoying hag an apology?

    • Hanna says:

      Maybe she’s dressed for work too? =p
      Other than that, no, you don’t owe the hag an apology. Even if she was right, you don’t owe her an apology. XD

    • C. Mage says:

      Incidentally, the word you were looking for is “bustier”. Same pronounciation.

  11. Invictus says:

    We are looking at Gwen Stefani in about 15 years….

  12. vitupera says:

    Strangely, I feel a slight twinge of sympathy for Orpha with that last comment. The bizarre ascension of Palin had me wondering who the hell my fellow citizens were… and I may have said something regrettably snide in my panic that she might actually become friggin’ VP.

    • Ganurath says:

      I might have felt similar sympathy until one considers the context of that comment. Her worldview is more like that of a Twilight fan who can’t understand why the biker gang doesn’t ship Team Jacob. It isn’t a revelation that triggers empathic dissonance, it’s simple narccicism.

  13. Matt says:

    Even as I come to dislike Orpha more and more, I find myself really identifying with Zebulon.

  14. Bremma says:

    I bet this is what the woman that said that the (correct and only) fix to the e-mailing issues her company had was ‘asinine and retarded’ looked and acted like. What a colossal bitch.

  15. AlmostLiterally says:

    We’ve only seen two panels of Zebulon, and I’m already hoping that he becomes part of the main cast.

  16. Kathleen says:

    I don’t understand the cumberbund-link ribbons round the waist.

    • Kathleen says:

      I meant “cumberbund-LIKE”

      • C. Mage says:

        It’s strongly reminescent of the cloth garment used in traditional kimonos. The Doves seem to favor clothing that’s a mishmash of styles.

        • George Spelvin says:

          Except they’re both wearing the same jackets with the same weird cape thing. That says “uniform” to me.

    • Linners says:

      Oh, ha! Finally some of my knowledge of classical Japanese culture comes into play! The cloth sashes are called obi, an essential element of any kimono. However, Zebulon and Orpha are wearing them backwards- tied in the front, that is. Normal women, geisha, and nobles would wear obi with that sort of cascading cloth going down their backs. However, oiran (high class whores) wore their obi tied in the front, perhaps for “easy access”. They wore thick overcoat-like kimono layered over thinner ones, often paired with fake collars to mimic even more layers. They also sported very high sandals, outlandish amounts of hair ornaments, and more dramatic makeup than a geisha.

      Woo references to historical prostitution!

  17. Lady Jenn says:

    Okay, Zebulon can stay. I like snark.

    • PlutoniumBoss says:

      That, and he’s probably the only person in Templar that can rein in Orpha to any degree. Can you imagine what she would be like without him there for an occasional reality check?

  18. Snowpea says:

    Lil’ French grammar fix: it’s Impératrice *Immortelle* (ie the adjective is feminine to match the feminine Impératrice. Sowwy)

  19. AMC says:

    Orpha seems like that hilariously bitchy aunt that is awesome from a distance, but not if you’re related to her. I love characters who are stuck in their heads like this

  20. Joanna says:

    i love every new character you introduce. everytime i get stuck looking at the dialogue and their postures and it’s so incredibly amazing how you write them :)
    they’re real people, i swear

  21. Sara says:

    “he is in OVERALLS. i thought i understood this city..”

    i’m going to start muttering, “i thought i understood this city” every time i see someone in questionable attire.

  22. enomís says:

    No one will understand this city.

  23. enomís says:


  24. Kzwix says:


    Just a word from a frenchman reading your work : It should be “impératrice immortelle”, not “immortel”, which is the male form. Adjectives change with the gender and the number, in French.

    Just thought you’d like to know and correct it ;)

  25. Her expressions are absolutely perfect; this is exactly the face that kind of person makes. She has that certain… Joie de Backpfeifengesicht about her.

  26. Lore says:

    Frowning makes wrinkles, Orpha dear.