This may very well be the first time someone actually risked their “life” to save Kat. This should have interesting repercussions…

Chiu ChunLing

She did have a mom, though.

Not that it won’t have interesting complications, since Kleya was already developing a “Mom” complex about Danni.

Now, if Danni does the smart thing and gets Kleya and herself out of this Charlie Foxtrot before Mary/Jane shows up to make it even less mellow, that might amplify the interesting complications.

Alexander The 1st
Congrats on the new pen. ~~~ My initial thought from this scene was “Oh – I guess Danni’s tackling, not pulling her down.” Then I realized – if the Dude’s not there, and that hits a tree – I suppose that solves the Bandit problem – Bandit being stuck as a tree for hitting the environment removes his influence from the team, the team goes kind of neutral until Danni goes Kesti, and Jake has a lot of time to try and “help” Kat from the back-end. With the Dude as the inner mole on the team, I suppose. …Though… Read more »

Oh hom someone hit a tree. We can’t have that


Ikr. I don’t think Bandit will actually get the punishment, but dangit I want him to turn into a tree! XD

honestly think he’d deserve it. when you are dealing with someone who MAY be a genocidal psychopath, you do NOT… you dont… he’s acting like someone with BRAIN DAMAGE. if someone has the ability to literally destroy civilisation with a mere thought,if that statement is NOT Hyperbole, a history of abuse from their father ( i get the feeling her father WAS abusive- not physically, but psychologically given how messed up he left Kleya- teaching someone to “win” anything they do at any cost is NOT remotely good parenting), you do NOT INTENTIONALLY HAMMER THEM AS HARD AS YOU CAN… Read more »
Chiu ChunLing
Yeah, in Jake’s defense I’m going to say he’s more of a mushroom than a player, he’s kept in the dark, fed…ahem, and expected to like it. He follows orders, he doesn’t give them. And he’s not much if any older than Kleya. They were both still pretty young teens at oldest two years ago. Still, he’s legitimately being a total idiot here. And it definitely occurred to him that what he’s attempting might result in the deaths of pretty much everyone left alive who still knows how to keep any of the rest of anyone alive, and he did… Read more »

Actually, the second attack was a followup on Kat, not Danni. Also, Jake is legitimately trying to help her. Seeing her take a hit has convinced him she’s changed. He still isnt sure what happened to her during the apocalypse, and he definitely wants to talk to her about it, but he MUST break her 100% in order to get his bosses off her trail. If he doesn’t push her here his boss will do far worse. (Personally, I think the boss might have her pegged.)

He did not expect her to “let her friends die rather than get caught breaking the rules” — he expected her to let her perfect 100 % drop by letting *the people of the opposing team* take a lethal hit, rather than get caught breaking the rules. He fully expected Danni to be saved, he was only surprised by how. And we don’t really know enough about his co-conspirators to tell whether his paranoia in regards to that perfect 100 % is reasonable or not — if it is, he may well be as pressed for time as he seems… Read more »
Chiu ChunLing
Fact remains, no matter what he is thinking, he KNOWS this is more likely to force Kleya to hack (even involuntarily, he has to realize by now that this is possible) than it is to ‘prove’ that she’s not who he’s positive she is to any of the people who are paranoid about her. After all, if anyone still NEEDS proof that she’s not her, the only proof they’ll actually accept is her physical body…and maybe not even that. She ALREADY proved she could be beaten by Jane, inflicting a Game death on her doesn’t add substantially to that, it’s… Read more »
Nate Gospel
you know, i don’t believe that kleya’s dad was any kind of abusive. a little overzealous in fostering kleya’s obvious talents maybe, but not abusive. as for poor jakey, he is simply struggling to do his level best in keeping his promise to kleya’s mom. tenka isn’t stupid. they understand that those who can use erbana are very limited. and that next to nobody can maintain 100% in that path without intimate understanding. they also know that kleya’s -mom is one of the only people who played the game that could do it. ala page 338-339. he’s not wrong in… Read more »
Chiu ChunLing
He’s wrong. Anyone that was still on the scent after seeing Kleya lose to Jane in the trials is not going to be convinced. In fact, realizing that Kleya could have won but instinctively chose not to use violence to do so makes it even harder to reconcile with what “everyone knows” about the cyborg. In other words, showing that she’s really great at the game and wasn’t just outmatched by Jane means that not only did she not hack to win, she didn’t even do everything she could have done short of hacking to win. And it considerably strengthens… Read more »


Also I’m completely confused about the layout of the place they are right now. Sometimes very, very pretty colors and artistic effects can obscure actual positioning of stuff… hopefully I’ll orient myself by going a bit back


Yay Danni! I wonder if she even realizes just how much she saved Kleya’s butt right there.


Wait I just realized something, does this mean Bandit made a direct attack on a tree? No Jake be careful!


Be careful? Stuff that! I’ve had a definite downer against that moron ever since he decided that to save the Kat he must kill the Kat. (And he’s not been on my ‘Favourite Characters’ list ever since he was introduced, cosying up to those two AI twins who seemed to be programmed to scare off/kill any newbie players in The Game.)


I think he’s just really confused. He obviously really cares about Kat but is going about saving her the wrong way. He’s kind of a lovable idiot right now for me.


i admit im biassed, but it feels like the issue isnt him being malicious, but lethally dense. as far as i know, he has no reason NOT to know that he almost Killed Danni IRL with that little stunt other then not doing his job….

Chiu ChunLing

He actually programmed those. Which makes it all kinds of creepier.


Welp!! Nice knowing you bandit!


Aw yeah! way to go Danni!!

Now I am kinda wanting to see the Bandit surprised and then even more so as Jane shoves her knife through his chest from the back, man needs to pay attention to his surroundings…


Y’know, I’m not sure we will ever see Jane again, as the last time we saw her, she had just attacked a tree… and in this zone, it seems to be a case of ‘if you attack a tree, you become a tree’.


I think she was attacking the squirrel-things IN the tree, to get her “kill everything in sight” rating up. Little fuzzballs are probably not making it easy for her, but she she miss 1 & hit the tree instead…


Jane is a veteran player too mind you, and her interaction with the tree wasn’t just some mindless butchering. I’m going to go out on a *limb* here and guess that there’s more to the punishment than “killing a tree turns you into one”


Page 480 states that it has to do with destructive specials, not tree harm.

Chiu ChunLing
Oh, good one! We know Mary/Jane is going to try and isolate Kleya from associations that might make impede her eventually immigrating to Sandra’s City, and wasn’t exactly indicating that she would be subtle about her methods (I mean, setting Danni up to die right off…no indication at all that Sandra or Jane seriously intended that to end with Danni alive, they didn’t warn her about the reposition, but Jane clearly knew and was in on it). But Tenka’s agents, mostly Bandit, were her chief rivals. But Jake doesn’t know that, and he’s probably been too preoccupied to figure it… Read more »

Kat is down from the tree.

Martin Pollard

Erm did bandit just put a special into a tree…? We know what the penalty for that is, I’m looking forward to the expression on Doctor Grace’s face when he hears Bandit has blown all their effort with one stupid move.

Chiu ChunLing

That tree does not look happy. Bandit should know better than to be making the trees that unhappy. Bandit DOES know better than to be making the trees that unhappy. Bandit is clearly very rattled by the thought of maybe actually dying rather than just Game dying.

But still.

What are those lines on Kat’s face in panel 2 in the bottom left corner? But only 2 panels again? So the last four pages have 8 panels in total. That’s a bit on the harsh side. The last page to have more than 4 panels is 495, too. Man, if Bandit decides to attack once more, then I am going to take a break from NAV over the summer holidays. I miss the old times with the simpler art, where a lot more stuff was happening on each page (including the fight scenes):… Read more »

Bandit might turn into a tree, his ball of destruction hit a tree afterall. Could Kat be worried about him?


As much as I would like to see that, I don’t think he would have taken a risk like that. I know he has been behaving quite stupid and irrational, but that would have been even stupider. I believe you’re only turned into a tree when you do a spell with an Area Of Effect.

Kat wouldn’t be worried about him. I imagine she might be worried about Danni taking damage from the blast.


I think those lines are the last of the Hacker-sense fading out.


Hm, maybe. Or it could be her hacker sense fading in again or it’s the internal texture of Bandit’s attack (his attacks tend to look weird) or the part in her hair looks like it could be from the forest. I dunno.

The lines might be blast shadow or reflection of the blast effect, since even though skin isn’t that reflective, there’s a lot of light right now. I am somewhat in agreement with Alex about the balance of flashy art vs. story progression. The coloring has been beautiful, and I know this is a big climactic scene, very important to the development of the main character, but in a story with as many loose plot threads as this one, the balance of suspense vs. tedium is starting to tip. Danni saved the day on this page in more ways than one.… Read more »

I read that too. I tend to stop reading stuff once I catch up so I can build up many pages of reading. Having to reread a chapter each week or try to follow but forgetting the whole past is just too hard and I lack the attention span for it. Strangely enough, this comic has my curiosity enough and is slow enough that I seem to be following it fairly well.

In all honesty, I have to agree. Don’t get me wrong, I like the comic and I wouldn’t complain about a 100% free form of entertainment, I’m not quite that idiotic. However, as simple honest criticism, I wish the comic wasn’t so pretty. The drawings are nice, sure, but they take time, leading to very little happening per comic. Look at my favorite comics, Order of the Stick and Erfworld. One uses the most simple comic format out there, and the other often supplements nice but not overly complex drawing with purely text updates, neither stick figures nor text can… Read more »

I respectfully disagree with everything you’ve just said, because I love this comic’s current art style so much it’s unreal. (Normally I wouldn’t just contradict like this, but I think it’s important that Aneeka know the readers aren’t universally against this.)


Agreed. While the number of panels per page has decreased, the story quality per page (In my opinion) has not. While I want to rip my hair out while waiting- in and of itself a good sign- there is enough meat per page that I feel its going great. In these recent bits, any more crammed together would feel rushed and messy.
Bottom Line? Keep up the great work Aneeka!


Action in comics tends to fill many pages quickly with little actually happening : you don’t have entire philosophical conversations with every punch you throw or blast you dodge. Yeah, in web format, action is slower paced. But then, this is a comic taking place in a setting where action is pretty much guaranteed to happen. So either the actin gets cut and we listen to the charters talk bout it afterwards, or we suffer through the slow deployment of the action.
Can’t have the cake and eat it too…
*noms on icecream, saving the cake.

It’s good to see that people have different opinions about graphics vs. storyline. I know that action scenes tend to take up a lot of panels and that can’t be helped, but instead of drawing a super-detailed tree I would’ve preferred a few additional panels. I mean: 8 panels on 4 pages is quite an extreme in my opinion. Also afair all the pages are scaled down quite a lot, so that a full-sized comic page is somewhere beyond even a Quad-HD screen in portrait mode (2160×3840). Just request any panel you would like to have as a wallpaper in… Read more »

Bandit is hitting the tree…

*Grabs Popcorn*

*Applies extra butter*

And I am hoping has impressed some people with this and the bark. Kleya having an unknowing morality chain is /great/


Weelp…you done f***ed up Bandit. Enjoy being a tree. Also go Danni! ^^ (Her and Kat are my Brotp :P)


“Oh, this is going to hurt.”
Danni is not exactly a lightweight. Poor Kat is going to get smooshed.

Don’t forget the low gravity– both Danni and Kat will probably be fine falling from this height. The tree, on the other hand, looks pretty upset. And I think this spells bad news for Bandit, unless someone knows how to un-treeify a player. Kat probably knows how, but it would be very risky for her to reveal that… apart from her lack of motivation to help Bandit, after all this. As for Bandit’s purpose in this (stupid IMHO) attack, this is the best possible outcome. Kat didn’t get a chance to hack, but got rescued by another player. So it… Read more »
Chiu ChunLing

She’s probably moving in on the direction full of distracted players with less than perfect health. I imagine a lot of viewers are flipping back and forth and trying to guess who she’ll kill first (or perhaps who will escape alive).

Kat’s only significant chance of keeping her 100% is going to be getting out of range before Jane arrives.


Sooo… did Dude jump off as well, or… ?

Dragon Master

Well, this is not exactly what Bandit was going for, it might work out for him. Also if this doesn’t increase Danni’s ratings, I don’t know what will, cause that’s pretty cool.


Omg I love the first panel! You did such a great job! This is all so exciting! Go Danni!

Binge Reader

Epic Save FTW!!! (for both Kat and humanity)

Scott McCarthy

Is Bandit in for some problems???


Here’s hoping… 🙂


That’s almost a bit concerning though. His smugness in saying, “Good to know”, makes me wonder if this move itself is calculated somehow.

As for the comic’s pace, I think it should be determined for its final publication when it’s all in print, not for us following along as it’s being released. As such, keep up the beautiful art and whatever pace you think is best! 🙂

Iron Ed

GOOD point about the comic’s pace! After all, -we’re- seeing it for -Free-. The look for the actual -book- is important!


Way ta go, Dani! Ratings for everyone!

Maybe even Bandit…who hit a tree with a kill shot meant for the land AI’s daughter. This should get interesting! (well…it’s already super interesting…but the events following will obviously continue *u* )


Interesting that everyone assumes it’s Dani… but in two full strips we haven’t yet seen her FACE. Bwaahahahahaaaa…


It is obvious that it is Danni, from four pages ago (right before Kat began to hack) she was preparing to jump to push Kat out of the way. Then the next page shows Kat hacking, followed by the following two pages the act of Danni tackling Kat. Additionally we see enough of her clothes and hair to associate that with Danni.


interesting that no one has commented on the reflection in kats eye
im pretty sure thats the dude taking the brunt of the blast there … bye bye 100%


That would be ironic, as the Dude is pretty much a genius at running away. I can’t make out anything in Kat’s eye. I call he jumped away in a different direction. Maybe he’ll land 2 miles away and then he activates his Special again (there has been plenty of excessive violence around him) and brings in another interesting monster. 🙂


I believe Dude still has his Esone. He hasn’t been hit yet, I think.


Yea, I just went through the whole encounter, Dude still has his Esone.


Yep, *almost* called it right. Her standing there and starting to hack was not too bright, but from her background understandable. Some people don’t think too well under pressure and revert to what they know best rather than *quickly* think about what is going on around them and respond appropriately. I’ve run into soooo many people like that over the years.

Jarod Leutri

I am not sure she could have gotten out of the way by herself. She was in midair after all, I don’t know about this game but it is usually pretty hard to change directions midair.

Autumn Fyre

wait, does this mean…

is Dude still in that tree?


HAHA! Bandit killed Dude! Bandit is the hacker! 0.o


Dude still has his Esone. And if he relatively has the same HPs as Kat (not sure how HPs work), then he should end up with around 20%. That is, if dude plays the sacrificial lamb and blocks the attack from turning Bandit into a tree.


Dude should have less than 100% of his HP, because Danni kicked him in the face by accident. But don’t think that he’s going to be hit, because if there’s ONE thing he’s good at, it’s running away.

He might have to face some repercussions for clinging to Danni instead of pulling her out of the way, though, unless he was planning on protecting her by taking the blow Kat ultimately took.


Ah that is right, but who knows how much HPs he has. I do know he still has his Esone though, as if I recall, Esones only block specials. He hasn’t been hit by a special yet.

Chiu ChunLing

Looked to me like Danni pushed Dude out of the tree. Or at least off that branch. Though I guess he could still be hanging upside-down by his knees. Is he possibly that stupid?


Imagine that everyone survives, but Bandit hacks to avoid being a tree.


Could get even funnier if after that some people start suspecting Bandit is the head of hackers girl, and he has to play along to deflect attention from Kat.

Chiu ChunLing

Nope. D would enter ‘anti-hack’ mode, cause it is not in Kat’s interest to allow Bandit to not be a tree (apparently someone being turned into a tree doesn’t count against her Erbana percentage, if she’s still a 100%).

Of course, Bandit trying to hack and getting caught would have consequences, but Jake seems determined to play inside ‘the rules’ even if it literally kills innocent bystanders, so he probably doesn’t have a hack ready at a moments notice.


Yay, Danni!


Why is Bandit not a tree yet? Page 480 states that using a destructive spell is why the monk/demoli from the other team became a tree.

Chiu ChunLing

“He should have known the trees can react to destructive spells.”

Emphasis mine, but Kat would probably have put it differently if it were an absolute rule. I’m guessing it’s probably a chance per tree that ends up hit by the spell. Still, hitting a tree at all was a pretty stupid risk for Bandit to take. Taking that risk once on the presumption that Kat would block it wasn’t nuts, taking it again was just dumb.

I have a question regarding the first few pages: You keep mentioning how drawing books takes a lot of time. But why are the books of all things the difficult part? On page 5 you say in the mouse-over text that they took forever to draw, but they’re just a couple of bent rectangles of various sizes and colors, right? Aren’t faces and hands (or literally everything else) way more difficult to draw than rectangles? Why are books the hardest part and not the easiest? About the huge amount of books on page 7: If the ones on page 5… Read more »

Wow, thanks for the explanations! I didn’t expect rulers of all things to be the uncooperative part in a drawing program. Same for color-bleeding.

Also take all the time you need for the coming page. Don’t get another burn-out! 🙂


Bandits going to have some explaining to do