Author's Notes:

That’s Washington University’s Brookings Hall in the background in Panel One.

As a side note, this is the first page I’ve ever pencilled entirely digitally on my new Cintiq 21UX. It was an interesting experience, as it didn’t go any quicker than doing it on paper, but the end results were definitely tighter. Strangely, I still inked the page by hand by lightly printing (less than 10% gray) out the pencils out onto my usual vellum bristol board using my large format photo printer. Inking went very, very fast since there was no last-minute tweaks to make. Likewise, the digital touchup and toning went quite fast as well.

I don’t plan on going all digital for PS, but I’ll definitely be working out new workflow patterns to accommodate the new tool. I imagine I’ll be doing much of my paid illustration work entirely digitally from now on.

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30 Responses to “Page 29”

  1. J says:

    Did he just trash the sim card or the whole phone? If it was not the whole phone then they could still track them if it has GPS in it unless he left the battery out.

    • dirk says:

      Dumped the whole thing. Expensive phone call.

      • MrTT says:

        its a prepaid phone…
        a prepaid phone + 30 days of service can be had for 20$ at wallmart.
        a prepaid phone without minutes can be had for as low as 10$.

    • Jim says:

      Second-to-last panel shows him chucking it in the trash. A bit of overkill, though… he could simply turn it off, or remove the battery.

      • Solna says:

        Mike’s always seemed a ‘belt and suspenders’ sort of fella to me.

        add to that the fact that phones that are simply turned off can be re-activated remotely…

        i’d chuck it too. gives them even more questions, should they find it. the more directions you can keep them running in, the better.

        even more devious would have been dropping it at a recycler’s to get used by another person. odds are that he tossed it instead to restrict collateral damage.

      • Lee says:

        Maybe it’s bunk, but several friends of mine who manufacture tinfoil hats have suggested that there’s typically a hidden secondary battery, watch-type or smaller, which negates the usefulness of removing the main battery. Best to just trash the thing and/or smash it into a hundred pieces.

      • Rachel says:

        The tinfoil hat brigade isn’t completely wrong, Lee. Most phones with a removable battery do have a secondary one, such that the clock doesn’t reset and suchnot. This is true of many devices where you don’t want to completely lose state while you’re removing a battery or unplugging/moving them.

        There’s also the possibility to use a cellphone as a ‘roving bug,’ as the FBI has done before:

        However, the two don’t intersect. The little battery used to preserve device state is not (at least in any case I know of) going to be sufficient to power on the radio at all, much less transmit anything of use.

      • Vincent F. Celeste says:

        The person with the gym bag in the first pannel closest to the pair does have a chance at witnessing this act of mike’s protection. He could provide peaces of info to there prosuers? possible.

    • David says:

      If you look closely at that sequence you’ll notice that the first thing he removes is the battery that also doubles at the outside panel to the phone. What Mike cracks in half is the simm card since that is where much of the memory is stored. Lucky for him it’s easily accessible in this phone.

      • Vincent F. Celeste says:

        He is lucky that he knows what to do in remote srias. But any one who has a abservent eye can cach on to this and trail him with caution. He who exersises to much caution will get himself notice. And caught.

      • Lesharo says:

        A young, unshaven guy made a phone call on campus, then threw something away before getting back in his car. Yes, very suspicious.

  2. I would assume it’s too cheap a phone to have GPS.

    • Solna says:

      no need for GPS. they can remote-turn it on and just follow it around from cell to cell using the towers. it’s actually pretty brilliant. if you have a phone on you, any type of modern cell phone, and you have coverage, you can be pinpointed to within a foot or two.

      and the best part is, the software can be run on a modern smartphone like an android.

  3. Brian says:

    Looks to be similar to the old Samsung model my mother uses and let me tell you, that thing does not have GPS. Alternatively is GPS tied to a specific unit? And even more importantly will it even get any power since the battery’s out?

  4. Wanderer says:

    When you’re on the run from secret agencies you don’t take chances. Dump the phone for safety’s sake: you can get another one almost anywhere if you really need it. Better to be safe than be caught.

    • Feldo says:

      the cell wouldnt be low on batery, it was a one call phone he lied to make the call more believable to his boss since the call was so short

  5. Foxyjosh says:

    Last year, my cell phone was run over by a truck and I was without a phone for two weeks.


  6. CDR says:

    Now, they are absolutely free to investigate the evil nerds that turned Kate into a werewolf.

    Go ruthless investigation!

  7. Cefus52 says:

    Couple of minor points that don’t really matter.
    1) GPS is not contained withing the phone. It is a software function where the cell towers(serialized, categorized by location in the phone company database)triangulate your position based on signal strength at a minimum of 3 towers, and is accurate to within 10cm.

    2) Snap the SIM card to prevent it being tracked to the store it was purchased from(only if you remove the serial number on the phone as well.)

    3) The shadow organization can triangulate the position of the call within minutes(at the most) thanks to homeland security. Every call from every cell phone(including prepaid) are recorded and logged with GPS positioning by phone companies for retrieval by police, or federal law enforcement.

  8. Phrogg says:

    As long as the phone had juice, it could still be traced (without GPS? Yes, using cell tower triangulation.).
    Each phone manufactured has an IMEI number that registers with the cell network even before the SIM registers. (This is what enables emergency calls (usually 911 only in the States) even if your SIM has been disabled by the service provider). It’s a bit more difficult, but still possible.
    As for the “hidden second battery” claim, I can say with a fair amount of certainty that BlackBerry and iPhone, at the very least, do not have this feature.

  9. J says:

    Quick question outside the current plot. Are we ever going to see Alfonse or Frankie again?

  10. cellphone_guy says:

    In the US where this takes place there are only a couple of companies which use SIM cards. Both the card and the phone have a Serial number that is transmitted with your call. The SIM provides authentication to your service, and the other number IMEI helps track stolen phones, at least it would if they blacklisted them like they do in Europe. Snapping the SIM would only slow them down a bit. the chip under the contacts is what needs to be damaged That wont snap. Having taken one apart, I can say that for certainty. There was a report a few years back by the Brits about recovering useful data after the phone had been used as the detonator for an IED.

    Toss both. Either could be tracked, but really I’d toss both someplace else from where the call was made. A fast-food dumpster would be my choice for either, but not both.

    As for GPS, Two technologies are used in phones that have GPS capabilities. SIM based phones would have one or the other, GSM post-dates when GPS use came into fashion. Adaptive or A-GPS has a GPS receiver, but the timing information comes from the towers. The other is standard GPS, where the phone gets GPS signal the standard way and passes the information along with the call. Both can be set for ‘always’ or ’911 only’ in the phone. Cell tower triangulation works all the time and has a resolution of about 100-200 meters, either GPS method is about 9 meters.

  11. Vincent F. Celeste says:

    I see that you lot are on top of this. But these prosuers know all the tricks in the books in regardds to espinoge. So they will track them to that aria and serch it with out hessatation. Or get the local cops to do it. And these guys had been trained in counter spying tactics all that will be for nothing. Even the best of the buest in the CIA get caught in the end. It looks like they got some space to work with. Space that canvanish with the next breath.

  12. Erik Pierce says:

    Hey! It’s Brookings Hall! Kate and Mike are parked in front of my alma mater! (Of course, the huge parking lots out in front of Brookings are pretty much gone now; there are multiple buildings being constructed on top of them. But where they’re standing, it’s still parking. Expensive parking. I hope they’re not parked in a Red space, or they’ll have about 50 tickets by the time that phone call ends.

  13. Olivier says:

    Reacting a bit late. I thought cell phones can be tracked even when off? As for breaking the SIM card, you only have to place a single call with it for the association between the card (with all the associated data) and the phone (with its own device ID) to be made. I’m a bit vague as to exactly what information a cell phone beams to its mommies but the bottom line is that they’re extremely dangerous devices to have on you.

  14. All-Purpose Guru says:

    I thought I recognized Wash U. My son has it on his list of possible schools.

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