Throughout the comic, Zack answers some of the reader's comments with hints pertaining to future chapters, or just plain information that isn't revealed in the comic by itself. This article serves as a compilation of these comments.
This does not include every comment ever made by Zack's account but at least the plot related ones.
Zack later disabled comments on the Paranatural website, so they are no longer accessible.
Wait, are there (soon to be) five people in Isabel’s doodle?
But she doesn’t know about Max yet!
Or am I just seeing things?
Zack: WHO KNOOOWS
Also, I hope you don’t mind, but I poked around your tumblr and wanted to say that the ghosts with legs thing was the result of me being shaky on how ghosts work at that point in the comic, and that Isabel’s three years comment was supposed to be a reference to her meeting Isaac, and I mixed up the time frame later on. Two is the canon number of years. Chalk that one up to Isabel being forgetty, I guess? Haha
I’ve got the rules of everything concrete now so you shan’t have to worry about that sort of thing in the future. The first chapter’s not the best one to look at for how things are going to be moving forward. (For example, all ghost trails were originally purple, but now they’re going to be the color of the ghost’s spectral energy. PJ’s canon color is purple.)
Sorry for all the words! I’m a big geek about my own stories and don’t like to leave answerable questions unanswered. Thanks for reading.
Interesting that the spirit shows up on film. I mean presumably only the spectrals can see it, but still. That means the camera is actually recording it, just in a way that’s invisible to normal people, right?
Yes. I have an idea for a chapter using this as a plot device. I think the idea is that, to spectrals, the spirits are completely real in such a way that, for example, a spectral would be able to avoid getting a tan on a sunny day by staying under a large, floating spirit. The real world and the supernatural world are sort of like two separate worlds on top of each other, with spectrals getting affected by things in both.
If they’re two semi-separate worlds, would there be a way for spectrals to cross over completely into the spirit world? Presumably the dead cross over, or some of them – is it a one-way thing?
Also, the awesomeness of the comic is the reason for my barrage of posts.
So please don’t kill me.
Max and the Activity Club are equal parts normal and spectral, and can interact with both. All ghosts and spirits are completely spectral, but can interact with the normal if they’re powerful enough to become poltergeists. There’s a technique not yet in the comic that allows spectrals like Max to tweak the balance and become more normal than spectral, and vice versa. This will be a thing in a chapter that takes place at Isabel’s house.
Also thanks for reading.
I think I count four ghosts, and then the hallway of shades from earlier on. Just how many ghosts have died in this school?
This will be touched on later, but they didn’t all die there, or in Mayview for that matter. It’s just a gathering place.
Wait, are Isabel and Ed brother and sister or something? Because Isabel said they both had to leave or ‘grandpa’ would be mad.
Ed lives at Isabel’s house. It’s complicated.
Kego109: Oh, Hissing Pete, where would we be without you? Also, I’ve been meaning to ask, is Max no longer just seeing shades, or are the spirits and ghosts now being shown in full color for the benefit of us readers?
He’s been able to see everything since he got the bat.
In hindsight, I could have made this clearer. It will be in future characters’ awakenings.
What is Isabel’s ethnicity?
Her mother’s Chinese and her dad’s Hispanic. Her family members are minor characters so hers is really the only plot-relevant ethnicity in the comic.
praisepraisepraise* (Loop to infinity)
Knowing the size of the racist frog-whale, it’s probably going to take him a while to react.
Also, I JUST thought of something. *Slow*
If ghosts in the comic are subject to what tvtropes calls the “Superpower Lottery”, then what is PJ’s power?
Other than being a bed rustler.
(Actually, you made my baby sister laugh at the bed rustler bit.)
That’s right. This webcomic brings smiles to the faces of BABIES. Be proud of yourself.
Spectrals can do all sorts of stuff with spectral energy, make it into different shapes and whatnot, but ghosts often get stuck doing one thing with it. Like making butterflies. This is sometimes related to past trauma. Like being murdered by butterflies. PJ may or may not suffer from such a condition; we will have to wait and find out.
Thanks for reading and also thank your babies.
PJ is adorable in panel 5. How old is he supposed to be, anyway?
He was eleven when he died.
Isabel can control paper that’s not in contact with the book, but she can’t make paper creations that move on their own. She’s limited to a puppetry of sorts. Ed’s limited to objects but can choose the sort of substance the ink behaves like (hard and sharp, rubbery, soft and flexible, affected by gravity or not affected by gravity, etc.)
In later chapters the system by which they expand their powers will be made clear and some of the things you’ve asked about may or may not become accessible to them. Thanks for reading.
Tools are physical objects, so normal people can see them regardless of their size or shape. This will be talked about more later, but the longer a spirit is in an object the more the object changes to reflect the spirit inside of it. That’s why Ed and Isabel’s tools don’t look like normal objects. Ed’s brush can stretch because that is something his spirit does.
have doctopi ever been the cause of steroid abuse scandals in sports? obviously not people knowing it was because of supernatural pain-eating octopi, but like, an athlete’s sudden high tolerance of pain raising suspicion?
…wow this is the most pointless question ever but it sounded interesting in my head, better question: can doctopi feed off their own pain?
Not sure about the first question, though I’ll say that there may or may not be a future character who uses Doctopi to their full potential. In response to the second, Doctopi don’t feel pain so they can’t feed off themselves or each other.
The members of the Activity Club divide themselves into cliques. In addition to living in the same house, Ed and Isabel have been spectrals the longest and share the same devil-may-care attitude toward dealing with supernatural problems. This may or may not have been evident in the first chapter, but Isaac does not get along well with them.
While the kids in the club generally work together, they aren’t all best friends. This will be more of a thing once Max settles in and when the group expands further.
Wait, so Isabel said they only pacify violent spirits, but it’s perfectly OK to for her to let her dragon-horse eat PJ?
They have rules about targeting only violent spirits, but those rules don’t extend to ghosts. More on this later. Also she was sort of kidding when she threatened PJ.
I have a question that will probably be answered later in the comic. Is there a limit to tool size? It would probably suck to have a refrigerator as your tool.
There is no real limit to size as long as the thing is a whole object. I’m planning on doing some cool things with this in the future.
Is that Umbrella a Tool? Otherwise, the ectoplasm would go right through it. Right?
Ectoplasm behaves like a physical substance, but only spectrals can perceive it. It’s on the floor on this page, too. I’ll get into this more later, but a lot of spirit stuff works like that. That’s why there are spirits that walk on the ground instead of just floating through everything. They don’t affect physical reality but they behave as if they’re a part of it (The sphinx in the current chapter is one such spirit).
Note that this means that for spirits who have that kind of interactive relationship with physical reality (and don’t have poltergeist status) any physical material is an impenetrable barrier for them! You’ll see this later on but a main reason I set up all these rules is that a thing for Max is that he finds all the quirks and loopholes in them and exploits them.
I love the perspective in panel 6… That really is a very steep hill… It must be the devil to get up during an icy winter!!!
This isn’t even Mayview’s steepest hill. That’ll be in a later chapter.
Which raises the question; did the Frog-Whale reject Max’s dad because of the freaky snore-face alone, or does that say that his dad isn’t a spectral (and thus have no spectral energy for it to feed on).
It does seem to open the door for some wacky and highly-embarrassing future events for Max if his dad does, indeed, turn out to be a spectral as well. :D :D
Good question. It was the face. This’ll be in the comic at some point, but a spirit can possess a normal person and then slowly turn them into a spectral. The same thing could happen with a normal person who interacted with a tool long enough. This is part of what Isaac meant when, in chapter 1, he described “prolonged exposure to supernatural phenomena” as a way for a person to turn spectral.
Who or what a spirit possesses is a time vs. what’s available thing. Ideally, they grab a spectral, because then they could start recovering immediately. It gets a bit harder, though, to choose between a normal person who could take years to turn spectral and an object that might end up abandoned in a landfill.
Rules rules rules
My Hovercraft Is Full Of Time Eels:
In panel 5, the sphinx looks kind of scared when Isaac mentions how his riddle game failed. Any idea why that is? And why was the sphinx’s aura blue THEN red?
The sphinx’s power makes it so that the conditions of a game inevitably come to pass. Up until Isaac pointed out that the sphinx hadn’t set the eating rule at the beginning of the game, the sphinx thought that no matter what Isaac and Max did, he would be able to eat them. In panel 4 he realizes that his power didn’t take, so Isaac is free to destroy him if he wants to. He felt invincible before then because he thought him eating Isaac and Max would inevitably come to pass. If you take the description of the sphinx’s power that the sphinx provides within the comic itself (agree to a game with him and the rules are enforced by inevitability or w/e, and participation is tacit agreement), and then look at the earlier exchange between him and da boyz, you can sort of see how it fits together. If I did my job right and things are clear, you can get a little glimpse at what might happen with the sphinx in the future. The aura stuff was just me mucking around with colors. :|
Chapter 3 to be compiled!
Chapter 4 Edit
Page 90 Edit
I'm pretty sure they said it [Ghost Train] was a spirit. But there is the possibility that it's a poltergeist, since it moves things out of its way instead of passing through them.
Yeah it's a poltergeist. It'll be addressed in-comic.
Page 91 Edit
I know that's part of it. I'm just wondering if the fact that he was aiming it there in the first place had to do with the bat being more attracted to that particular area. Or it could just be that it's hard to angle up from that position- which might also be why he can't fly like before.
Right now Max's bat (usually) works like a tractor beam. That's why he was able to fly up towards the top of a streetlight back in chapter 3. He "turned on" his powers once Isabel gave him the idea, and since his bat was facing towards the metal wall below him, that's where he was pulled. When he pointed it up, the bat "turned off" for some reason. That's why he smacked into the floor. If it was because he was too heavy, he'd probably just have hovered in the position he was in in panel 6.
Page 117 Edit
Does this mean that Spender's the only member of the Consortium to train children? Do most spectral children not even get training? Do they just get EATEN? IS THAT A THING? IS THAT A THING THAT HAPPENS?
Normally they're trained in their dreams, in the dream hub, or assigned to a traveling Consortium agent mentor!
Chapter 5 Edit
Page 4 Edit
Also, I continue to love Zarei's disdain for the antics of her coworkers. Please, Zack, let her become a major character and not just a drop-in for a few chapters. Let her scorn flow over us.
She is most definitely a major character.