Beekeeper Review: Violet Thomas

Today’s review is of a Beekeeper who appeared in the Eisner-nominated comic strip The Beekeeper’s Due. It’s only four pages, so you should check it out. It’s not bad. But… how does the Beekeeper rate?

I hope you read it, because I’m about to spoil every aspect without providing the actual experience of reading the thing. Violet is a single mother who had a beekeeping operation with her daughter, Amelia (the setup reminds me of the Williams family from Umma). All indications are that they were relatively successful and certainly happy until Amelia fell sick. The young girl died due to complications from a surgery to remove her appendix.

Understandably, Violet was upset. The story never gives us the certainty to prove it, but taking Violet’s word for it, there is a high likelihood that the doctor performing the surgery was in an unfit state. Violet tried to deal with this through the courts, but the doctor was acquitted. That’s when Beekeeper Rage really took Violet. She poisoned some honey and got it to the doctor. He ate it and died.

Now, let’s see. I give Violet credit for trying to deal with things through the legal system first. That would help me to give her the benefit of the doubt against her first big mistake: she gave the poisoned honey to the doctor via a gift basket delivery. We don’t know if the doctor has children, but he does have at least one person (probably a wife) who lives with him, and leaving poisoned honey is not a precision strike. Innocents could have eaten that.

Probably that would have left me with a 2/5 Beekeeper rating, but there’s one other thing: after her successful assassination, Violet returned home and burned down her whole operation, the greenhouse and the hives. It’s symbolic, I suppose, of the way her life was ruined by the whole situation. She thanks the bees and apologizes as she does it, but still: once you burn down your hives, you’re not really a Beekeeper anymore.

One Honeycomb out of Five.

The Bradshaw Tapes #04: Nineteen Snakes

Transcript of Rec#000436 21/08/15: This is a weird one. The entity, for lack of a better term, who has introduced itself as Nineteen Snakes is exactly that. I have personally witnessed the snakes working together as some kind of single gestalt organism, making this the first time I’ve been able to interview a being that meets every definition of “paranormal” that I’ve used to this point. Though the Snakes have no means of verbal communication, it turns out they are capable of understanding human speech and even writing in English, though it seems a cumbersome process for them. On the day of this recording I encountered Snakes as they lounged around the terrarium that Adam has set up on the top floor of the shop. At least twelve of the Nineteen Snakes were present for this interview, with the others free to come and go as they please.

Note that for this interview there is a delay between my questions and the answer, as Snakes wrote their replies on paper. I then read them aloud in my own voice on the recording, but have transcribed them here as being from Snakes directly.

OCTOBER: Do you understand what I’d like to do here? To talk to you? Interview?

SNAKES: “Yes.”

OCTOBER: And you’re fine with me recording it?

SNAKES: (taps same page) “Yes.”

OCTOBER: And just to show you are understanding, I’m going to get you to answer a negative question this time, okay? Are you five birds?


OCTOBER: Thanks. (brief pause) So… it’s hard to know where to start. Do you have anything specific you want to say?

SNAKES: “Don’t know.”

OCTOBER: You are a single being, right?

SNAKES: “Yes.”

OCTOBER: All nineteen of you think with the same mind? All thirty-eight eyes give information to the same place?

SNAKES: “Yes.”

(A significant pause here while I think.)

OCTOBER: So, um, why did you show up here at the shop? That day on the roof? To join Adam’s team?

SNAKES: (A longer than usual pause, presumably they are thinking.) “I could use help.”

OCTOBER: Help, with what?

SNAKES: “Just life in general, like everybody.”

OCTOBER: I guess that makes sense. So, let’s get to know each other. Where do you come from?

SNAKES: “I grew up in a science lab.”

OCTOBER: A lab? Where was this?

SNAKES: “Don’t know.”

OCTOBER: What happened there?

SNAKES: “Escaped.”

OCTOBER: And did… did they… create you? Were you normal snakes and they bonded you? Something like that? Or were you born there?

SNAKES: “I don’t remember anything from before the lab.”

OCTOBER: But what about your time at the lab?

SNAKES: “Escaped, underlined.”

OCTOBER: Fair enough. When did you escape?

SNAKES: “It was the cold part of year.”

OCTOBER: Last winter, I guess? That checks out with a lot of the snake sightings around town. How did you stay safe during the cold?

SNAKES: “Hid.”


SNAKES: (Writes, is apparently displeased with handwriting, crosses out answer, writes it again.) “Sewers.”

OCTOBER: That was probably smart. (momentary pause) I guess I don’t know enough about snakes to know if that was smart or not, but hey, you survived, right?

SNAKES: “Yes.”

OCTOBER: Is there a reason you chose the sewers over hiding in a building someplace?

SNAKES: “Afraid of people mostly.”

OCTOBER: But when the weather got better, you did start coming up. People have seen you. What were you up to?

SNAKES: “Watched people all over town.”

OCTOBER: To learn about us?

SNAKES: “Yes.”

OCTOBER: Did it make you less afraid?

SNAKES: “Don’t know.”

OCTOBER: Well then, did you see anything worthy of note?

SNAKES: “I saw you.”

OCTOBER: You did? I assumed I was always too late to the anomalous snake sightings to catch you. When did you see me?

SNAKES: “Haunted pet store.”

OCTOBER: That… The thing back in June? That was you?

SNAKES: “Yes.” (then) “No.”

OCTOBER: Yes and no? So, what, some of it was you and some of it wasn’t?

SNAKES: “Yes.”

OCTOBER: The, uh, the parts that weren’t you, what was it then?

SNAKES: “Don’t know.” (then) “Something weird.”

OCTOBER: Hmm. I guess the fact that you’re a paranormal entity of some kind doesn’t mean you have all the answers I want, do you?


OCTOBER: (I am quiet for a while.) If anything, I guess your life so far probably makes you feel even more confused than mine does.

SNAKES: “Yes.” (then) “I could use help.”

OCTOBER: Alright then, Snakes. Thanks for the conversation. You came to us and joined this team to help, so I promise you this: we’ll help you. Adam has already given you a home here where you don’t need to be afraid of people. I’ll do what I can in investigating your past and seeing if we can make sense of your life too.

SNAKES: “Thank you.”