Actual Big Damn Winners and what they refer to:
1. Battling Bastards
2. Frank Cable Repair Dept.
3. Gaunt’s Ghosts
4. Stella C3
5. Rainbow Warriors
6. Haoles
7. Big Damn Heroes (covered by word bubble)
8. Florida Rebels
9. Wastelander
10. SEAL Team 69
Honorable Mention. Team Kill (Allison’s team)

Most of the teams refer to something. Battling Bastards refers to the Battling Bastards of Bataan, the Fil-Am defenders in the 1942 Battle of Bataan. Frank Cable Repair Dept., a group of USS Frank Cable Sailors had an airsoft team and are the reason a pair of Oakleys is no longer good enough eye protection to play airsoft on Guam. Or so I’ve been told. Gaunt’s Ghosts is a Warhammer 40K book series by Dan Abnett. Stella C3 refers to an anime about girls playing airsoft. The Rainbow Warriors are the University of Hawaii sports teams, “Haole” is Hawaiian for “honkey,” white people. Big Damn Heroes is a Firefly/Serenity reference. Wastelander refers to the Fallout video game series.

The Battle of Middleton Airsoft Challenge- brought to you by Arsenal Gear Tactical Airsoft Suppliers! (If you look a few comics back you’ll see their signs around the camp.) One of my favorite things in this comic, besides writing the epic adventures of Allison Paige Grumman, is making her world. Part of that is coming up with fictional brands like Arsenal Gear, which would be an awesome name for an airsoft/paintball/military surplus store. If you’re paying attention then you also noticed Allison, Becky, Pratt & Roach had cans of JP-5 People Fuel (also a sponsor seen on tents) back in the tent. Its a joke I think only other airedales and aviation enthusiasts would get. JP-5 is jet fuel. Its one of the longest running gags in the comic as its been part of the strip since 2002.

I like this strip for a few reasons- 1) it pays off an earlier gag where Allison passes an ammo stand, thinks she’s forgetting to do something, and ignores it. 2) It reveals she tricked Roach into being brave by attacking with an empty gun. (since he wouldn’t do it with his own earlier) and 3) Becky interacting with Pratt, which is kind of new as before this storyline the two have only interacted on Red Skirts and Captain Pratt on Red Skirts is a completely different character than regular Pratt. It also gets to further illustrate how big a goof ball she is. Since Allison and Becky are both nerds I try to be careful to prevent Becky from simply being a second Allison by giving her a unique set of quirks and interests. Like cosplaying to an airsoft battle or glomping. The glomping part was inspired by my little sister Audrey, we have pictures of her hugging all the statues she could in Ilocos Sur & Ilocos Norte on our last trip to the northern Philippines.