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Eric: I say Fuck a lot in this snark.

Holy shit, it's Jay!

(From FLEM! Comics. Click on the thumbnail for motherfucking Jay!)

Back on September 5, 1999, FLEM Comics -- up until then kind of what happens if Gary Larson and Hunter S. Thompson had a child who was practically raised on heroin -- decided to experiment with a few strips of continuity.

And thus, the Jay Storyline was born. And lo, it was glorious. And mind numbingly disturbing. I swear to Christ, if you read through it you will be offended, I don't want to hear about it, and that is that. There was dog raping. There was dog raping. It was often times brutal.

And funny as Hell. The Jay Storyline was the kind of thing that could have me out of my chair laughing myself sick even as I was horrified at what I was laughing at. J. Grant's take no prisoners attitude towards his humor meant nothing -- nothing -- was out of bounds. I remember one memorable sequence where the lead characters were getting high on cocaine. This wasn't a cautionary tale, mind. They were doing coke because... here's a shocking thing for you to consider... people actually do coke because they like it, and they like the effects. Cocaine didn't ruin the characters' lives, in this story. Instead, this story was about the humor that came out of actually doing cocaine.

That takes courage. Or at least not giving a fuck about what people think or say about you. And Grant is astoundingly good at not giving a fuck what people think or say about him.

And then one day it ended. He was sick of it.

And a fan base clawed their eyes out in despair. Because it rocked.

He actually put up an April Fool's Day gag a couple of years later, teasing the return of the Jay Storyline. But he seemed to have set it aside for good.

And then yesterday there was a test pattern on FLEM! And then today... what appears to be a return to the Jay Storyline.

Now, Grant's fooled us before. He enjoys it. He laughs at our pain. He howls derisively. "I bet I can get them to claw those expensive ocular surgical implants out in despair," he says, casually, to his Two Lumps partner Mel Hynes. "Watch them! Watch them dance and scream in pain! DANCE FOR ME!"

But whatever happens next? I'm fucking there for it.

Posted by Eric Burns-White at September 28, 2005 8:32 AM


Comment from: Phil Kahn posted at September 28, 2005 2:20 PM

I'm doing an archive-dive right now.

"I think I need to organize my socks." Sent me rolling.

Comment from: quiller posted at September 28, 2005 7:18 PM

It will be good to see Jay back, if he is. Though if he plans on telling stories, I hope he will expand the format somewhat. Single Panel comics don't seem right for telling a Jay story.

And I second everything you say about how funny and how sick the archives are. If anyone flinches at early Something Positive jokes, FLEM may be too much for them. (I think I read FLEM before S*P so my skin was already pretty thick)

Comment from: Doc posted at September 28, 2005 9:36 PM

By the darkest of Gods I hope you this is what it looks like.


Comment from: whymy posted at September 28, 2005 11:42 PM

wow... I just went through the entire Jay storyline.

have I earned my ticket to hell yet?

Comment from: JackSlack posted at September 29, 2005 12:33 AM

Also check out the art. This ain't gonna be your old mouse drawn Jay. This is Jay Reloaded. Only, y'know, better than that.

I'm kinda hoping he'll do the Angry Patriot Boy treatment on Zach De La Rocha. Use real photos for his face but draw all over them.

Or it might look out of place. Who knows.

Either way, I'm going to now go play some videogames, and turn on the Jay is a Bitch mode. Seeya.

Comment from: flemco posted at September 29, 2005 1:38 AM

I will neither confirm nor deny anything at this time.

Okay, I'll confirm I enjoy making random anonymous strangers wail in despair. And I like beer.

But that's it.

Comment from: Aerin posted at September 29, 2005 1:45 AM

I've been doing an archive dive, but I've been forced to stop, considering I'm at work. Definitely enjoying it so far, though. Yay for crossing one more thing off my "To read when I get a chance" list!

Comment from: JackSlack posted at September 29, 2005 2:13 AM

J. Grant, an enigmatic sadist, writes, "I will neither confirm nor deny anything at this time."

I predict we get some more stories like this, and it ends with Jay being bloodily murdered by the end of it.

Comment from: Doc posted at September 29, 2005 9:23 AM

...and now we have Hank...

Don't get me wrong; I love Hank, I do, but if there's Hank that means there's at least got to be Jake and Laurie and Faith before we find out if this is going anywhere or just a fun little retrospective. Three more, that's mid next week, that's 6 days, that's almost a week.
And that's the minimum I'd expect him to cover. What if he decides to let us know what's going on with Zack de la Rocha and Andrew Eldritch and Dave Wyndorf in the Flemverse? Another week, wondering if this might all be one long tease... I'm twitchy enough already.

Of course Hank himself could just be a ruse to make guys like me twitch more.
I'm dancing Mr. Grant, are you happy now?

Comment from: flemco posted at September 29, 2005 1:17 PM

Muwah ha ha haaaaa.

Comment from: Plaid Phantom posted at September 29, 2005 2:00 PM

Am I the only one who noticed the distinct lack of "fuck"-ing in this snark? I mean, it is short, but only four or so?

Comment from: Constantine posted at September 29, 2005 4:23 PM

"I bet I can get them to claw those expensive ocular surgical implants out in despair," he says, casually, to his Two Lumps partner Mel Hynes. "Watch them! Watch them dance and scream in pain! DANCE FOR ME!"

You've got him dead to rights.

Comment from: Wednesday White posted at September 29, 2005 5:02 PM

Yeah, well, you know how it is, Plaid. Fucking at work is generally discouraged.

Comment from: quiller posted at September 30, 2005 6:44 PM

Jack: Did you just crucify a mutant clone of Jesus Christ on the wall of our garage?
Jay: I panicked. The nailgun was just there and I didn't think.

This may be enough to tell if you are ready to read Flem or not...

Comment from: Zaq posted at October 1, 2005 7:34 PM

I don't understand why FLEM gets so many people up in arms about how offensive it is. I mean, yeah, it's not the kind of thing I'd share with my parents, but as I see it, it's funny largely because it's just so over the top. The horrors of violence, twisted thinking, debauchery, and all that are so heavy and so constant that they become background noise, parodies of themselves as it were. I suppose one could compare it to a Warner Brothers cartoon... the violence is just so over the top there that it becomes harmless and humorous. Dropping an anvil on someone's head is significantly different than punching them in a manner that a normal person could punch another (that is, not through a wall or anything. Just beating on them.) The anvil is, at least in theory, funny, especially if it's so constant. Someone giving a realistic beating is not. Jay and company's antics are consistently so ridiculous that the initial reaction of "Dear God, is he actually doing THAT?! What a horrid, horrid human being! A pox on thee!" is removed and replaced with "Ha ha! Look, he got squished with an anvil and now he's accordion-shaped!" Sure, there's more sex and blood than a Warner Brothers cartoon, but the principle is the same. If you act horridly but realistically, people will find you abhorrent. If you act horridly but unbelieveably outrageously, people will find you funny.

I suppose that this is a really, really weird example to use, but as I was typing this and previewing it, it crawled into my brain and won't let me post this without mentioning it. Besides, this is right near an in-depth post on Muppets, so I'm sure this won't be that out of place. Classic literature, here. Anyway, I'm reminded of Roald Dahl's Matilda... One of the ways that the principal got away with her horrid abuse of the children on a daily basis was that she acted so outrageously that none of the parents would believe that she would do such a thing, so nobody complained. If a kid comes home covered in bruises and says that his principal beat him for forgetting to bring a pencil to class, she'd be slapped with fourteen lawsuits and be out of there before the bruises changed color. If he comes home, though, and says that the same principal picked him up and threw him by his ears onto the roof of the building, his parents will think he has an active imagination and merely fell off the monkey bars at recess. I think it's the same principle at work, though the example is fictional. If, on a subconscious level, we can get the reaction of "Nobody could/would ever do that, especially not consistently!" then we can dismiss it and enjoy it as humorous. If the reaction is "That's a horrible way to behave, and the worst part is, millions of people act like that every day. What a sorry place the world is where people can mistreat themselves and each other like that!", then the problems start and it becomes harder to enjoy, at least if it's being played for laughs.

Comment from: quiller posted at October 5, 2005 7:32 PM

And now we get the first actual multipanel live in 2005 strip... Joy!

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