Webcomic review: Jack by David Hopkins
Of all the webcomics out there, Jack probably holds title of being one of the most disturbing. This comic was described in a previous review by Comixtalk as containing, “rape, drug use, swearing, graphic sexual acts, incest, cannibalism, nudity, savage violence, and images of hell”.
In this comic, Jack is a wizened, giant green rabbit with red eyes and a long brown cloak. He is the embodiment of the deadly sin wrath and lives in Hell. His punishment is two-fold. Firstly, he is forced to be the Grim Reaper and witness death, the one thing that makes him angrier than anything else. Secondly, he has no memory of what he did when he was alive, so he cannot recall the sin he did and therefore cannot be forgiven for them. This results in him not being allowed to get into Heaven.
The strip is divided into several “Arcs”. These stories take place in Hell, Heaven, Earth and Purgatory, in the past, present and the future. The stories dealt in the strips cover all kinds of issues concerning morality, religion and faith. There is not one subject that Hopkins is unwilling to cover.
Of course, the fact that most of the strips take place in Hell allow all kinds of situations to take place. Often very distasteful situations. Mind you, considering that the strip takes place in what is viewed as the most frightening, terrifying, scariest place in the universe, it is not that surprising.
The fact that this is a webcomic, free from censorship, allows Hopkins to create anything without having to worry about what an editor thinks. Jack therefore contains a wide bunch of horrible characters – most of them being the incarnations of the other sins. Out of all these, the vilest is Drip, a rat who is the embodiment of lust. His punishment is that while he can have sex, he cannot feel anything unless the person he is raping allows him to.
The main thing I find positive about is that some of comments made in the strip. One of the Arcs takes place in a large stadium run by Vince, the embodiment of greed (who is blind, has no nose and no genitals). In this stadium, some of the damned souls played one of Drip’s favourite games – “Musical Holes”. I won’t go into details, but let me just say that involves rape. Out of all this vile and horrible activity, there is a caption, in which the narrator of the Arc says, “In Heaven, the make love… On Earth, they have sex… But down here in Hell, down here… they fuck.”
Of all of the things in the furry fandom that I have read, that passage (probably not the best word to use when talking about sex) is one of the most moving and profound that I have ever read. It some up the whole notion of love and relationships. It makes it clear that a loving relationship and just plan “Yiffing” for want of a better word are two completely different things, even though they involve the same activity. Granted, you are heavily distracted by the large amount of sexual intercourse that is going on, but then again, it brings the drama home, for want of a better cliché.
Jack is not a strip for everyone. It is certainly not a strip for those under 18, and it is certainly not for those of a nervous disposition, and those who are worried about a lack of taste, which there area times (especially when 2, The Ranting Gryphon makes a cameo, but lets not dwell on mediocre comedians). However, if you allow yourself to enter into the world of Jack, then you give yourself one of the most interesting, moving and frightening reads and sites that one could possibly find – not just in the furry fandom, but probably anywhere.
Jack has currently published 4 printed volumes, with a fifth in production. The books are published by FurNation. British buyers can purchase the comics from United Publications. There are also other printed volumes which are spin-offs to the main series, such as “Cliff”.