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Webcomic review: Jack by David Hopkins

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The cast of Jack
The cast of Jack

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”.

Comments

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

I hope no one minds me digging through old news.

I couldn't believe it but as I was reading through this I couldn't believe that of the whole comic you picked out the exact same line that to this day sticks with me. I will never forget that arc for as long as I live. Reading through Jack is an emotional roller coaster unlike any other, but I think it made me a better fur for it.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Dude! You and i share the same emotions about Jack! I have the same emotion roller coaster i fell happy for someone or something and at the next page i look like i seen a ghost on some other i feel angry and so on and so on. I dont know if you still watch the comic so if dont and want to ask me and ill send you the link to the artists page where he puts new pages each second day. Trust me its awesome!

Your rating: None Average: 1 (1 vote)

Hold it, Hold it, Hold it, Jack, Hardcore? The very IDEA is laughable. The artist doesn't even have a GED of hardcore. Its EDGY sure, but NOT hardcore, it portrays hell as more of an eternal nuisance to boring to moderately painful like being very hot or stabbing. Even the closest thing to Hardcore, when the starfish were taking apart the guy on the table, they were doing it in chunks not pieces, aka WRONG. Its Fire and Brimstone mixed with New age. The plot has more holes than Swiss cheese. It's Good, but there are many, MANY better comics.

TL;DR
Hell isn't hellish enough, Plot has holes, keep looking if you want to read a comic.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Well at first i wanted to say to you ,,fuck you,, but i will just say this,, each person has their own interests in things so now i see yours mine is that the comic is wery interesting and it makes me think about how hell and heaven could relly be and stuff and ill say its epic too nad the best part is that when someone says something he relly means it know what i mean? And ill say this again so you dont yell at me and call me a ,,furfag,, each person has their own interests mine is that i love it.

Your rating: None Average: 2.5 (2 votes)

To be fair, the characters often have a lot of holes in them as well - but that's just part of their charm. It's not a comic I'd read regularly, but I think it's fun to run through it once, if only so you get the starfish jokes.

I like to think the idea of hell being an eternal nuisance is actually intentional. They did much the same in South Park, after all.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

This webcomic is very similar to Gaiman's Sandman in many aspects (characters, storytelling). Still I think that Hopkins is underrated genius. And what is amazing is that he's doing this comic for more than 10 years! A really recommended read.

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About the author

The Chained Wolfread storiescontact (login required)

    a journalist and Grey Wolf from England

    I have worked as a journalist formerly for The Furtean Times.