Jack (webcomic)

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Jack
Main cast of ‘Jack’
----The main cast of Jack (From top, clockwise): Kane, Jack, Central, Farrago, Drip and Fnar.
Author(s) David Hopkins
Website www.pholph.com
Launch date 2001-03-01
End date Ongoing
Genre(s) Furry, drama, horror
Rating(s) For mature audiences (MA)

Jack is a furry webcomic by David Hopkins. It is set in a world populated by anthropomorphic animals.[1]

Jack focuses on its title character, a wizened green rabbit who lives in Hell. He is the embodiment of the deadly sin wrath, whose punishment is being the Grim Reaper. In life, the unfairness of some deaths, particularly towards the ones he loved, made him angry.[2] In his position as Grim Reaper, he now has to witness more death, the cause of his wrath. Jack attempts to remember the sins he did in life in order to be forgiven for them. This is hard for him as his other punishment is having no memory of his life on Earth.

Jack was joint winner for the "Best Dramatic Comic" award at the Web Cartoonist's Choice Awards in 2004.[3]

Overview[edit]

Jack covers subjects related to the attitude persons can exhibit in life, as well as its consequences to them and to the people around them. Frequent features are disease, rape, murder, suicide, bereavement and redemption. The comic is divided into a number of arcs (subplots) of varying length. Artwork style and presence of color differ from arc to arc. Arcs take place on Hell, Earth, Heaven and Purgatory. Arcs set on Earth take place during different, not always consecutive, time periods. In Heaven and Hell there is no concept of time.[4] The eyes of characters symbolize their status in the Jack universe: sins have no pupils; living souls and angels have full pupils; the souls of deceased persons have "pin-prick" eyes as long as they do not recognize their sins.[5][6]

Jack is based on Christian tradition, but the world and its rules are inconsistent with typical Christian views. The angels are the forces of good, and the sins are evil personified. Many of Hell's denizens enjoy inflicting pain on one another. However, there is confusion at times, with people who were good in life end up going to Hell. The unfairness of the fates of many of these people, and the observations of Jack on the unfairness of life, are central themes to the comic.[7]

History[edit]

David Hopkins, a minor furry comic artist, previously created comics such as Rework the Dead. After creating a comic entitled "Trixi and Tet" (which later became the third story "Arc" of Jack),[8] his then girlfriend (and later wife) Katie suggested that he should break out to a bigger audience. Initially hesitant as he was used to a smaller audience, he then expanded. After "Trixi and Tet" was published, he had around 5,000 readers.[9] Jack has four published comics books, spin-off comic books, and a growing fan base.[10]

The comic has since made references to other comics in the furry fandom, including guest art from furry fandom such as Albert Temple and Candy Dewalt,[11][12] and also appears in other furry webcomics such as A Doemain of Our Own and Gene Catlow.[13][14]

Characters[edit]

Cover of Jack#2
Jack
The embodiment of wrath, Jack is a wizened green rabbit, wearing a ragged, brown cloak and carrying a scythe. His job is to collect the souls of the dead and lead them to their final judgment as the Grim Reaper. The plot revolves around his attempts to recollect the sins he committed during his life, which have been removed from his memory as part of his punishment.[15] Due to his lack of memory, little of his life on Earth is known, but he does remember parts when angels from Heaven allow him to. It is known he was created by humans as part of an experiment,[16] and his anger was triggered by the death of another similar experiment called "Jill".[2] He was born without genitalia for fear that he would reproduce. It is also becoming increasingly apparent that most of the embodiment of his sins are related to the falling out of mankind sometime between Jill's death and the beginning of the comic, possibly through direct killing, by way of incurring the "wrath" of Jack.[17]
Fnar
Fnar, a brown fox-rat hybrid who died while still in utero, appears as a child dressed in a blue and green sailor suit. He is missing his nose, because when his form in hell was being created, a crow tore it off. Although Fnar died without sin, he was sent to Hell, primarily to keep him close to his mother. His father is Drip, the Sin of Lust. Curious, trusting, and always smiling, Fnar is unaffected by the horrors of Hell because he died innocent and ignorant. He spends much of his time exploring Hell's riotous and fascinating landscape, while occasionally providing companionship to the reaper, Jack, or reuniting with his Hell-bound mother. His name is an acronym for "For No Apparent Reason".
Drip Tiberius Rat
The embodiment of lust, Drip is a monstrous blue rat with distinct, black scars around both eyes. In life, Drip was a serial rapist and murderer. He is also Fnar's father.[18] In death, Drip perpetuates these sins and shows no regard for his own redemption, making him a terrific threat to anyone who ventures too near. Jack, in particular, is tormented regularly by Drip. As part of his punishment, Drip is unable to feel any sort of gratification for his sins in Hell. Drip appears in other projects by Hopkins and functions as his nickname.[19]
Farrago
A young angel who often struggles to make sense of the politics of Heaven and Hell. She is portrayed as a ferret with bloody stumps protruding from her back, suggesting that her wings have been violently removed (she "earns" their regrowth later following a battle in which she helped Jack). A sympathetic character, Farrago develops an affinity for Jack upon their first meeting. She and Jack collaborate against injustices on numerous occasions.
Central
A senior angel who adheres strictly to God's rule. A hybrid, her breed has been described as a "Hodge-Podge." It was revealed that Central and Jack were close during life but currently have a difficult relationship.[20] Although Central outwardly expresses a disdain for the reaper, she is, by nature, deeply dedicated to his redemption. She often struggles with her conflicting feelings for him.
Others
Other characters include the other five sins, Vince Van Morrison (Greed), Dr. Kane (Envy), Bob and Lisa Vorsh (Gluttony), Emily (Pride) and the unnamed Sloth (Sloth). There are also denizens of Hell, Heaven, Purgatory, and characters living on Earth.

Merchandise[edit]

Screenshot from the Jack platform game

Currently, there have been four comic books containing collections of Jack comics (also referred to as the "dead tree versions") have been published by Furnation Multimedia. These include bonus story arcs not available online. There are also comic books by Hopkins and guest writers set in the same universe as Jack. These are Cliff (2 issues) and Long Island (1 issue). The former is a joint project with Roz Gibson, the latter is with Katie Hopkins.[10] There is a fan-made freeware platform game based on Jack.[21]

Name Published Pages
Jack: Issue #01 September 2004 32
Jack: Issue #02 October 2005 32
Jack: Issue #03 May 2006 32
Jack: Issue #04 June 2007 36
Cliff: Issue #01 January 2005 32
Cliff: Issue #02 October 2005 32
Long Island: Issue #01 May 2006 32

Awards[edit]

Jack was joint winner of "Best Dramatic Comic" (alongside Demonology 101) at the Web Cartoonist's Choice Awards in 2004.[3] It was also nominated in 2002,[22] 2003,[23] and 2005.[24] In the same ceremony, it was nominated for "Best Anthropomorphic Comic" in 2002 and 2003.[22][25] It was also nominated for "Best Environment Design" in 2003 and "Best Story Concept" in 2005.[26][27] Jack was nominated for "Best Anthropomorphic Comic Book or Strip" at the Ursa Major Awards for 2001 and 2003, and as "Best Graphic Story" for 2009.[28][29][30]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.thenewstribune.com/2011/10/31/1886697/jack-escorts-souls-into-afterlife.html[dead link]
  2. ^ a b Hopkins, David (August 30, 2006). "Arc XXVII: Why Do I Deserve To Die, Strip 927". Jack. Archived from the original on December 2, 2006. Retrieved 2007-10-31. 
  3. ^ a b "2004 Winners and Nominees". Web Cartoonist Choice Awards. Retrieved 2007-10-28. 
  4. ^ Hopkins, David (August 22, 2001). "Arc V: Dinner at Arloest's, Strip 79". Jack. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-28. 
  5. ^ Hopkins, David (March 6, 2002). "Arc VIII: Games We Play In Hell, Strip 175". Jack. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-28. 
  6. ^ Hopkins, David (March 8, 2002). "Arc VIII: Games We Play In Hell, Strip 176". Jack. Archived from the original on February 16, 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-28. 
  7. ^ Hopkins, David (December 10, 2001). "Arc VII: All Work And No Play…, Strip 136". Jack. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-28. 
  8. ^ Hopkins, David (April 11, 2001). "Arc III: Trixi and Tet". Jack. Archived from the original on August 26, 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-02. 
  9. ^ Hopkins, David. "The Man Behind The Cloak". Jack. Archived from the original on September 14, 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-02. 
  10. ^ a b "Collection of David Hopkins's Published Work". FurPlanet. Retrieved 2007-11-02. 
  11. ^ Temple, Albert (January 6, 2006). "Short XXXII Part 4: Fnar's Last Days in Hell with art by Sir Albert Temple". Jack. Retrieved 2007-11-23. [dead link]
  12. ^ Dewalt, Candy (November 12, 2007). "Arc XXXI: Eye Opener (With guest artist Candy Dewalt), Strip 1,110". Jack. Archived from the original on December 13, 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-23. 
  13. ^ Rankin, Susan (August 30, 2004). "Might Jack lend a claw? (Thank you, Mr. Hopkins!)". A Doemain of Our Own. Retrieved 2007-11-23. 
  14. ^ Temple, Albert (August 9, 2002). "8–9 Cotton is made aware of his potential to affect the entire world!". Gene Catlow. Retrieved 2007-11-23. 
  15. ^ Hopkins, David (November 13, 2002). "Arc XII: Jack's Friend Fiver, Strip 279". Jack. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-28. 
  16. ^ Hopkins, David (June 15, 2005). "Arc XXII: My Mind Returns To Miller Hill, Strip 698". Jack. Retrieved 2007-10-31. [dead link]
  17. ^ Hopkins, David (2009-10-). "Arc XXXV: Sever The Hunger, Strip 3076–3086". Jack. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  18. ^ Hopkins, David (June 13, 2001). "Short III: Drip's Lust, Strip 49". Jack. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-28. 
  19. ^ David Hopkins's VCL art archive. Accessed 2007-09-25.
  20. ^ Hopkins, David (December 8, 2004). "Arc XIX: Wednesday's Child, Strip 618". Jack. Retrieved 2007-10-31. [dead link]
  21. ^ "Jack". RM Network. June 9, 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-28. 
  22. ^ a b "2002 Winners and Nominees". Web Cartoonist Choice Awards. Retrieved 2007-10-28. 
  23. ^ "2003 Best Dramatic Comic". Web Cartoonist Choice Awards. Retrieved 2007-10-28. 
  24. ^ "2005 Best Dramatic Comic". Web Cartoonist Choice Awards. Retrieved 2007-10-28. 
  25. ^ "2003 Best Anthropomorphic Comic". Web Cartoonist Choice Awards. Retrieved 2007-10-28. 
  26. ^ "2003 Best Environment Design". Web Cartoonist Choice Awards. Retrieved 2007-10-28. 
  27. ^ "2005 Best Dramatic Comic". Web Cartoonist Choice Awards. Retrieved 2007-10-28. 
  28. ^ "Award Winners 2001". Ursa Major Awards. Retrieved 2007-10-28. 
  29. ^ "Award Winners 2003". Ursa Major Awards. Retrieved 2007-10-28. 
  30. ^ "2009 Award Nominees". Ursa Major Awards. Retrieved 2010-05-18. 

External links[edit]