Chapter 5: Lit, page 14.

Chapter 5: Lit, page 14.

Haaaaair trigger.

Thanks to everyone who came out to see me at Wondercon! I had a great time. I have another con this wekend: I’ll be at the MoCCA Festival in New York City, Sharing table C7 with Ryan Magnusson and Dave Shabet of Dead Winter! And unlike Wondercon, I WILL have book 4s. Rejoice!


Discussion (71)¬

  1. Kat Smith says:

    Huh. Looks like Marcus was wrong… Gene’s pretty Jake after all.

  2. Coyote.weeps says:

    Oh, dear. Oh-dear-oh-dear-oh-dear. That is not Gene. That is training..Gene’s not home right now. *sighs*

    And the look on Feathers face tells me where he -got- said training. Either from her or his daddy. Too bad Marcus didn’t remember in time. If he even knew. If so, he’s even dumber than I thought he was, to push that way.

    • CatOfEvilGenius says:

      Definitely training. Gene definitely not home. I knew all Jakes are taught to fight, with knives, but this is unarmed and its instinct. They must have crazy stupid amounts of training, and begin really young, to act that way.

      Makes we even more scared for Zora. They’ve already given her knives. She’s witnessed abusive behavior, and violence, and has no one to protect her. Gene won’t, and he actually accidentally hurt her last strip.

      Heavy, heavy stuff. Comic relief, please. Where’s naked Mose?

    • pencilears says:

      yeah no, that looks like the “seeing red” face. he might not even remember this episode after it’s over. this is knowing how to fight dirty layered over instinct and pure rage.

      fucking beautiful.

      • B says:

        Agreed. That might be training. More likely, since this is Gene, it’s… close to whatever it was they summoned before. Or at least… throat and balls. That’s downright instinct, but not necessarily training. Don’t underestimate rage – and when 99% of his emotions are ‘laid back Gene’, that 1% has got to be… well, you’re seeing it.

        Is he her oldest kid? Her faith in him is obviously justified.

        • Erin says:

          I think the term you’re looking for is “conditioning” not training… Someone else noted that wouldn’t Marcus have been given the same “training”, but not necessarily — we don’t know how old Marcus is compared to Gene. But it definitely seems to me that this is a conditioned response from Gene. Feather’s lack of any particular reaction reinforces that she (and perhaps Apollo) knew this would happen because she (or they) are the ones who — for lack of a better term — ingrained this kind of behavior into Gene.

      • Random Webcomics Junkie says:

        I’m not seeing the rage face. If anything, Gene looks almost confused. I think perhaps the people saying that Gene’s “not home” are right.

  3. lolwut says:

    Wonder if he’d let go, normally.

    Because, this will totally be one of those, ‘Stop’ moments. Will most likely come from Zora, though.

  4. Cat says:

    Looks like Eugene don’t fuck around.

  5. zathael says:

    I love the completely tranquil, almost emotionless expression on gene’s face in the first panel.

    So much for the “he’s no warrior” argument.

    • Bremma says:

      With how emotionless he looks, it feels more like a reflex for him, than any real warrior training. As in, something Flower said to do to people who do bad by him.

      Still curious to see where this goes.

    • false_angel says:

      his eyes are dead, like he’s not home. wonder what zora’s gonna do to stop it?

  6. kaze says:

    “yer gonna love my nuts!” … look on the bright side marcus at least no ones set you on fire yet.

  7. Luneward says:

    Squeeze, Gene! Squeeze! Do the world a favor!

    Almost better than the near expressionless look on Gene’s face in the first panel is the very disinterested look on Feather’s face in the last one. She’s seen this before, and isn’t one bit surprised. I don’t see her stepping in anytime soon to stop this.

  8. Pearle says:

    And she just does not care. Wow. C’mon, Marcus, come to your senses, DON’T get a haircut and get a real job.

  9. Kerlyssa says:

    You Lose, indeed. Professor Bee has it right.

  10. CatOfEvilGenius says:

    (sorry if this is a double post, reply seems to be borked)

    Definitely training. Gene definitely not home. I knew all Jakes are taught to fight, with knives, but this is unarmed and its instinct. They must have crazy stupid amounts of training, and begin really young, to act that way.

    Makes we even more scared for Zora. They’ve already given her knives. She’s witnessed abusive behavior, and violence, and has no one to protect her. Gene won’t, and he actually accidentally hurt her last strip.

    Heavy, heavy stuff. Comic relief, please. Where’s naked Mose?

  11. Thatty says:

    Oh no non nononono.
    Gene you cannot do this. Nooooooooo. Gene.
    Oh god Zora. What about Zora? AUGH MAYBE SCIP WAS RIGHT.

  12. Chris says:

    Wow.

    I did not see that coming.

    A punch, a fight, some wrestling perhaps. But to go for the commander in chief? Goddamn.

  13. Jason Thorn says:

    It’s a Jake move–go for the weak spot that people wouldn’t expect.

    I’m guessing Marky Mark of the Crushed Crown Jewels is about to get a refresher lesson in Why You Should Not Provoke Gene.

  14. C. Mage says:

    If Gene was getting trained for this kinda stuff, wouldn’t Marcus have gotten some inkling growing up with the other Jakes, or offered that kind of training himself?

    No sir, friends and neighbors, that’s not training. That is a tiger going for the jugular, not because he’s determined, but because he’s so far past giving a shit, it would take light a billion years to get from Gene to “giving a shit”. He doesn’t care.

    Feather’s not surprised because SHE doesn’t give a shit.

    Marcus better hope Feather can find a reason to keep him around or else he’s about to be a casualty of Gene-Therapy.

    • Ozymandias says:

      Maybe not training. Perhaps mind control. Wouldn’t put it past Feather & Co., and that would explain why Marcus didn’t know Gene was dangerous.

      The “chosen one” has to have a little something extra to protect him from non-Jake, right?

      Hell, might explain why GENE doesn’t know he’s dangerous. Hypnosis and other brainwash techniques can be that scary.

    • PillowCaseLaw says:

      Training and reflex/instinct are not mutually exclusive. Conditioned responses don’t require conscious thought. Really, though, this kind of fighting is what I would expect from a Jake – quick, dirty, designed to incapacitate or kill the opponent in the shortest amount of time. It’s the kind of unarmed fighting real world separatist militias teach. Distract, Disable, Destroy.

      If one were to assume that I am even the slightest bit correct, that *does* leave the question of why the training didn’t “stick” with Marcus. That one’s easy, and I’ve seen it in more martial arts schools and styles than I’d care to count. When a student believes they are “special” within a learning group, their work is entirely conscious. Demonstrations of skill become regurgitations of pattern. They are able to handle themselves only on a rudimentary level outside of drills. Marcus exhibits the “I’m special even though Mommy never told me so” mentality quite well, and fits the profile of that student exactly.

      I’m not saying that it necessarily *is* training, but your claim that it couldn’t possibly be training kicking in is, sadly, on its face false.

      • C. Mage says:

        I’m not saying it couldn’t be training, but I don’t see Gene having an attention span long enough to even comprehend training in anything he doesn’t want to do. But he does have brothers, and as anyone with brothers will tell you, it doesn’t take long to learn the soft spots while wrasslin’.

    • Khazoolu says:

      Damn. Straight for the balls. STRAIGHT for the balls. Not even punching him in the gut first.
      I’ve only seen one person so far call this what it is, seeing red. Not about training, though training will make it more dangerous. Guys like Gene don’t bluster or threaten when the line gets crossed.
      They just go cold and make things happen.
      In this case, Gene is making things happen to Marcus’ balls.

  15. Dean says:

    Marcus, you do not mess with a guy’s video game. That is a lesson you and your nutsack are about to learn.

  16. EatBooks says:

    YOU KEEP GENE FROM HIS MUSIC, HE GONNA GET YOU.

    I love this. So. Much.

  17. N says:

    Looks like Zora’s gonna have to get her daddy to stop. Damn look at them eyes…

  18. DCB says:

    ….Ben had better learn how to whistle REAL quick..

  19. The Joker says:

    Feather might be just sitting there to see if Gene’s gonna kill Marcus. Jackie will make replacements, the rest of the gang will corrupt their innocent minds with quaint survivalist morals. Also, the man’s gotta lose it some time.

  20. Mary says:

    Whoaly crap. The wide-eyed, somewhat blank expression is generally something I associate with someone ABOUT to snap, but this expression continues on into Gene’s actual Marcus-grabbage.
    I’m looking forward to seeing what Zora does, personally. How Gene reacts to her trying to intervene could, theoretically, either save or break their close relationship as daddy/daughter. But Zora is made of awesome, so this potentially makes for good character development for her.

  21. Christoph says:

    You LOSE.

  22. Muro says:

    This is probably the most creeped out by a comic I’ve been in a long time, if ever. Gene just looks so…surprised at what he’s doing.

  23. Carl-E says:

    Not over. Marcus has a grip on Gene’s hair.

    That’s why Jake’s kin shave their heads – nothing to grab in a fight.

    • skalex says:

      so if the Jakes cut their hair for “combat” reasons, why does apollo get to keep his beard? facial hair is WAY more leverage than skalp hair.
      I guess the bald head is more of a gang sign – they’re proud of beeing jake-ugly.

  24. pencilears says:

    oh, and if you’re choking someone properly the sound they make is no sound at all. If you can’t get air through the windpipe, you can’t scream.

    now, someone being strangled, (blocking the blood to their brain instead of their air) they can still make noise, they aren’t going to for very long, but they can.

    • Carl-E says:

      Gene’s not chokng him. He’s attacking smething less critical, but more painful. This is a lesson (with possible ramifications), not a murder.

      • pencilears says:

        maybe in panel one he goes for the “nonvitals” but by panel two both arms are forwards and I presume around Marcus’s throat.

        interesting to note how bloodthirsty this audience is isn’t it? I feel so very Roman like I should be wearing a girl-toga and snacking on pickled wren’s tongues when I comment on this.

        • The Prof says:

          Pickled wrens tongues are the Tues special at Xenophile

        • t3h fake says:

          In panel 2, one hand is still choking his chicken and the other hand just landed a palm-strike on his throat with enough force to knock him backward onto the ground. It’s extremely painful even if it doesn’t damage your larynx.

    • Carl-E says:

      And yes, I DO see the other hand on Marcus’ chin in the previous panel, and there may well be a good amount of pressure on the throat, but I think Gene’s just holding him down, pinning the squirming little thing until it shuts the fuck up and learns its lesson about fucking with big brother’s game…

      Of course, with the glazed expression, there’s not that much thought going into it.

  25. Fafnir13 says:

    Doesn’t even notice his hair getting pulled. That’s usually a pretty good weak spot, but he just don’t care.

  26. Dotcom says:

    I don’t know if I’d call Feather’s facial expression disinterest. It looks more like pure contempt to me…like she’s about to tell Marcus he dug his grave and now he needs to lie in it. Gene’s expressions are pretty freaky. I am very curious what’s happening to Zora and what’s going to happen next. Poor little girl!

  27. false_angel says:

    fuckin’ amazing

  28. Cyanmanta says:

    Marcus is vocalizing my sentiments exactly.

  29. Tricksterson says:

    Ohhh, this is scary. I hope Zora can pull Gene off Marcus. Yes, the guy’s a jerkass but he doesn’t deserve killing. At least not mor than any other Jake.

  30. Nik says:

    It’s too bad for Marcus that he overestimated how “city” Gene had become. Even if he had remembered any training that Gene may have gone through, it seems he disregarded it because he assumed Gene had gone completely soft.

    Also, Gene’s face in the last panel = eep. I always knew Gene would be scary if ticked off enough.

  31. maritza says:

    Awesomesaucesome.

    I love the fact that Gene has a completely blank expression. Elvis has left the building, and he ain’t singing anymore.

    I still fail to feel sympathy for Marcus.

  32. Weirdling says:

    Gene has no iris left. Nothing but pupil. Look back about 2 strips where Marcus is ranting over his head. Nice, calm, un-involved eyeballs. Now? No iris, and his eyes are wide, staring, and deeply shadowed. I love how his flip to the dark side is so evident in such a small change of expression.

    • Weirdling says:

      I wonder how many trauma/PSTD victims and mentally-ill patients Spike researched to get this look.

      • Hanna says:

        Everyone’s got their little beast inside that’s more than capable of doing all this… I’ve snapped badly once or twice, and am quite happy I didn’t see my own face or eyes when that happened. -_-

  33. Erin says:

    If I didn’t know better (or couldn’t assume based on prior observation) I’d say the look on Feather’s face was silently saying “Marcus, you’re adopted.”

  34. Caliban says:

    I can just imagin Feather thinking “See? This is why I don’t give him shit about his hair.”

  35. Myles says:

    So, videogames DO make you violent. Just look at that bee in the first panel, I can almost hear it’s voice commanding gene to kill.

    • Pow says:

      Video games didn’t make him violent, he was completely passive no matter what was done or said to him while he was playing… However, not only did Marcus cause Gene to lose but he also destroyed his controller and did who knows what damage to the system/game by throwing it around like that.

      And that is just inexcusable.

      • Myles says:

        Um, I was kidding. I just thought it was funny how in panel 1 the bee is looking over gene’s shoulders as he lunges for Marcus’s family jewels.

  36. Kit says:

    Love how the ad on the lower right of my screen from drugfree.org came up as, ‘Don’t be a Patsy”. So apropos.
    Don’t assume anything about big bro, there. And learn that when your mouth writes checks, your body better be able to cash ‘em, lil Jake.

  37. C. Mage says:

    “I’m sorry, Gene’s not in right now, but if you want to leave a message, you can do so right after the beep of Marcus’ flatline. BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE…”

  38. Dgym says:

    Is anyone besides me really upset that dim but relatively docile Gene has suddenly become quite ferocious? The masterful thing is that, in retrospect, it’s not that surprising. It completely fits in his character. But it still makes me really sad to see it happen.

  39. Jake says:

    Let’s get /b/tarded in here!

    Er… bee? bee-tarded? Oh god.

  40. CatalystParadox says:

    I feel obligated to comment that our dear daft Gene has done something instantly recognizable as a technique from Tiger style Kung-Fu.

  41. Demtharion says:

    Reminds me of the “Grab, pull, twist, grab” that was pounded into my head back in San Diego a couple decades ago.

  42. kahbn says:

    let this be a lesson to you all: do NOT fuck with the music.

  43. Jenny says:

    He can still music! Listen to those bagpipes.

  44. Emily says:

    Is anyone besides me really upset that dim but relatively docile Gene has suddenly become quite ferocious? The masterful thing is that, in retrospect, it’s not that surprising. It completely fits in his character. But it still makes me really sad to see it happen.

Comment¬