89 thoughts on “Chapter 5: Lit, page 127.”

  1. Thanks for the update, Spike! And it looks great–love shell-shocked Ben. Jesus. And the blood coming off his face in the second panel, ouch. Someone better come along and save him soon, or he’s gonna get more than minor brain damage.

    1. Head wounds bleed like crazy without any damage. As long as his eyes don’t roll back as a prelude to to loss of consciousness, he’s escaped cerebral swelling.

    1. He’s already been taught SOMETHING so it stuck. Further violence, no matter how cathartic, will only reinforce that lesson at this point.

      I keep remembering what Spike said on this page. It feels really weird to simultaneously have great sympathy for someone, and think they’re a menace who need to be gotten off the streets…

      1. I’m right there with Ben. EJ’s become something of a monstrous thug, by the time Ben’s been victimized by him, and yet…what is that voice in my head singing, “How do you solve a problem like Mari – a”?? Dang it.

      1. Heck, I’d settle for the crazy doctor to de-brain EJ with a blunt instrument, especially if he thought EJ was sent by his ex-wife to get money from him or something.

    1. EJ is like a beaten dog. After a while all they know what to do is look for their place in line. Take shit from the boss dog, and abuse as many smaller dogs as they can to distract themselves from the fact that they aren’t the boss dog. Hate and fear are the only things he knows how to feel, and pain is the only thing he knows how to share. He’s the kind of person who’s led a life that reduces them to less than a full person in the long and the short of it.

  2. Or he’s just a psychopath and has absolutely no concept of empathy. Then, yes, had a fucked up upbringing that didn’t teach him anything about social norms.

        1. Forget Scip. *I* want to be the one coming up behind EJ right now. His membership in the Oxygen-Breathers Of Templar just ran out. Everything leading up to now, everything he’s done, has just cemented that decision.

          I really want to come up behind him and see how HE deals with a significant head injury…or ten.

        2. LOL, precisely. Which is why Scipio is *not* my first choice… unless Templar has some sort of surreally-awkward, epically-messy arena-justice for offenders of EJs specific type.

          I suppose it’s too much to hope that Claudius R. Graves ever presides over old-school lion-feedings or showy, artistic, gladitorial executions… Given what we’re seeing here, I would totally skip work to go cheer that.

  3. Wow Spike….Yeah that is an unnervingly realistic reaction. That last panel is gut wrenching. I’m hoping for some retribution like everyone else. I’m personally rooting for whistles and knives but I have a sneaking suspicion that much like the real world sometimes bad stuff happens to good folks and it goes unanswered. You just end up with someone scared to go outside, who has panic attacks when they see large groups of people they don’t know and keeps having flashbacks and nightmares. Violence ain’t fun.

    1. Yeah, much as I hate to say it, I could see this becoming something that only sees justice after the fact. So it could be possible we’re gonna bear witness to some horrible shit that only gets corrected once someone pieces it together through his writing or something.

      1. Everyone should remember that Ben is under a sort of observation by the Cooks, and one of his observers is in love with him. Honestly, as sin lucky as the Elliots are, there are too many players holding trumps at the table that they don’t even realize are playing for me to be confident in more than one if either of them surviving this.

  4. You know.. did we ever actually find out why Ben’s got to take the meds? I’m kinda imagining the next comic is a cut away, and we won’t even get to confirm that EJ’s been savagely dismembered till another chapter down the line.

    It’s the little guys that you never expect this kind of thing from. :D

    1. That wouldn’t make some bad re-revisionism. Outta the blue, he starts turning green, and — oh, right. That’s “Hulk”. XD (Maybe Ben’s the one that suddenly joints EJ like a chicken. Especially if his issues are so deep-rooted that he’s takin’ meds…?? O.o )

  5. Yay Templar woo

    Ditto on the brilliance of these panels. I’m going to join the chorus of EJ being head-fucked eighteen ways from Sunday. That shit’s more than a bad childhood, that’s some major dysfunction.

    1. Yeah, indeed. I’m basically taking what EJ’s saying on this page, and reading it as if someone who raised EJ was saying it/doing it to EJ. EJ’s just on a script.

      1. Definitely. “That din’t hurt” – how many times do you figure EJ heard that from his abuser? This is a kid who went to a dark, dark place to cope with abuse, and lacks the support or mental/emotional toolkit to get out of it.

      2. it really does sound like he’s parroting. god. poor puppy. poor violent puppy who makes terrible decisions and seriously harms other people.
        ben’s face is making my chest go tight with anxiety though oh man poor kid.
        all of these puppies need hugs and therapy right this instant

          1. nah i don’t think you have to go that far :c the kid’s a product of a terribad background and a society that did nothing to protect him, so that society needs to bone up to the fact that it fucked up and try to fix it. with out, you know. killing anyone.
            not that i think this is going to happen in this case. he’ll either get brained by a jake or end up getting killed in a flood or something

  6. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, EJ?? Feels like some serious abuse issues to me. “That din’t hurt…little wuss…walk it off.” “But Pa…” Whack! “Getcher a** up, little shite…b’fore I give ya another one!” Years and years of that, accompanied by neglect and probably serious rejection issues…witness his almost desperate willingness to do whatever his buddy wants/needs. *sighs* Still doesn’t change my urge to kick him…just changes the target. Right in the back of the head would be favorite.

  7. Ok, it’s pretty much a guarantee that someone shows up on Two. I heard some cheers up there for Scip, but personally, I’m rooting for Ray.

  8. I don’t hope for Scip or Reagan. I hope for Jakes. Because THEY will not hesitate to kill EJ. And honestly, at this point that’s what I’m hoping for.

  9. Okay, here’s what I want to see:
    Marcus comes down by himself, sees EJ. He leaps on EJ like a wild animal, grabs that stupid zip gun and staves in EJ’s skull with it. Then runs off. Then Ray shows up. Ben is just starting to recover, Ray sees the both of them, and assumes that it was Ben who killed EJ. She helps out Ben by hiding EJ’s body. In the basement.

    1. Nards? My English slang knowledge is far from perfect, but I don’t think I’ve encountered that one before. (Though you might’ve meant “nads”, but I try not to assume.)

        1. Ok, cool, learn something new every day. I’ve never seen “nards” used myself – at least not in written form, in speech I guess one sounds pretty much like the other.

      1. 80’s movie Monster Squad used this variant prominently. “Wolfman’s got nards!” Not dure of the origin other than a slightly mangled shortening of ‘gonads’, but yeah, it sees some usage.

  10. Every time I checked the page to see if a new comic had posted, and saw that triptych of Elliot trying to get his bearings, I hated him more.

    –all things operate in spike’s favor. it’s very meta.

  11. I’m happy the comic finally continues. Less happy of Ben’s predicament continuing. :-P

    I’m also hoping that someone (Reagan or the Jakes would be coolest, but more unlikely) will happen on the scene and show EJ new levels of pain.

    Most of all I’m hoping that Ben is classically schitzophrenic (spelling of that word may be wrong, I didn’t stop to check) and that he’s about to have an “episode” and kick EJ’s ass for taking his bag. :-D

    1. I wasn’t thinking of schitzophrenia exactly, but I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who thinks Ben’s pills might have something to do with potential violent tendencies, and that he might just end up being his own rescuer.

      1. Feh. If Ben has anything, it’s an anxiety disorder. I think it’s even odds between that and just growing up with parents who pressured him and made him nervous, then medicalized the result. He certainly knows the twin mantras of the child of an alcoholic/dysfunctional family; “I’m sorry” and “I’m fine”.

    2. The little voices in my head are starting to tell me that disassociative disorder would account for multiple personalities, but I’m not sure I trust them, and maybe I do. (Maybe they’re supposed to trust me…but, hey, that’s just crazy.)

  12. I admit I’m kind of curious as to whether or not the Jakes are still having their party upstairs, and if that’s drowning out other noises. Or if no one in the apartments around are home. Or something.

    I got clocked upside the back of the head hard enough to give me a concussion once, and it wasn’t even with something that would cause massive bleeding. I couldn’t talk for an hour or so without slurring horribly and I couldn’t walk straight for days. I do not imagine that Ben’s brain is forming words right now. He’s beyond adrenaline making him try to fight or flee. He seems pretty much catatonic.

    Wondering pretty strongly now what his meds are and what they do.

  13. You tell’m, EJ. >:( Stupid idiot can’t take a concussion like a MAN, he deserves another one!

    … Poor Ben. I still love EJ as a messed up character, though, so I hope the jerk doesn’t get killed here.

  14. Delayed gratification…waiting for this new page. EJ is witless but ruthless, an unpredictably dangerous combination. I suspect that things are going to get worse before they get better. Ben may be looking at delayed gratification for retribution for EJ’s heinous crime(s). EJ may get away with it for now but inevitably his actions will catch up with him, somehow, I hope. Btw, welcome back Spike. I hope you enjoyed your time away.

    1. That was key in “Alien”. The monster was portrayed by an actor in a rubbish suit, but was so concealed that the audience was left to fill in the gaps with their own conscious and subconscious anxieties.

  15. I don’t think Ben’s gonna win any fights unless he’s packing a knife or a gun in those baggy pants. He’s got a head injury and he isn’t a girl in an action movie, thus doesn’t possess the power of FrailFu.

  16. “That din’t hurt,” he says. Right, just ‘cuz one-third of Ben’s face is painted with his own blood doesn’t mean he’s in any real pain. After all, he’s crumpled up on the floor like Biggs was in the toilet, and he was just fi– oh, wait.

    I’m pretty sure it’s Spike’s intent on giving us Ben’s POV here, since he’s on the ground with a head-wound, bleeding profusely, and now his assailant has come to finish the job. If I were Ben I’d be scared enough to do something crazy like bite EJ on the leg, but seeing the expression on the attacker’s face may be psychologically enough to throw one over the edge of crazy-angry-fright and into fetal-position terror. Better keep that head low for survival’s sake, Benny.

  17. I vote for “Ben shows him where the basement is, then pushes him down the stairs, then realizes that part of the resulting crunching sound was the damn Unagi controller and staggers back out to get another one. He wakes up in a hospital.”

  18. And then Ben’s eyes turned white, his mouth narls with clenched teeth while foam shoots down his lips and chin. He grabs EJ’s arm, rips it off at the socket and mercilessly clubs him to death with it. Then he takes off in a murderous rampage to kill everyone–friend or foe.

    What? Wrong comic? :)

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