Chapter 5: Lit, page 128.


Welp. Stereoscopic vision is overrated anyway.

Drawing that last panel was fun, I have to say.

131 thoughts on “Chapter 5: Lit, page 128.”

  1. Man people don’t think enough about eye gouging when it comes to a fight, they’re all like I’m going to punch the guy and beat the shit out of them. They don’t realize that if you gouge out somebody’s eye then their goal in the fight is no longer to win the fight but to be able to leave the fight with their other eye intact.

      1. I believe it was Desolation Jones who said, you don’t win fights by being bigger or tougher or faster or better trained. You win by being more prepared to permanently fuck up the other guy.

        Not that I approve of fisticuffs as a social solution, but if you’ve got to do it, do it right.

  2. God, I am really really hoping that this doesn’t end with permanent damage. Annoying and amoral as EJ is… he’s just a kid, and a kid who’s had a shitty lot in life at that. I really really don’t want him to lose an eye!

    I’m kind of hoping that Ben just fights the way I do. Panic, go for the eyes, realise what you’re doing and fucking stop it before you do something crazy.

    1. I don’t. E.J. attacked someone and and asswhipping is the least of what he deserves. Maybe he’s had a shitty lot in life, but that doesn’t give you the right to walk all over others.

    2. I’m not so forgiving. Honestly this is one beating that EJ really has brought on himself. Putting aside all context, EJ just pistol-whipped Ben, robbed him, taunted him and shifted the blame for the consequences of his own actions (i.e. Ben’s likely concussion) back onto the victim, and threatened him with further violence. He’s pretty much asked for anything he gets from Ben’s resulting freak-out, save winning or dying in a fire.

      Put IN context, Ben is a pretty stand-up guy as far as we know, and EJ is a violent thug and arsonist, and his sole redeeming quality (such as it is) seems to be his relationship with Biggs. While he’s immature to the point that it probably counts as some sort of mental disability, and I’m sure he’s had a troubled past, it doesn’t really incline me to look past the fact that the product of all that is a violent, amoral jerk.

      Personally, I kind of hope Ben skins him alive – not just because I don’t mind seeing EJ get a violent comeuppance, but because it fits Ben, and would make for an interesting turn.

  3. Okay, I have to wonder…does Ben have an attachment disorder? It can happen with kids from poorly run orphanages, usually documented in kids from Romania and similar places that have suffered from fucked up regimes. We don’t really know the history of South Korea here in the Templarverse. What happens is kids don’t get any sort of loving attention in their formative first few years, and then they have an enormously difficult time forming any sort of attachment with their adoptive parents. It frequently winds up an explosively violent sort of situation.

    It would explain a lot- the worries about his potentially harmful behavior displayed by his parents and therapist, his lack of attachment to said parents. The overall sense of detachment he seems to display. And…behavior like this. The general niceness he’s shown toward others doesn’t really fit, but then we do know he’s been in therapy and on medication.

    1. I always thought it was his adoptive father he didn’t get along, not so much the mother. And I seem to remember that he was adopted as a baby, though this being my memory means he could’ve been 7 years old instead. XD

  4. The fact that this isn’t just some rage fantasy for him, but something he actually does is just terrifying. Most people, when confronted with surprise violence, tend to lock up and just do what the assailant says. Ben’s different.

    1. ??? As in surprisingly healthy and capable? In light of the assault, don’t try to tell us this is *any* kind of overreaction. Failing, for any reason, to defend yourself is what is definitively pathological, albeit deplorably, pathetically common in the oversocialized, declawed modern age we inhabit. Whatever marginally-managed evil Ben may be suppressing has just met its PERFECT outlet. Here’s hoping he makes Reagan proud, even without getting wasted first.

      EJs background may well be sad and deplorable, but IT IS IRRELEVANT to his victims. You want “society” to take some responsibility for it (like that won’t be a can of legal worms) then go after his parents and keep a sharper lookout for EJs in the making to prevent future cases but for this “puppy” here, Rabid Dog Is Rabid: There is no teaching, only sleep.

        1. I don’t think anyone’s really arguing that it is. What’s surprising is not that Ben’s defending himself, it’s how quickly and well he’s doing it, given his former nebbish behavior. I mean, guy has a head injury and is being threatened, and instead of locking up or screaming for help he sweeps EJ’s leg and gouges out his eye. Most people with no experience in violence don’t react that way- even if they should.

  5. I argue that his behavior in this particular situation isn’t necessarily a sign of mental illness. Granted, it’s not the most elegant or intelligent response, but give the guy a break: he’s just been pistol-whipped, HARD, in the back of his skull. It’s hard enough to think in a violent situation without the addition of brain trauma. And in any case, brutal measures are sometimes necessary if you want to survive a sitaution like this.

  6. Dang, and here I thought the Jakeskin were gonna be the one’s wiping the floor with what’s his names face. Dang, Ben. Hope you can keep your shit together after this.

  7. Looking at that last panel, this is not the eye-gouge of a fighter, or the eye-gouge of someone who’s taken some self-defense classes.

    This is the almost flailing borderline-accidental eye gouge of somebody who has completely flipped his shit.

  8. …whoa, Ben, it kinda seems like this isn’t the first time you’ve done this. Is the whole leg-sweep eye-gouge thing a regular move for you? Man, when Sunny took a liking to you becuase he figured he was similar to you, he was right! There’s a little violence in there somewhere. Maybe this is what he was taking drugs for…

  9. Chicks and dudes, aren’t those Reagan’s sleeves? I thought Ben was concussed and Reagan had come to his rescue…

    1. Nah, that’s Ben’s hair in the last panel and looks like his short-sleeve-over-long-sleeves… Plus I’d expect we’d HEAR Reagan if she were present.

  10. IMO, someone pistol-whips me sight-unseen, and then threatens to do even more, he’s given me free license to do what the h*ll I feel like in my own self-defense.

    You go, Ben. More power to you. Make sure he never has a chance to do this to someone else. He doesn’t need to be breathin’ the same air you do.

  11. If someone had my laptop–which currently has all of my writing, I would have lost it about this hard. I’d also find something sharp and make the thief into a colander.

    Thank God for Dropbox.

    1. I think he left his laptop in Kingdom Come, but the Unagi controller, as well as likely some other personal stuff (maybe his meds too) are in the bag EJ took. And hells, if someone had just stolen any of MY writings or computer, I’d go for the eyes too, and then for the larynx.

      1. One of the many reasons I do my writing on a manual typewriter is that they’re insanely hard to steal…and if anyone’s trying to steal something ELSE from me, it makes a great bludgeon!

  12. Well, well… Has the Ben Kowalski I’ve been waiting to come through (hmmm… looking back… hey, hello monthly archive pages with adorable little quick-load page thumbnails!) since April 23, 2008 finally arrived on the scene? The fact that (looking back further) that chapter was directly adjacent to the “Meet the Elliotts” intermission gives me hope that this plot might actually be going somewhere (hey, 6.5 years is a long time to wait to start finding out what your protagonist’s vaguely hinted at dark side is really all about…)

  13. Crazy just got CONSEQUENCES.

    “Yeah, i know, EJ, you’ve had a hard life. True, you’ve used it for the worst kind of anti-social beahvior, but still, you have had a hard life. But there’s some good news for you: it’s OVER.”

  14. So far all we have to go on for the nature of Ben’s disorder is the following:

    Daily medication.
    A specific focus on his privacy and control of his personal space.
    A detachment distinguished by a buoyant, passive, but curious emotional separation from the world around him.
    A non re-activity to what others would consider punctuating or semi-traumatic events.
    A delayed reaction time when confronted by both the socially awkward as well as the socially novel.
    A noticeable propensity to fail in distinguishing the acceptable from the unacceptable.

    Now given that that is all when he is medicated, that does not amount to a whole hell of a lot. Realistically, given the absence of sleep, eating, and apparent endocrine disorders, either as parasympathetic signs of his disorder, or as side effects of his medication, we again, have little indication of his illness. Also, given that his height is obviously below average, but not sufficiently below average that he can be seen to suffer from either form of Skeletal Dyslpasia or Achondroplasia. Additionally, he has not displayed visible and significant anti-social habits, anti-social in the clinical sense.

    However, there are four salient facts that narrow the focus of the matter. His doctors concern was directed in particular to cutting, a habit most often associated with disorders having to due with depression or psychosis. His pill disposal was, based on the seeming internal chronology of the series, at least a few days ago. His behavior has not altered noticeably. This eliminates most depressive conditions save the most extended forms of cyclical depression and manic depression. His outburst just now was trauma induced. This is not typical of strictly depressive disorders. Finally, his outburst is violent, direct, and dissociated from the real and imminent pain he is experiencing, as well as unhindered by the blood loss he is suffering from. This suggests an at least temporary disconnect from reality. The most reasonable and logical assumption to make based on the available data is that Ben suffers from something on the ADHD spectrum of disorders, a Dissasociative Disorder unrelated to Identity, or a baseline degree of Psychoticism.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *