Oh, I love the darker stuff….
But where is Paul going with this? Is this just a rehash of transpired events from a different perspective or is he going to deliver one of his classic curve balls for the Friday cliffhanger?
What I wonder is why did they specifically drag Jin in front of Brandi? She says “in front of me” not “in front of us.” Did they have a personal grudge against her? Perhaps she fought them, or some of her captors when they came for her and this is yet another payback?
And damned if I don’t feel really bad for Brandi at this moment, seeing her face. Not only battered, but also that look of “please, please, don’t make me watch this.” It’s heartbreaking.
Probably because she was trying to look away.
Good point! Her black eye seems to point to some struggle. Maybe her warrior instincts had her lashing-out to the guards earlier ,and they enjoyed taking revenge by showing Brandy what her end would be if she resisted again, because she
-warrior or not- also was a sensitive soul.
Some people are that twisted that they go off on the power that scaring people seems to give.
Yes, Brandi, if she was a warrior, may have been like millions of the spear carriers throughout history. Conscripted into “service” only to have a spear/sword shoved in their hands and told “run that way and stab whoever you encounter.” She may have been a good soul caught up in circumstances beyond her control. I think that probably describes most of conscripted soldiers in all the wars ever. At least at first anyway. It also would include those who joined up through peer pressure and the like. I recall reading that during the American Civil War, men who did not sign up were hounded until they did. Some women even put petticoats on their doorsteps to symbolize cowardice, bringing further shame and pressure on them.
Bud seems to be near the catatonia level, unable to look away from Jin’s actions in spite of the horrified look on her face.
Brandi still has enough free will to turn away from it, even though the violence is directed at her captors. So showing her in detail what is happening to her rescuer is another hit to her psyche.
Not me, but it is neccesary to explain the resulting unbound hatred and anger of the chimera.
Truly. Suprising the three of them didn’t wipe out a galaxy while they were at it…
I presume they would have if Jin hadn’t been part of it
Man this is getting brutal. I mean he talked about it being bad before but wow, the visuals…
Had to mention, his art is totaly suited for this darker content.
Tendon damage always makes me cringe.
I shrieked a little.
I haven’t said this in ages…but it bears repeating…because it’s my ultimate compliment.
GODDAMN YOU, PAUL TAYLOR!!! ^__^
Damn your beautiful mind!
“Beautiful mind”??? I dunno..This stuff points to a boiler-room of his own, with his own creepy-boy, scribbling away, sketching dark ‘n gritty stuff like this.. 😆
It’s absolutely gore-geous though.
Unfortunately, this is just a small glimpse of what has happened throughout history and continues today in some places.
“Ouch” doesn’t even begin to do it justice.
I think I now know why Brandi wanted to forget everything in the “last” calendar go-round.
I presume jin only went through this once but how many times did those girls go through this?
They only had to do it once, thank God, the time loop reset to a position years ahead of now…
Ooh, that’s gonna smarts tomorrow morning. 😉
Umm, I think this might merit a change to the blurb at the top of the page. This is in no way what I consider YA reading. Don’t get me wrong this is fantastic stuff, art and writing, but not suited for people under the age of 18 (the real YA crowd). I want to finish the story, but it’s becoming something like the Potter series, which started as a kids’ book and evolved into something far more grim.
I agree with Opus. Paul, you may want to consider a warning on content like this.
This is not 50s/60s Evil Zombie Comix gore. Even Mayhuel’s guard slicing was “clean” by comparison.
I note that the Achilles have not been severed. This could be a setup for a hanging flagellation, which would fit into the dark — evil — character of the current goings on.
Yes, it is the pure horror of Brandi’s memory, and the events were horrible, and the depictions bear witness to that horror. At the same time I do hope the series stays on the good side of the line and not drift into needless misery porn. Enough can be implied without details. This need not be another Sun Dance from A Man Called Horse.
Creepy, yes, sure! Hideous, yes, as needed. Vile, I hope never.
I’m going to have to disagree. A lot of books for children are even worse than this. The Animorphs books were very graphically violent, and had really dark themes throughout the series (especially towards the end though). And that was for 12 and under.
I’m with Tessa…I went through my senseless gory violence kick around the ages of 12-13 years old. My parents were so desperate to get us out of the house that they actually bought our tix to the gory movies and then allowed us to see them alone.
Which is not to say this scene is easy to look at…I winced more at seeing this pop up on my screen than anything that happened in the woods during Friday the 13th
I’m with Tessa. The authentic fairy tales of Europe (not the incredibly toned-down Brothers Grimm, etc. we have today) were far more brutal, bloody, and vicious than what Paul is portraying.
For that matter, real life is far more brutal as well; most of us are never exposed to the depths of – evil – to which humankind can descend. There’s an old cliche; “Evil thrives when good folks do nothing.”
I’ve personally seen far worse, as – I bet – many vets have as well.
Good work, Paul; VERY good work.
i read this at work.
the violence is making me wonder if im gonna be told off bout this…
After Tue. I’ve been going to a quiet place where I can be alone to read the strip, and take a few minutes afterward to decompress.
Never had to do this before with any media. I find it strange and weirdly comforting that I can be disturbed by something.
It’s not Paul’s fault you can hear the difference now.
(Actually, it is; and well done.)
There is not one note of complaint in my yammerings.
I consider it a tribute to excellent writing and artistry that it affects me the way it does.
I remember I had to do that sort of thing with *The Grapes of Wrath* when in High School, and later with Piers Anthony’s “On the Uses of Torture” in Anthonology. I even had to stop reading both several times the first time through.
Jabberwonky, me too. I read in my bedroom, but this week I’ve been taking Wapsi Square out of its usual place in my webcomics list. I don’t want to read Sinfest right after this.
It’s by no means G rated, but I still think it’s YA. On the border, though. Personally, while I understand the “need” for it, I’m not a fan of arbitrary controlling of content based on age… and also believe kids today are sheltered for far too long. After all, once a kid hits 18, they can be thrown into war (which several people on here seem to have experienced first hand) and I can only imagine that this isn’t anything compared to what you can see there. I thank my lucky stars that I have not yet had to experience war first-hand, as a combatant or as a civilian.
In other contexts, of course, I may agree that the content is inappropriate. In a context like this, however, as part of a larger story that emphasizes the importance of compassion, emotional growth and other positive things, I think it can be appropriate even for the YA audience even if it is a little on the graphic side.
I have to disagree. Controlling of content based on age is very necesary. I was exposed to way too much violence and slaughter on TV at an early age (biblical epics were some of the worst). That is part of the reason I see things as I do now and have the bias I have. I’ve become aware of this only after much counseling. Unfortunately, simply knowing the reason, does not magically make the problem go away. That is where Freud was wrong.
Being exposed to this sort of thing, even if it’s not real, can have lasting bad influences on a child. To me, it was real. It still can be, even though I know better.
I think i always understood that comics (and movies and TV) were “comics real”, as opposed to “real real”.
Not that the Queen in Disney’s “Snow White” didn’t cause me a few nightmares when i was five or six, but once i was awake, i knew they weren’t real.
Some exposure to the bad things in the world is needed though, or we end up with blue eyes naive sons and daughters, which may end up worse when things go badly.
I’ve had this happen to someone very close to me, she was Uber-sheltered all her life, and then when a traffic accident happened, and she saw the blood on her husband and just crept into a corner and cried – He then died from bleeding to death, something she could have stopped, if she had been able to act. She comitted suicide 2 months later.
Good, bad ? I don’t judge.
But it is sad.
Others have been similarly sheltered. Think of Victorian girls, sent out to the colonies for marriage, and suddenly giving birth, or having to help give birth, with absolutely no preparation or knowledge of what was going on…
Too much information is damaging; too little is probably worse. And it’s important to know what they are asking:
“My 5 year old daughter asked me where babies come from and I panicked. I went into this long, nervous, diatribe about when a man and a woman love each other, how babies are made, where the come out, etc. I was beet red and my heart was pounding by the time I finished. Then she looked at me and said, ‘No, the red hospital or the gray one by school?’ I about died, although it’s a fun story to tell now.”
Hannah, Mom to 8 yo Elizabeth, 3 yo Harley, and Baby H on the way
Yes, we need to be exposed and “hardened” to at least some degree. This discussion, though, is not about the amount of exposure, but the timing. It’s not always something which can be controlled, but, where possible, it should be.
In that same vien, too many people pat themselves on the back for not letting their kids see even softcore sex or nude scenes, yet have no problem letting them watch sharks eating people alive or men being mowed down by the dozen. That’s a twisted morality to me.
I am absolutely with SoWhyMe there: Why is sex, or nudity(I deliberately make a difference here) considered “bad” and gore and violence OK?? It paints a rather warped and unpleasant picture of western society.
I have seen kids freak at the 7 ‘o clock news, yet I have NEVER EVER seen kids freak at a nude-beach ,or when they were confronted with nudity..they mostly giggle and go on doing what they did.
Back on todays strip: Yes, it’s brutal, but it pushes our nose in realevil. it is really powerful writing and drawing. It’s what real art should do. “Art” isn’t always nice or beautiful. Art -if it’s any good- makes us think, and even question ourselves. Art, in my opinion, should lead to introspection. Today’s comic does that, seeing the reactions.
I agree, this strip can be considered extremely cringe worthy and even over the top by some, but I have to ask … where was all this sort of response when Paul published this?
I know some here said the panel with the guard’s head being severed into several slices wasn’t so bad because it was bloodless. Ok, fine, well, so is this.
My point is that it seems a bit late to bring up the rating or graphic nature of this comic at this juncture. That ship weighed anchor and slipped it’s moorings with great fanfare on May 5, 2006.
Some continuity glitches there – or maybe it’s just that that was from Jin’s viewpoint and this is from Brandi’s…
Jin took one priest’s head off and eviscerated the second one. But you are correct that one comic was Jin’s memory and this one is Brandi’s.
I take it the decapitation part was never published on line? Or I missed one somewhere.
I’d still consider this YA. I mean, this is still nothing compared to the gore and violence in The Hunger Games book series, which is also meant for teens.
SoWhyMe: the decapitation was implied with Jin’s hand going right through the guy’s neck .
And even though this is not pleasant, it’s not as bad as some of the stuff JKR has put out in the last four Harry Potter books.
Until this, I thought both scenes involved the same priest. It didn’t seem as if she took his head off, just ripped out some internals from the head via the chin’s underside.
Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow . . .
And let me add, Ow!
I can haz new eyes pleeze?
Sorry, the best we can do is remove them and run them through a golfball washer.
there are such things as golfballwashers? 😀
Yes. And bowling-ball washers..
*whimper* ooh lord…
oopps hit “post comment” too quick.
It is terrible, horrible and stomach churning but..(and here it comes) totally appropriate. It illustrates very verywell WHY the chimera was so full of hate and anger that there was no controlling it, despite the hampered state it was in ,due to Jin’s sacrifice.
I just imagine the anger and horror I now feel ,multiplied by a thousand ,and acted-out by a being of pure destructive power.
Ones “compassiopn” for humanity is likely to evaporate completely, after being forced to watch humans at their lowest.
This all the more illustrates too that “angel” is a good denominator for Jin .Seeing how she put all at risk to set things right. It also is amazing that Brandi became this good-hearted, motherly figure, after watching all of this. One would imagine she would hate people, and men in particular, for the rest of her existence.
Yes, the Golem-Girls are quite the amazing ,resilient and forgiving bunch.
Yes, I know they destroyed the world, but that was just their anger. Their later personalities -separated by Tepoz- showed little inclination towards destruction of the world ,and all people in it.
I believe the fearful look, and subsequent destruction of the little girl that all parts of the chimera saw, -and apparently still dream about- was the first vestige of “remorse” for lack of a better word.
*was laying the first vestige of remorce* .grddmmtt..!! >(
*cringes* YEEESH… I think my stomach just flipped…
Yup, and to think that on this side of the pond, the daily comic appears shortly after 7:00..breakfast just became somewhat less appealing..
So no ketchup on the scrambled eggs today then?
Strawberry jam and goat cheese slices- sandwich..yup odd, but it tastes good, despite the “graphic” look of it…
That sounds good – and, I’m also a ketchup OR salsa on eggs man. Also, try making an omlet using a good, spicy pimento cheese for the filling…..
Darn, now I want breakfast.
PLEASE tell me you don’t put ketchup on eggs for any reason.
A nice salsa on the other hand…
Naw. Growing up I was allowed to use ketchup on fries, but that was it. Now I don’t use it on anything. Don’t like salsa either though. Nothing spicy for me. Not even in chili.
I love the spicy, but getting to where the spicy don’t love me back…
ketchup is nice in a fried egg sarnie
Yikes. Didn’t think about that.
The comic usually updates and exactly Midnight where I live.
THEY MADE ME WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATCH!!!
Is that your attempt at implying Robert Rodriguez should make the Wapsi Square movie? Coz I was convinced he’s the man for the job from the get-go.
… you know, or possibly Lauren Faust. XD
This is very, “watching horror movies with your hands over your eyes but still peaking through your fingers”
I believe the British version is watching Doctor Who from behind the sofa.
Orders or no those guards were frikkin evil!
I presume their masters were 10 times as bad which … is beyond what I can imagine actually.
Im kinda glad they DID wipe out those guys….
*makes mental note that this is just a comic and not real life…thankfully…and yes whilst worse stuff happens i would prefer to pretend it doesnt k)
I envy you your rose colored glasses. But don’t ever take them off. Once you do, they never work the same ever again.
I can understand why you would say that. Think about it this way though. How would you feel about all this if you were one of the guards? You walk in and see her playing with the priests intestines. This was a man you admired, respected, revered and and even possibly loved. The center of your religious world, like your pastor might be today. What would you want to do to the person playing with his (or her) guts at that moment?
I would, and this is me talking, would temper it with the fact that no matter how much I might have respect for the downed priest, still have the wits to know that he was doing wrong.
(Christ that was a run on sentence)
No matter what, you have to realize at some point kidnapping, torture, and rape are wrong. If your priest is urging you to do this, and I suspect they were doing this without publicity, it’s time to reevaluate your religious tenants. Hell, I don’t follow any organized Christian religion because of discrepancies and contradictions I see in it in this day and age.
Ah, but you’re comparing it to today’s standards. At that time the priest was all powerful and all deserving of respect. Whatever he said was “truth.” It wasn’t just politics, it was religion. You were brought up to believe in the athority of the priest in all matters. Whatever he did was right and good. These were brutal times and they were brutal men. They had to be to do the job assigned. In the context of the time (fortunately we have football for them today), if the priests wanted to rape the captives, so what? They were considered less than human anyway. Slaves to be treated any way desired. No biggie.
Now, if the priests were raping nobel women, then … whoa! Something’s wrong here. The guards would be a bit nervous about that. They would do what they were told, but they might not like the guy very much. That would be “wrong” to them and their upbringing. Even then, though they could not simply let her get away. They had to do what they did or their head would be on the block next. No trial, no nothing.
The Nazis and the Jews showed that this sort of mindset is not so far removed from us even in modern times. You have had the luxury of today’s culture and being brought up in a place where such thinking is despised. The guards did not have that viewpoint presented, ever.
And experiments, IIRC, have shown how easy that sort of mindset of us/human vs. them/subhuman is to create in just a short time, even in a classroom.
I recall seeing one such experiment where students in a college course were separated into guards and prisoners. The experiment had to be aborted after only a few days because of the abusive nature the guards were starting to display.
I’ve spent the past few hours trying to come up with a reasonable argument for your statement, but I’m afraid human nature tends to nullify anything I’m coming up with.
The only thing I can bring to the table is more a hope than argument.
I would hope that no matter how your are raised, or trained, that if you put half an erg of energy into brainpower you realize that hurting people is wrong, no matter how you spin it.
“A nation cannot make war without the cooperation of the majority of it’s populace” is very true. I wrote a blog on this some time ago so I’ll direct the reader to it rather than taking the space here:
Thank You for the links, Jabberwonkey. Saved, posting them.
Well said, SoWhyMe; thank you for your link as well. Tons of food for thought in your blog, read them all. The last entry 2007 though?
Read them all? Even “The New Roman Times”? You impetuous fool! Well, don’t blame me, there was a clear warning under the title. Thanks for the kind words though.
Yes, they stopped when they did as I was doing better about that time. When I wote them I was going through an especially bad patch and they became theraphy. Later I simply found I pretty much said what I had to say. The person who let me use the web space for it has probably forgotten all about it. Most times I do as well. This has given me renewed inspiration to add more, however.
There comes a point where, no matter what you believe, you see something and your gut goes, “That ain’t Right!!”
ugh. ugh. ugh.
Intermission please. please?
Cheer-ups! The cocaine laced breakfast cereal. When yellow moons and pink hearts just aren’t enough to lift your spirits in the morning! And now, back to our story.
I understand the hard part is finding the little teeny spoon you’re supposed to use…
Spoons are optional.
But..but..there is no spoon…
Very hard to find that of which there is none.
Over at FB Paul mentioned that this is one of the darkest weeks he’s ever had. I can only assume that the exigencies of the story being told have brought him to this point, rather than an explicit need to be gratuitously graphic. I have often found myself wondering what went on in the pit, as I watched the girls struggle with their respective consciences. Seeing it take place is not “fun”, but very helpful to have a visceral understanding of what the Girls are working through in the present.
I need a coffee with something stronger in it than usual because of this chapter. Do you think the barista has a flask of something under the counter?
I understand the best coffee shops keep a bottle of emergency bourbon under the counter.
“Our” coffeeshops have quite the different emergency substances available 😆
I think the barista in question in that shop drained it after a recent issue with her roommate and her boss.
Well, let’s hope they’ve resupplied. I think there will be a run on it because of the Friday cliffhanger…
Did they mean a personally dark period in his life, or just that he was drawing a very dark series of comics?
I can imagine that he has been mulling over how to illustrate the utter depravity and evil the GolemGirls were subjected to, for quite some time.
The comic is categorized as “Humour”. Luckily that’s not all there is to it. Paul is not afraid to step outside boundaries.
Our instinct to “categorize” is quite hampering sometimes. It tends to stifle creativity.
Can we be a little less graphic next time? I would like to have to spend less time bleaching images from my brain. Thanks!
Aint gonna happen. Nor would I want it to. Despite what you or I want, it’s Paul’s comic and he not only has the right to draw whatever he wishes, he SHOULD always draw it as he wishes. To do less would diminish his work. Lord knows I complain too, and I don’t see anything wrong with expressing your feelings about what gets presented (annoying as is to Paul), but we always have the option of never looking at again.
What would be helpful is a warning the day before and a brief description of what will be shown so we may make informed decisions.
I agree, except for the warning. I love the antici………..pation (sorry, Rocky Horror fan) of waiting for the next strip.
I third your sentiment. Paul has to tell the story how it has to be told. He can’t white-wash it even if he’d like to or how much we wish he would. If he did, it wouldn’t be real. I happen to like how he visualizes the story. It must be his photographic eye noticing all the details that have to be there. I really do like his work, he has a wonderfully macabre imagination.
Poor Jin, too, but Brandi is the one telling the story.
I guess I’m coming at it from a different angle. The graphic nature of the strip has never bothered me. I have seen worse in real life.
It is the intent of those causing the harm in the strip that gets to me.
And I think because it is being inflicted on my ‘friends’.
Yes, I think of the cast of this strip as friends. They can be, in spite of my knowing they are fictitious characters, as real sometimes as other on-line friends. Maybe more so, because I see them 5 times a week, and I hardly see my ‘real’ friends only occasionally.
Just my dos pesos…
Gah! …and only see my ‘real’ friends occasionally.
That’s exactly the point hm? As an ex MP I have seen more real gore than one can imagine. Booze, Beemers and Young conscripts with too much money at hand and no place to spend it, are a recipe for trouble..messy trouble.
What gets me here is the utter helplessness of the girls, and the thought that all this cruelty is piled upon them so the priests can have their ultimate power-gasm with a super-weapon.
(hmm..there is real-world relevance here…)
And you have to add that the girls don’t know why this is being done to them. Even knowing that there is a reason would in some way. But to sit there in the midst of all this misery and not know why?
Gah! Even knowing that there is a reason would HELPin some way.
Ugh. oh god. i think. i think im going to be sick. I hate torture sequences, and I can’t imagine the pain she is going through right now. Change it, change it now.
Wow, brutal week at the cafe.
The fact that it’s being pointed out how fierce Jin is, how like a wild animal, could be important. It may be part of why she failed to restrain the other two later on. It’s obvious she has (or at least had) a very feral nature within her. Perhaps that nature came out right along with the others and she did not do all she could to stop them as she remembers. She may have been more a part of the rage than she wants to recall, making up something in her mind to excuse her part. She is, after all, a bit loony so her telling of events may not be accurate. They are truth to her, but may not be factual.
This retelling of the early events could be a way to show this. What would be a real twist would be to find out Brandi and Bud were trying to stop Jin, not the other way around. Or I could be, as usual, way off base.
Tomorrow, we take a pause for Pie.
I thought that was March 14…
I’ve watched the entirety of Starz’ “Spartacus” series over the last week, both “Gods of the Arena” and “Blood and Sand.” It parallels this arc very well in terms of the portrayal of absolute brutality done by and to human beings. The saddest thing I can say about this part of Paul’s work, and about “Spartacus,” is that nothing’s changed – we’re still the same brutal beasts when we want to be that we were thousands of years ago.
Thank you, Pablo, for background on the GGs. This week has absolutely chilled me to the bone. Viewing through the fingers over the eyes, indeed…
It’s scenes like this that portray the fact that there are some people in this world who need to die, it’s a sad fact, but history has proven that people like that were and are a real thing that shouldn’t be allowed to continue to exist.
I just don’t see the guards as evil. By modern standards, sure, but look at what Jin did. From their POV, Jin is the evil one. She just murdered two “holy” priests in a very bloody manner. Even playing with their guts. How evil is that? To them, anyway.
Thus far what the guards have done is mild by comparison. From their view, they just did what was necessary to restrain the savage murderer. Now comes the torture for her crimes. It would all be quite justified to them. They could string her up and start skinning her alive and still feel ok about it, given what she just did. Remember, the priests are the good guys to them. They probably consider themselves to be the good guys. Here is this animal and they have to deal with her. They’ll probably need to get further instructions from this point, however.
However the fact that the girls are down there in the first place, and what is done to them prior to this…
Having to see a story from multiple POVs, including one where the “bad guy” has his reasons –and they MAKE SENSE– is the real reason writers get drunk (etc.). Every good story needs to have a reason; it has to matter, and the harsher the conflict, the more the audience will care.
You’ve got a solid nontraditional reading there, and that’s a good thing. Paul has been working to make the GGs sympathetic characters, and allow the audience (us) to see things from their POV and allign with their ideas of what is right, wrong, terrifying, and silly. But remembering that there are other characters whos POVs are interesting, complex, and possibly also correct lets the writer invest more emotion into the story, and finding that, as a reader, also broadens our understanding of the story and of what about it matters.
Readers often identify with a character without considering all the options. It’s good to see that you don’t. Thanks for reminding us to read with both eyes open. 😀
The Golem Girls are sympathetic; they’re nice women. We can see their points of view, mostly, even when Brandi and Bud are scared or angry about Jin doing something annoying. She often is, and her strange combination of flying blind and repeating herself never helped that. (Jin probably lost track of how many times she’d lost track of what she explained to them!)
The many uninvolved people caught in the upcoming Chimera Apocalypse are obvious sympathetic characters. Mayahuel doubtless had valid reasons for her actions which made sense at the time, for all that the combination turned out badly. And – a worrying thought here – maybe the Lanthian priests actually had a problem which made creating an Unstoppable Giant Monster the reasonable response?
You forgot the mandatory TV Tropes warning!!!!!!
So I did. Be warned: TV Tropes will eat your weekend.
This stuff even makes a Goth like me wince…
‘Goth Like Me’ I think that was required reading in High School…
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