Another Guest Dissection, this time by Ascendance.
The judge risked his life to save Jimmy as a boy. What will he do when Jimmy is found guilty of murder?
This one is supposed to be, in a way, an allegory for fundamentalist Christianity. It succeeds, but not in a way Jack intended, and with ultimately sort of the opposite message. I guess you could call it an anti-allegory, maybe.
Again, my comments will be denoted by a preceding J:.
What’s more fun than a guilty kid? Running him over with a Mack Truck. Or something, I dunno. Jack’s covers are usually worthless, but this is a trip into the surreal.
J: Jesus, kid, fight or fuckin’ flight already.
Ohh, a Judge, in a tract called Guilty. I gets it! I really does! Wait, where the heck did his right leg go? Seriously, did his briefcase cut it off? Is it a shin-killer case? I want one to give to people I hate.
J: “Not today, Fred — I’m going to take the trans-dimensional suitcase in to work.”
The judge’s driver will be played by BigNosedMook, guest starring Ross Perot’s ears.
J: “No, sir, that’s totally okay. I just, uh… got the car all ready for you and pulled it right up to the curb and everything, but uh, that’s totally all right. You could’ve just as easily called me earlier, but… you’re the judge. It only took me an hour. I mean… I guess I’ll just put it back in the garage, and get it all ready and polished up again in the morning. If Mister Honor wants to walk… who am I to argue?”
I know it’s just perspective in the second panel, but once again you can’t see the judge’s right leg. This makes me think he’s actually hopping from place to place and swinging his stump back and forth, which makes me smile inside.
J: It makes me smile downstairs.
Speaking of perspective, apart from the fire hydrant and mysterious line, this panel appears to be in Jack’s usual Dirac Sea. And here’s a fun optical illusion trick; looking at the line that apparently denotes the sidewalk, can you tell me if it’s the street or the wall of a building to the Judge’s right? Who says these things aren’t entertaining? We’ve got optical illusions and all!
J: Maybe this is the “End of the World” Chick and other fundies keep talking about. It’s a literal terminating edge.
Wait. The tree in the panel of the Judge’s house was dead, and this one’s full of leaves. What season is it? Well, I guess that’s irrelevant, but it illustrates Jack’s inability to maintain reasonable context.
J: Maybe it took him two whole seasons just to walk this far. Perhaps he should’ve taken the car after all.
Again, I can’t tell if that’s the ROAD beside them, or a hedgerow. Baseball at Normandy, maybe? “Here’s a home run for FREEDOM, you Axis fucks!”
I like to consider that the kid isn’t hitting the ball in the panel, so much as swatting at the Batman action word. Also, what’s up with his posture? I played little league as a kid, and I never pivoted THAT far taking a swing. Is he having a seizure? “Crap, I hit it too hard, and spontaneously developed Down Syndrome!”
J: I think you’re switching the cause/effect, here: His posture is that ridiculous because he has some kind of debilitating neurophysiological condition. It could also explain all the phantom Batman action words he sees floating about.
The judge knows the ball was close because his ear sonar waves told him so. Additionally, his right leg makes its first appearance, hooray!
J: “Oh, no! My magnetic hand has no effect on children!”
I guess it was the road, and not hedgerows. Wait… if the ball was hit in front of the judge going toward the left, and the kids were on the same side of the road as he was, they had to be ahead of him. Why did he turn around? How did the kid get behind him? Dammit Jack, perspective! Context!
J: Nah, it wasn’t a road, it’s still nothing. And where the judge is standing right now, there’s nothing. And where the kids were playing baseball, there’s nothing. And directly behind where the kid is standing, it’s nothing. No wonder the kid is so disturbingly blissfully unaware of his surroundings — there ARE NO surroundings!
Also, is it just me, or did the judge trade in that leg-hazard suitcase for a liquor bag on the right panel?
World’s most oblivious kid, meet the world’s angriest truck.
Holy shit look at those drivers! Where the fuck do I start? Huge noses, the guy on the passenger’s side appears to have a massive tumor on his right shoulder, the driver’s teeth are trying to escape his skull, and apparently they don’t emphasize words for communication purpose, they just like to emphasize the first word in each sentence. Good god that’s some freakish specimens of humanity right there. I bet they’re unsaved and unhappy about it.
J: Also, you could slice bread with the shoulders of the pinhead on the right. I dunno, maybe they’re hauling circus equipment or something. Or leaky radioactive materials.
J: What a coincidence that there would suddenly appear in the middle of nothing a street, and that the drivers of the only truck on this only street would be distracted at the precise moment the kid is running across.
This just looks like the kid responding to the truck. Really I got no more to say about that panel.
J: …why would he be speaking out loud to a baseball?
The judge’s dialogue becomes stilted here. He’s yelling the first part, but seems kinda casual on the second line. “The truck’s got its schedule, I got mine…”
J: “Son! Get out of the street.” “Sure thing, dad!”
J: Judge Jew-dy, coming this fall to FOX.
Shit! Reality’s ending just behind the judge! Look at the sidewalk flying off! Is this a Shel Silverstein piece? Shame on anyone who doesn’t get that reference.
J: Ouch. : P
Uh. Is he saving the kid, or trying to rape him? If it’s the former, I gotta comment on the inefficiency of TACKLING someone in front of a truck when trying to get him out of the way of said vehicle. If it’s the latter, well, uh… I guess the Judge is the villain?
J: The “OOMPH!” sells me on the rape idea. “Don’t wanna die a virgin, do ya, kid?” Or, “YOUR MOMMY WAS RIGHT! BAD THINGS DO HAPPEN TO LITTLE KIDS WHO PLAY IN THE STREET!”
“I can’t stop! I’m busy swallowing this harmonica!”
Is it just me, or does the perspective here make those guys look less like they’re in the truck and more like pictures ON the windshield?
J: The real drivers threw up the pictures on the windshield and dove out so they could run away and find alibis.
“Whew, that truck almost ran us over while we were getting it on. I’m glad I had the presence of mind to roll us aside.”
It looks like the truck’s trailing fire, too, which is just a cool thought, context or no.
J: Though, why is it such a fan of Dustin Diamond?
J: You know, I wish Jack would just make a Tract entirely devoted to Fang one of these days. If you’re reading this, Jack — *HINT HINT*
There’s another dead tree. Does death and decay follow the judge around?
J: “No, kid, thank you. I’ve been trying to get that dopey hat off my head for years.”
Judge saves a kid, and it’s worth a tiny corner of a newspaper? Damn this society and its impossibly high standards!
J: An interior corner, no less.
Ahh, the return of Down Syndrome Friend. Nothing like talking to a friend who looks like he’s about to detonate all over you.
Power? Like REAL POWER in DnD? “Seriously, you get power! Just watch me channel all this bright light out of my head!”
J: Actually, if you look closely, there’s kind of a tentacle of light coming out of the explosion behind the kid’s head, wrapping around Jimmy’s head. I think this kid is actually part of the 3/5 of the population who are actually demons, and he’s influencing Jimmy’s mind.
See? Stupid people DO have an effect on us. One dumb question from smacktard, here, and all the lights go out.
Wait, they’re on again, and now there’s a window. What the fuck Jack, is this a random chaos reality? I thought God was a God of order!
J: Yeah, what cop in his right mind won’t let someone off for murder when the perpetrator tells them “don’t you know who I AM? The judge writes me a card once a year!” This plan is flawless. Something tells me we’re in for another “pre-existing severe problems that are merely brought to light and exacerbated by everyday stupid things are indications that the stupid things are the problems” message, here.
Oh shit, his jaw just got square. He must be TURNING EVIL. Additionally, he seems to have caught fire.
J: No, it’s anOTHER SLIVER STORM! FUCK! EVERYBODY RUN!
Not much else to say about this panel, kinda boring really. Dammit Jack, be ridiculous more, I need to make fun of you!
J: “CITIZEN’S ARREST! Oh, wait… I’m a cop.”
J: “Hey, kid, didn’t you see the sign? Get out of that tangible background and back over here into the vast emptiness. That place belongs to For Better or For Worse.”
J: I kind of like that the kid walks, like, six paces onto some vast expanse of land with a “No Trespassing” sign on it and there’s a cop, like, right there to bust him for it. a) Where the fuck is this place? b) Who would put a “No Trespassing” sign on an enormous vacant lot with nothing but grass in it? Why care? c) Doesn’t this cop have better places to be, and better crimes to solve? I mean, this is a town where the newspaper relegates a story about a judge saving a kid’s life — a story that would, in today’s sensationalized DEAR GOD THINK OF THE CHILDREN society, likely make brief national news, even — to some deep inner corner of the newspaper; obviously there are more important events taking place.
“Hello officer, I’m going to say some stuff now that may or may not be true.” “Shit! I will believe you, son!” HAHAHAHAH no.
J: “Listen here, officer, I’m friends with the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. He comes to all my dad’s Halloween parties, and he… well, he’s like my uncle. His wife bakes me brownies. So you’d better let me off.” “I believe everything you say, and know that if you told him I did my job and actually enforced the law with regard to your actions, I’d be out of a job forever!”
What the fuck, now the cop is having an attack of the Downs. Our little budding criminal here must be a carrier! He’s the common thread!
Okay, you know, wait. Nobody can be this dumb. Judge saved me as little kid =/= I believe I can get away with murder. Honestly, what? How the fuck do you get from “I bet I can act out a little bit since people think I’m friends with the judge” to robbing banks and shooting kindly old Jewish gentlemen or whatever ethnic stereotype Jack made this guy? Serious jump in logic thar, Jack.
J: He undermines himself with his own ridiculousness. There aren’t cables anywhere in the universe strong enough for the amount of disbelief one has to suspend merely to buy the general premise of these things. Which is why these Tracts are really only effective on people who are so capable of suspending disbelief that they’ll believe just about anything. Like that a just and loving God would condemn an entire race of people to eternal torment because of a single trick played by a talking snake in a tree who was ultimately simply telling the truth about an apple. Which is kind of why Chick’s efforts are somewhat futile: The kinds of people who’d buy into these are the kinds of people who’d have blindly bought into religion in the first place.
Also, what the fuck is up with that question at the bottom? Is the mysterious tattooed guy we’ll never see again asking it? Is he like Jimmy’s narrator? Also, the question itself doesn’t make sense, the judge never protected Jimmy, Jimmy implied he would. Gah, brain hurt, gonna go look at Fang for a minute, a few panels back.
Ahh, that’s better. Anyway, on to the strip.
See, the cop on the left is smarter than the cop on the right, because he’s not looking directly into Jimmy’s face. This has saved him from the horrible, contagious Down Syndrome (though nothing can save him that Burt Reynold’s Stache) while his poor partner is reduced to blithering idiocy as he apparently contemplates the gleeful possibilities of raping young Jimmy.
J: “HURR I GOTS A NEW FRIEN’ AN’ HE HAVE PURDY, MEATY ARMSESESES!”
Legal Dude? NOBODY talks like this! And that’s a pretty fucking stupid lawyer, relying on a client’s claim he knows the judge. Seriously, there’s the whole issue of partiality and shit! I’d be beating the kid in the head saying “bring that up in court and WE LOSE.”
J: I also like the “he likes me” bit, as though people’s opinions and ideas are chiseled into stone and incapable of ever changing, regardless of what happens. “You sneaked up on me and kneed me in the groin every single day of the last six months, but because you bought me a coffee when we were in high school, I like you.”
Surprisingly enough, he gets the charges right (killing a witness to a crime is technically first degree murder).
Additionally: Fuck. Any judge worth their salt would recuse themselves from this case! Come on already Jack. I already get the premise you’re trying to set this up on, but have a LITTLE sense about it! “Because I need it to work” is not a valid literary argument.
J: Only the front part of this courtroom exists. In shots toward the back, of Jimmy’s face, there’s nothing behind him.
Oh, he “wasn’t acting as a judge” so it’s all okay. NO!
J: Yeah, it’s like he’s saying “as a man, I think what you did was perfectly all right. Unfortunately, I’m acting as a judge right now. Too bad I’m not on the jury, huh?”
I like that mouse though. He’s wondering what the fuck the Judge is smoking just like I am, I’ll bet. And I agree with the security guard, napping is better than listening to Judge Rambling speak. I mean, Rawlings. Rawlings.
J: Actually, I think we’ve switched to a different story with some plot resemblances, and the door is addressing the security guard it saved. “Murray! Murray, come on, wake up. I saved you. Come on! Get me a cup of coffee. I’m dying, here, Murray. Murray?”
Seriously, “I became your savior”? What? WHO TALKS LIKE THIS?
You couldn’t be his judge either! You have to recuse yourself or this whole thing goes out on appeal! STOP BEING STUPID!
Hell of a courthouse though.
J: Yeah, where is this, anyway? This further emphasizes my point that there’d be a lot more going on here that there’d be police available at every lawn with “No Trespassing” on it, willing to punish people to the full extent for walking ten feet onto a vast expanse of grass.
“Crap, he’s gonna sentence me! Down Syndrome power not working! Must make eyes bulge out of head!”
J: “…must impersonate… Chinese… New Year… dragon!”
Not hanging? Getting a bit soft in your old age, eh, Jack?
Ah, a naked soul being ushered into heaven by the angels. We certainly haven’t been HERE before.
J: This is actually kind of interesting, and here’s where the “fundie allegory” part comes in: Whereas one’s personal relationship with their “ultimate judge” guarantees them an innocent “verdict”, one’s relationship with their meaty judge means nothing, and if the judge is worth a shit, he or she will even let another judge take their place so that a personal relationship won’t get in the way. In fact, this is pretty much enforced by the law. And while real-life judges are concerned with people’s behaviors and actions toward each other, God apparently doesn’t give a shit how horrible people are to each other. (“Faith, not actions” and all that.) So in kind of an odd, ironic turn, it’s almost as though Jack is arguing that God shouldn’t be the arbiter of human morality.
“Get away from me! Not only are you filthy, you’re… ETHNIC.”
J: “Guess it was a bad idea to roll around in all those dog feces on the way toward the bright light after we died,” said the man in the sunglasses. “Great idea, Ed.”
Random narrating questioner will be played by Steve Buscemi, who is tragically recovering from a stroke… wait, recovering from a tragic stroke. Right.
J: He’s kinda funny-lookin’. More n’ most people even.
Again with the idiocy. People know who the fuck Jesus was already, stop pretending ANYONE is ignorant of what you believe about him, Jack.
J: I like the implication that there are a ton of people in the world who believe there’s an entire major set of religions built entirely around the idea of some kid born in a manger somewhere. “Let’s have our baby in a BARN! Then WE’LL be FAMOUS, TOO!”
Oh no! God’s exploding! ARRRGGH!!!!
J: Man, he’s really got the high beams on today, huh? If only we could harness the power of God, we wouldn’t need to kill ourselves ecologically and financially with our dependency on all these fossil fuels. Come on, God — you could at least throw us a fuckin’ bone.
Who says these Dissections aren’t doing any good? Take a look, Jabberwock, Jack’s stopped doing forced forelengthening in his crucifixions! You’re doing the world a service, man.
Catholic Jesus raises shields against the storm!
And one of those images that always makes us laugh, a big angel chucking a naked man into fire. Seriously, I can’t stop giggling when I see these.
J: I like the implication raised by the “If you want to go to hell — don’t do anything” thing. So doing even something will get you into heaven? What if I raise my foot like this and wiggle it in the air? Does that count? I mean, I’m not “not doing anything”. Apparently as long as we exhibit action of some form, we will get into heaven.
Real men pray with their whole body. Like Moslems.
J: Be sure to pound the iron spike completely into the floor with your bare fists while you pray, or else you have to start all over again.
Usual block of summary text. Also, what’s up with that “the next step” illustration. “Become a Christian and you too can be a SPARTAN!”
J: Then an angel comes along and drop-kicks you into the fiery pit.
That’s all for this one, folks. Please consider donating to Down Syndrome charities to help all of little Jimmy’s victims. ~nepphie~