Something that I always thought about was how Jared was able to get away with beating up Ben Affleck without really ever having to answer for it. Today’s strip kind of plays with the idea that the characters aren’t living in a vacuum. The buzzComix incentive sketch takes it a step further, suggesting institutionalization when Jared has one of his Affleck freak-outs.

Sometimes people in the THorum ask me where Jared is off to when he hasn’t been in the strip for a while. Now you know. He’s off taking his meds in a nut house! Ever notice that he kind of disappears after one of his episodes? Now it all comes together, doesn’t it?

I realize that there was a pretty serious shift in tone with today’s comic and it’s a little out of character for Jared to threaten – well, anybody but Affleck! But I figured if I was able to translate despair in last Wednesday’s comic and have it be well-received, I thought I would try my hand at menace THIS week!

I know I like to remind you all that this is a story arc, so I’m going to do so again this week. If you want to know how Jimmy got in the mess that he’s in, just click here to read the story from the beginning.

Keeping in mind that this is all part of a larger story, I’m also aware that today’s comic isn’t fall-down funny or really even that strong on its own. Referencing previous strips probably isn’t helping anyone that’s coming to the comic fresh. But hopefully you’ll thumb through the archives to get a sense of things. Jared’s threatening behavior felt like the right choice at the time. He just loves hanging out at Tom’s SO much!

I suppose to keep things grounded in the world of movies I should make some kind of comment about the Star Wars Trilogy being released on DVD. What can I say? Films that were once loved universally now finds its fan base split down the middle between purists and enthusiasts. George Lucas has instituted ANOTHER round of changes to his movies and continues to bilk money out of his fans. So what side of the fence do I stand on?

It’s difficult to say because I can see both sides of the argument. As a fan, I wish he would stop mucking with the movies that brought so many people of my generation happiness. Adding a Dewback here or there really does nothing to improve the film. It’s just selfish tinkering because he can. Where does it stop? At what point does inserting Hayden Christensen as the “force ghost” of Anakin Skywalker in Return of The Jedi become replacing Luke Skywalker with an adorable kitten?

But on the other hand, as an artist, I can appreciate the notion that a piece of art is never REALLY done. If you can go back and improve the work, why shouldn’t you?

Lucas is a total anomaly in movie making. He owns the rights to the Star Wars movies lock, stock and barrel. This isn’t about a studio making changes or PREVENTING changes because they’re afraid it will affect their bottom line. It’s about one man that wanted to tell a story the best way he could and has the means to do it. The technology wasn’t in place when he first shared his story with the world and now it is. So why not make things more fantastic? Frankly, considering the amount of money the Star Wars franchise rakes in, who BETTER to make these kinds of tweaks?

I guess I get a little turned off by the fans who say that Lucas can’t do this or can’t do that. It’s just a lot of needless bitching to me. Do you think he’ll answer your e-mails or look at your petitions? He has bigger fish to fry. If you want to get him where he lives, stop spending your money on his products. Believe me, it’ll get through.

Are you complaining that it’s the principle of the matter? That you’re hopelessly addicted to all things Star Wars? Give me a break. Remember New Coke? America rejected it whole-heartedly and raised their voice by closing their wallets. Coke had no choice but to bring the original flavor back. Same rules apply here.

I guess if you wanted my personal take, the litmus test is to decide if the visual changes lessen the movie experience. At the end of the day, they really don’t affect me one way or the other. So I guess I’ll end up buying the trilogy more out of curiosity than anything. And also so I can get these movies in the best audio and video presentation available. I’ve loved these films since childhood and I have no problem continuing to line Lucas’ pockets.

At least until some new technology comes around and Lucas finally replaces Luke with that kitten we were talking about…

Anyway, with that handled, on to some site news.

I’m working really hard on bringing some new merchandise to you and I think you’re going to be really pleased with what I have in development. In fact, if you’d like to see a mock up of what I’m working on, you can read this thread in the THorum! It’s a brand new t-shirt and MORE are in the works!

I’m also working on collecting this storyline into a book. I plan on adding a few extra strips in between what’s on the site to entice you into buying it. For example, why does Jimmy go to Tom and not to family or friends? Where did Jimmy get that yellow shirt from if he left the theater in his work uniform? Why did Jared suddenly turn so hostile? All those questions will be answered in this book.

There will also be extra content, including all of the incentive sketches from this period. If you missed some of them from a while ago, you’ll get them all in one dose. Remember, the incentive sketches don’t appear anywhere else but the Donator’s area of the THorum. So if you don’t have access there, you’re missing a little bit of history.

I’ll also include some commentary, possibly and introduction and some pin up art from other creative types. For example, Joerules from the excellent Digital Pimp Online sent me some wicked artwork that reimagined a scene from this comic. I’ll share it with you on the site before putting it into the book, but wouldn’t you like to have a copy of it in print? It’s really good. Trust me.

Pretty much all that’s left for me at this point is to redesign the store in CSS and get things rolling. I’ll be taking pre-orders on the t-shirts and the book before putting them into production. So you have a little time to start digging through the couch cushions for change and hassling your parents for bump in your allowance.

So much good has come out of this storyline, not just for the site but for my self-esteem as an artist. I get ALL of it from you guys. You’ve been exceptionally supportive and I can’t tell you how lucky it makes me feel. Every day I’m humbled.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. What more can I say?

↓ Transcript
Mind telling me what you're doing?

Uh, washing dishes?

No, I mean what are you doing here?

Excuse me?

Let me clue you in on how things work around here.

There is only room for one wacky sidekick in this house. If you overstay your welcome, there will be consequences.

Are you threatening me?

You must not be up on current events!

Man who clobbered Affleck released.