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"This was not to be a human birth..."
February 9, 2010 9:38 AM   Subscribe

The Jain's Death. A sci-fi webcomic by Patrick Farley.
posted by hermitosis (36 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite

 
Huge fan of this guy. But he never finishes a damn thing. The Spiders was awesome.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:54 AM on February 9, 2010


Oh wow, Electric Sheep. I read the Jain's Death, Overheard at the Rave, and the Guy I Almost Was on dialup the summer before college 12 years ago. Well, at least the parts that were done by then.
posted by mkb at 9:58 AM on February 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


What a strange little story. Is all his stuff steeped in Jain/Buddhist philosophy?
Also, farm animals in spacesuits.
posted by lholladay at 9:59 AM on February 9, 2010


Nice! Thanks for this.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:00 AM on February 9, 2010


Oh wow, Electric Sheep. I read the Jain's Death, Overheard at the Rave, and the Guy I Almost Was on dialup the summer before college 12 years ago. Well, at least the parts that were done by then.

verily brother, this is ancient. But APOCAMON, his version of the Book of Revelations channeled as revealed to Pikachu is still as relevant as ever. If only he would finish it so I can start my new religion.
posted by ennui.bz at 10:07 AM on February 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is awesome.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 10:11 AM on February 9, 2010


I'm very glad to see that Electric Sheep Comix is back. I loved the Spiders and thought Apocamon was very clever. I hope the new domain means he's going to finish some of these....
posted by pombe at 10:11 AM on February 9, 2010


Yay.
posted by feckless at 10:11 AM on February 9, 2010


Yay! New stuff! I will absorb this when I have the proper time.
posted by Artw at 10:16 AM on February 9, 2010


I was thinking this was a dupe, but it looks like it was only mentioned in comments from time to time. Searching, though, brought up this lovely thread about 3D ray-traced furry porn comics.
posted by delmoi at 10:17 AM on February 9, 2010


Magically insane.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:41 AM on February 9, 2010


Wait, is this official? He's back?

Swoon!!!!
posted by Freen at 10:50 AM on February 9, 2010


So, does "Jain" rhyme with "Mine," "Rain," or "Fawn" ?
posted by reverend cuttle at 10:59 AM on February 9, 2010


So, does "Jain" rhyme with "Mine," "Rain," or "Fawn" ?

Shine
posted by Burhanistan at 11:01 AM on February 9, 2010


he never finishes a damn thing

(via acb ;) pfarley's surplus story ideas from 2009 :P

cheers!
posted by kliuless at 11:01 AM on February 9, 2010


Holy cow, I think I saw this about 10 years ago also. Its haunting.
posted by Liquidwolf at 11:04 AM on February 9, 2010


So ,on the first attempt I didn't make it through the Jain bullshit. I read the comments here and decided I should try some more, so I did.

Sure it's kinda weird, but... I don't get it. The drawings are interesting as long as he's not trying to draw humanoids. It seems childish... maybe it's appeal... in the black and white morality, the overly specific, unnecessary details (0.00056 of a nanosecond?), and, well, the story itself and romantic embrace of Jainism.

To tell the truth, though, I would have been much less disappointed if it had ended with the revelation that the bodhisattva was the ant. But then I would have thought about it and realized that made no sense either.
posted by cmoj at 11:19 AM on February 9, 2010


I too was reading Electric Sheep a decade ago, so thanks for this... although the ones I enjoyed back then don't seem to be on the site now. Sigh.
posted by languagehat at 11:27 AM on February 9, 2010


"the Jain bullshit"

Wow, I guess I'm surprised that you bothered at all.
posted by hermitosis at 11:39 AM on February 9, 2010


"the Jain bullshit"

Wow, I guess I'm surprised that you bothered at all.


I think I see where cmoj is coming from. I read "The Jain's Death" and "Overheard at the Rave" and they both share a certain "trying too hard" quality. As if he's really concerned with getting his point across, at the expense of subtlety. "Show, don't tell" and all that.
posted by lholladay at 11:44 AM on February 9, 2010


So ,on the first attempt I didn't make it through the Jain bullshit. I read the comments here and decided I should try some more, so I did.

It's pretty clearly not a Jain manifesto or some such, and acceptance of Jain belief and practice is not a prerequisite for enjoying the avenue of exploration that Farley took.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:46 AM on February 9, 2010


Why, when I saw the ants stinging her did I think of this:

Daddy needs his feel good juice!
posted by symbioid at 12:03 PM on February 9, 2010


No, this isn't new, as others have pointed out. However, Farley is producing new work. He posts updates to an eSheep Twitter feed (RSS). I don't know when he started work on it, but it appears his current project (and one that is being actively worked on) is "Don't Look Back."
posted by WCityMike at 12:05 PM on February 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


A neat, if quick read. Is all his work so unsubtle/heavy handed?
posted by zarq at 12:08 PM on February 9, 2010


WAit. You mean. I could never have guessed until she explicitly said it on page 84! Even on Page 83, I could never have figured it out!
posted by symbioid at 12:14 PM on February 9, 2010


GAH! You and your wily ways cmoj.
posted by symbioid at 12:15 PM on February 9, 2010


I think a lot of the steam got sucked out of APOCAMON when the Pokemon people sent a takedown notice to have all his merch removed from Cafepress.
posted by localroger at 12:26 PM on February 9, 2010


I hadn't read this in a long time. Thanks for posting it.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:58 PM on February 9, 2010


I've been a fan of his forever, and his work always gives me something to think about, even if I have to filter it a bit for cosmology in the same way I do when I listen to the great radio drama work from ZBS.

For me, The Guy I Almost Was is especially relevant, though as a guy without marketable web skills, I've had to be closer to the guy he almost was than the guy he is. Bought my Hermes 3000 because of that story, though it turns out he was wrong and Gibson was actually writing with a Hermes 2000 (scroll down to 13 October). Or course, my teen sexual angst was homo in nature, my view of the future came from 1960s Popular Mechanics magazines I bought at yard sales, and my traumatizing false vision of the future came from accidentally wandering into the tent of the Free State Survivalists group at the Maryland State Fair in 1979, not all the cyber hoopjoob of the nineties (though I did do live PA at a rave or two), but the piece raises interesting questions.

Who are you? Who do you want to be? Can you be that person?

Should you?

There's definitely a doctrinaire quality to much of his work, and the earlier stuff can be a little twee at times (the curse of persistence, alas), but he really delves into some interesting ideas with neither excessive egotistical revisionism or blathering James Frey-era showboating self-hatred. You read his work and, if you're like me, you roll your eyes here and there, but you still end up thinking, because there's some meat on those bones. Good stuff.
posted by sonascope at 1:34 PM on February 9, 2010


There's a lot to like about Farley's work; like many other people, there were times in my life that "The Guy I Almost Was" was so germane to my own existence that it hurt. But the unfinished works and sporadic updates make it hard to remember to keep up with his stuff, and his art... His hand-drawn stuff could be rough in spots, but it showed promise. The stuff that's mostly computer-generated, not so much. This came up recently when someone on a comics community that I frequent compared a recent issue of Power Girl, of all things, to "Don't Look Back", unfavorably, and specifically mentioned the art because both of them take place on spaceships with psychedelic backgrounds. The difference is that Amanda Connor can and actually does draw, and Farley's work, for all of its ideas and general sparkliness, is basically a Poser comic based on a Boston album cover.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:06 PM on February 9, 2010


Still eagerly awaiting the big finish on Spiders. Oh wait, looks like he finished that. Guess I was thinking about the big finish on Delta Thrives. Anyway, here's an idea from his "2009 story premise" page that caught my eye:

Clans of Alphane Moon, except the planet is divided into fetish communities (rubberists, plushies, foot fetishists, etc.)

Looks like he put the ideas in creative commons. Awesome! If somebody doesn't write that one, I'm going to.
posted by Barry B. Palindromer at 3:02 PM on February 9, 2010


Oops, his "2009 story premise" page.
posted by Barry B. Palindromer at 3:02 PM on February 9, 2010


Did Spiders finish or did it just sort of drift to a halt?
posted by Artw at 3:03 PM on February 9, 2010


I guess you're right, Artw. A cursory glance at the page showed part 3 as finished but part 4 as "in production" and the final panel of part 3 says "to be continued..."
posted by Barry B. Palindromer at 3:20 PM on February 9, 2010


hmm odd, I don't pronounce jain as "shine" ... could be regional accents mayhaps?
posted by infini at 4:29 PM on February 9, 2010


Oooh, I love this. The Jain's Death is one of my favorite pieces of art, ever. And I really enjoyed Chrysalis Colossus as well.

Thanks, this thread reminds me to go enjoy them both once more!
posted by marble at 6:01 PM on February 9, 2010


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