July 23, 2004 8:19 AM   Subscribe

In Fleep, a 44-page comic strip by Jason Shiga, the protagonist is trapped within a telephone booth sealed in concrete. Can he escape using what few resources are available to him?
posted by LinusMines (38 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This is great, thanks.
posted by interrobang at 8:41 AM on July 23, 2004

Some holes: 1.The coriolis effect doesn't manifest at the micro level he uses. 2.How does he learn the foreign language words for numbers? 3.His logic about emergency numbers doesn't really stand up. The number in the UK for example is 999 (iirc, this was chosen to stop false signals occurring when overhead cables accidentally connected).

But imaginative though, if a bit garbled at the end.
posted by biffa at 8:44 AM on July 23, 2004

That was great! Very well done. Also, anyone notice that the ad bar on the right hand side of this page is for an Earthquake Relief site?
posted by GriffX at 8:55 AM on July 23, 2004

It doesn't read well in Safari... damn frames and no resize allowed.
posted by jpburns at 9:06 AM on July 23, 2004

Wow. Very nice. Great find.
posted by jammer at 9:06 AM on July 23, 2004

[this is good]
posted by tcp at 9:16 AM on July 23, 2004

Wonderfully bizarre - thanks, LinusMines!
posted by taz at 9:19 AM on July 23, 2004

Great read. It's like McGuyver meets the little yellow different guy.

For those of you having problems with the interface, here's a tip...


...and so on. ;)
posted by brownpau at 9:32 AM on July 23, 2004

Or just jump into the image directory and browse to your heart's content.
posted by jazon at 9:42 AM on July 23, 2004

I think Coriolis effect is just the wrong name for what he observed. I do think you can make assessments about your latitude by observing the motion of a pendulum. Anywhere but at the poles, a pendulum will exhibit some rotational motion as well as linear motion. It's very subtle though, maybe too subtle to detect in his situation. There was a wonderful exhibit at a museum I went to, maybe the knoweldgeum in san francisco? Basically they had a bunch of blocks set up in a circle, and a big pendedulm in the middle. The pendulum swing back and forth and of course rotated just a *little* bit so that every few minutes or so it would knock over another block.

Excellent comic strip. I've forwarded it to everyone I know.
posted by RustyBrooks at 9:44 AM on July 23, 2004

posted by mcsweetie at 9:45 AM on July 23, 2004

Very cool.

The full run of Fleep will continue on the Modern Tales website.

Confused: is 42 the end or not? I didn't see anything on Modern Tales for a continuation of Fleep.

Oh, never mind: Fleep had a very successful web run on Moderntales. But the run has ended. Now you can access it here at shigabooks for FREE!!!
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 9:49 AM on July 23, 2004

posted by Orange Goblin at 9:56 AM on July 23, 2004

I'm simultaneously thinking "wow, that was excellent given the medium and whatnot" and also "goddam, I wish this were done longer, grander, right."
posted by cortex at 10:00 AM on July 23, 2004

This is freaking awesome. What a bizarre comic. I love it.
posted by chunking express at 10:01 AM on July 23, 2004

Shiga's 'Hello World' is also well worth tracking down, though it appears to be sold out from USS Catastrophe. It's an amazing interactive comic strip experience.
posted by adamkempa at 10:25 AM on July 23, 2004

This is exactly why I avoid public telephone booths.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:42 AM on July 23, 2004

cortex: I know what you mean. For example, I imagine it could be made into a rather good movie. (Maybe showing some backstory in the beginning and cutting from the phone booth to the outside once in a while.)
posted by thebabelfish at 10:42 AM on July 23, 2004

Seriously though, this was an awesome read. Thanks.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:43 AM on July 23, 2004

I imagine it could be made into a rather good movie.

And there could be a guy pointing a gun at him, trying to get him to confess his sins!

Really, I liked the comic strip, but the, you know, 'whole story in a phone booth' thing... it's been done.
posted by reklaw at 10:46 AM on July 23, 2004

hasn't the "guy trapped in phone booth" movie thing been done to death? people would just watch it and say "colin farrell was more believable as the trapped dude".

anyway the read was interesting. i liked the little twist at the end - but can't quite figure out why he was stuck in the specific place where he was, especially given the reason that he was trapped in the first place.

(does that make sense? don't want to give away the ending for anyone who hasn't read it, but seriously: wouldn't he have known better than to go there in the first place?)
posted by caution live frogs at 10:49 AM on July 23, 2004

Really, I liked the comic strip, but the, you know, 'whole story in a phone booth' thing... it's been done.

yes, but in this story, the protagonist drinks his own pee.
posted by lotsofno at 10:50 AM on July 23, 2004

Well, I guess my ignorance of world of movies has shown again. *shrugs*
posted by thebabelfish at 10:56 AM on July 23, 2004

Damn that was cool. It felt a lot like reading through the plot/walkthrough of an old text adventure game. :)
posted by qDot at 10:57 AM on July 23, 2004

Also really liked it, once I got into it and started willfully suspending disbelief about some of the wilder logical leaps. I mean, sure, the whole phonebook thing has been done a lot, but that's not automatically an argument for whether this actual story is good or not. If it was lame, it's lame, even if it's "innovative", and if it's good, it's good.

On the other hand, I can definitely see why a newspaper might not be crazy about running this as a "comic"--it definitely reads better all in one sitting more than it would spaced out with one strip a week, and it's definitely quiet and kinda bleak. If the editors thought they were hiring him for a bit of entertainment, I guess he probably should've talked his idea through with them a little bit more upfront.
posted by LairBob at 11:04 AM on July 23, 2004

"Wow, this is really engrossing. I can't wait to see how it turns out..."

"That's a crazy twist! I can't wait to see the climax!"


"Oh, I guess that was the climax."
posted by patgas at 11:14 AM on July 23, 2004

If you want to see something about Jason's home life, check out this strip by a different artist.
posted by Zed_Lopez at 12:20 PM on July 23, 2004

Woah that's brilliant. You see, my friends.. that's what 'art' is. Something that takes you into a different space, something that challenges you. You snarky folks have just been the victims of art.

That is all.
posted by chrid at 1:22 PM on July 23, 2004

Zed_Lopez: thanks for the followup strip find. That was hilarious...
posted by Voivod at 1:26 PM on July 23, 2004

Not to be too spoily, but from where I see it...

...he was where he was beacuse he wanted his note to be found with him. He wrote (or probably had written) his note in the appropriate language for his location.

...the thing he uses is a Foucault Pendulum. It does indeed work because of the Coriolis effect. The 8-9' length he uses and the watch he has are roughly good enough for what he does. It's not great, a 3.5s period with no booster, but it will probably run for the hour (11 deg rotation) or two (21 deg rotation) that he needs.
posted by bonehead at 1:33 PM on July 23, 2004

wow. good stuff.
posted by Tacodog at 1:38 PM on July 23, 2004

Great find...I like it a lot.
posted by dejah420 at 8:05 PM on July 23, 2004

wouldn't he have known better than to go there in the first place?

(don't keep reading if you don't want spoilers) Maybe he was expecting to be a suicide bomber and join jenny immediately. Instead he got major amnesia and spends a day and a half figuring out who he is...

I enjoyed it, although the foreign number-word thing jumped out at me, and I agree it wouldn't really work as a weekly strip. It would be a terrible movie though! It works as a comic, just not really as a strip.
posted by mdn at 9:25 PM on July 23, 2004

Wouldn't the number-words have been in the common-phrases section of the dictionary?
posted by Pretty_Generic at 5:02 AM on July 25, 2004

And, by the way, thank you, this is fantastic.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 7:10 AM on July 25, 2004

How did he pick up anything from that anyway? How did he understand the phonetics?
posted by biffa at 3:39 PM on July 25, 2004

A few plot holes here and there, but if you're willing to suspend your belief a bit, a very gripping read. I thought it was much better entertainment than, say, Spider Man 2. I was holding my breath the whole way though.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:17 AM on July 26, 2004

That should be suspend your disbelief a bit, of course...
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:22 AM on July 26, 2004

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