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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Giving it up: Everything Jake

Everything Jake being, well, Everything Jake.

Let me preface this post by saying that I tried. I really did. I spent a lot of time reading through Everything Jake, trying to connect with the characters, learn to love them and care about their problems, really connect with them, the way you need to connect in order to enjoy a relationship based comic. I swore that I would get through the archives and by the end it would all make sense, it would all be tied together and it would be yet another comic to add to my list.

Well, I just can't do it. I can't. It seems disjointed, half-thought out, and the characters really take themselves far too seriously. Most of the time, right when I'm getting into a storyline it just abruptly ends, with one character or another telling how it ended.

And don't get me started on the random interjections of like five pages of text. I'm guessing that rather than laziness this is supposed to actually be something stylistic by Mike Rosenzweig, intended to draw us into the heads of the characters a little more, maybe better explain their deeper motivations and shortcomings. But it's not working for me. It feels discombobulated and actually leaves me feeling slightly more distanced from the characters, rather than drawn in.

Everything Jake is a psychological tale which isn't nearly psychological enough. It's a relationship drama that doesn't have enough drama. It's a "crazy college" strip that just isn't crazy enough. The one thing that it's got going for it is that Everything Jake has moments which are almost jarringly true to real life. But this is mixed in with fantastical elements, alternate realities, and who knows what else. And I just can't get into it.

So, I'm dropping it. I just don't want to force myself to read a comic I don't enjoy. I wish you all the best, Rosenzweig, and I don't think the strip is necessarily bad (I drop bad strips a whole lot faster), but it's just not for me.


At 6:30 PM, Blogger Gilead Pellaeon said...

Small point of clarification: I didn't actually read the entire archives of Everything Jake. I guess I didn't make that too clear in the main post. I actually read up to the strip I posted, which is about 300 strips into the 1200 strip archive.

At 3:17 PM, Blogger Mr Myth said...

I've always had unusual feelings regarding EJ.

I was a fan of the comic when it started... and then after a while, realized it was a completely different comic.

Some time after that, it seemed to go through another major shift. Like you say - often story arcs (especially intense ones!) ended up cut-off right at the moment of climax.

I've continued reading it, but it is one of the comics that I feel perpetually lost in. There are really good moments, but the more it meanders about, the harder they are to find.

I have the sense that there is a really good story underneath it all, but that the writer just has trouble figuring out exactly how to tell it.

And I can sympathize with that but... yeah, I hear what you're saying.


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