1809 Fruit.

Over the years I’ve gotten shit for all kinds of things. Run the list of typical topics of outrage & I’ve gotten called out for all of it at least once. It almost always comes in the first section of the comic since I’ve left comments on in the archives. People get some random number of pages in and then find a page where their particular sacred cow gets slaughtered and they write the comic off forever, after leaving a comment about how terrible I am and how I should kill myself, or some such thing. By far and away the most passive aggressive comments come from fat people, or people defending them. I’ve been fat for almost my entire life & I’m always aggravated by how precious other fatties are about their body image. They assume that since someone makes some snide comment about someone’s weight that I must be a skinny bastard who wants to oppress them. When in reality I’m one of them who thinks maybe fatties need to accept that being overweight isn’t all the fault of other people. I fucking KNOW what it’s like to get shit for being fat. I know how our entire culture is built around making it incredibly easy to eat constantly & terribly. That said, no one has forced me to eat when I didn’t want to since I was a kid. (making kids eat when they don’t want to is a whole other thing…) In any event some people just can’t withhold their outrage long enough to see where the story is going. If every character was perfect the comic would be incredibly boring. Reggie in particular is a bit of an edgelord. He likes messing with people, is vindictive, & has a streak of cruelty in him. He’s growing up. Even though he’s in his 20’s he’s still learning to be a decent person. I know people who are in their 70s who never get there. Some people don’t.
The point Reggie is making here is something that people have a hard time understanding; the idea that you can say mean things but not mean them. Or maybe you only mean them for a specific person, or in a specific situation. The interconnectedness of everything now has thrown this whole concept out of whack in all human interaction. As soon as someone says something that doesn’t align with whatever narrative for good behavior we’ve passively agreed upon it’s open season on them. Vast numbers of people vindictively set out to destroy that person with no regard for context or anything else. Social media, constant news availability, the internet, all of this stuff has amplified the tribal nature of humans in a way we haven’t had to deal with since we were a much smaller group. I don’t think that’s bad overall, I just think it will take a while before we learn to adjust to this constant interconnectedness as a species. In the end the good outweighs the bad, but the bad is really bad when you become the target of the entire rest of humanity.

Words don’t always mean what they mean. Sometimes they only mean what they mean for a little while. It’s important to try and understand what someone else means when they mean it and how they mean it, but also to let them change their mind if they want. In my experience, if you take an adversarial tone with someone who disagrees with you they will always double down. Whereas if you approach with a tone of wanting to understand their motivations you’re more likely to find common ground & possibly change minds. Don’t be too quick to bring the hammer down on someone else, because you might find yourself dressed as a nail someday too.

The long and short of all of this is that I’m going somewhere with this story, and Reggie acting this way is part of his arc. Enjoy the ride. You might learn something if you stick with it. For most of you I don’t need to say this at all, but I know this next section is going to bring out a lot of crankiness. Buckle up, motherfuckers.

46 Comments

Very good author’s note.

I’ve been running into more people online who don’t know me but seem to have a whole ready-made backstory to slot a comment of mine into, and then beat me up for that imagined context. Explaining the actual context only seems to make them angrier. I refuse to take responsibility for the noise and drama that reside purely in other people’s heads.

I like to think that anyone who has stuck around for 1800+ pages of a comic would be willing and able to withstand anything the artist can throw at them. I’ve also been called a delusional optimist, and saw the fallout when Mr. Twist thought his comic’s comment section could handle a fictional woman in a committed relationship being tempted by another man. That being said, for as long as I’ve been reading your comic, it has always felt like Reggie’s jabs at Carol weren’t some thinly veiled expression of the artist’s ire towards fat people. They came off as a realistic aspect of his personality, and to me, that is a staggering achievement in character design and execution. Where other comic artists’ characters come off feeling like, well, characters, yours have felt more real, and I think it’s precisely elements like this that make them pop so much. My seatbelt is fastened, good sir. Show us what you can do.

I say, Watson, devilishly good comment, that.
I second your comment!

Everyone has a body. Advertising is a toxic poisonous, thought controlling beast, and should be ignored. Please do not fall into the trap of letting others’ opinions cloud what you know to be true about yourself.

Jackie, you rock the comic. Accept critique, ignore the critics, and then: when the morning light comes streamin’ in- get up and do it again…. Amen!
And I thought it was goats that were slaughtered, but what ever, still tasty eating.

Holy Crap! It really does not seem to be over 1800 pages in already, but now I think of it, I discovered this comic literally years ago, and yeah, as I’ve said before when I first met Reggie, I never thought I’d actually start to respect him. Once again, I’d like to say excellent work on the comic and the characters, their development is amazing

I can never decide if I hate Reggie or if I’m fascinated by him. It’s these artfully flawed characters, though, that keep me coming back to read more and again. That and the feels.

Meh. Reggie’s an arsehole. Arseholes tend to make comments about people with no or little regard for those people’s feelings. So pretty much what he described himself. There are more than enough of those in real life, why shouldn’t there be one in a comic?

Also, he makes me laugh, because I happen to like snappy comments. I also happen to know a few arseholes in my personal life, of who some I’m cool with, some I’m not. With most of my buddies, I’m an arsehole myself, and we curse each other on a regular basis. It’s fun as soon as you understand that it is not necessarily meant as a hurtful comment, but as a playful one. As a matter of fact, I’m just now trying to loose some weight again after being told that “you look like Bigus Wambus”, “Wampe” meaning to have a way too big stomach and it’s showing. (Germany. We got all the best words. Fuck you, Trump.) So curses actually told me in a playful, but still very honest way that I’m getting fat, and I should do something about it.

Regarding fat people: There are those few poor souls who have to battle with diseases which make them fat, be it a long stay at the hospital (for whatever reason) not being able to exercise by even walking, be it hormones (the pill is a nice fat-maker as I found out) or whatever else there is. Biggest part of them, it’s on their own head, though. I know getting fat is on mine – my main food source for the last couple of weeks has been pizza, and though it’s food from heaven, it’s also damn fattening. So, less pizza and sodas for me from now on, and it should balance itself out.

As for fat acceptance movement: fuck them. It started (at least in my opinion) to help people who, for whatever reasons, seriously could NOT loose weight. Now it’s a bunch of people who simply lack the discipline to do so. Cannot respect that, never will, and neither should anybody. It’s not healthy in the long run, it’s not “the society throwing fat people under the bus”. It’s celebrating an unhealthy condition because people are too lazy to change themselves. Just… nah.

Just my little rant. Keep the comic going, and bring Reggie on more often, I like that arsehole.

Phipsi: There’s one other factor that comes in, besides purely medical issues. There’s a reason obesity and poverty go hand-in-hand.

Working poor folks are less likely to have ‘spare time’ to actively exercise–they have to commute further, on average, and in less convenient methods (mass transit, versus driving, for instance). If their job is also not active, then you end up with a large chunk of your day being consumed by just earning a paycheck.

On top of that, you get the second issue–carbs are cheap. Bread, pasta, rice, potatoes. These are the staples of the poverty diet, and they’re utterly horrible for you in the long run when they make up the majority of your diet. Even if you opt for veggies, the most cost-effective vegetables (the ones that last the longest without spoiling) are usually the highest in natural carbs.

I recently dropped about 50 lbs. Almost all of that was made possible precisely because my wife and I finally got to a position, financially, where salads-for-meals and veggie burgers and such were a viable option, and where I had a kitchen capable of accommodating week-prep cooking for lunches to take to work, instead of sticking to fast food all the time.

One of the reasons why people jump on others for their comments is a regrettable modern tendency to try to “win” by appealing to some standard. The old-fashioned idea is to try to be a good example for others, to try to live up to your own ideals and let people see that they are good, and perhaps explain why they are good. The new idea is to say something that means the other person just instantly loses or you just instantly win. So now it’s: “Aha! You’re fat-shaming! That’s awful, therefore you’re awful, thus you instantly lose.” When someone pulls this on you, you’re supposed to instantly start apologizing, because You Lose, The End.

As a result of this, people are racing to find or invent new standards that cause automatic wins. If someone accuses you of racism, sexism, fat-shaming, slut-shaming, or any of about 87 other things, they “win” and you are supposed to just start apologizing.

Then you combine this with the Internet, and semi-anonymity, and people feel free to say things in the harshest and most hurtful way possible. So now it’s not just that they disagree with something you said; now they might say you’re a horrible human being, you’re worse than Hitler, you should die in a fire, you should kill yourself, you are “spreading hate”, etc. (The harsh people go for the most fraught words. “hate”, “rape”, “kill”, etc.)

IMHO you have no reason to apologize for anything in the comic. It’s pretty clear that Reggie is being Reggie here, not some sort of stand-in so you can stick hateful thoughts into your comic and say “it’s not me, it’s just the character”. I can think of another comic where characters say provocative things and I’m 100% certain that it *is* just a stand-in for what the author of the comic would say if you asked him. (One clue: all the characters have one “voice”, unlike this comic where they are very distinct.)

As always, thank you for making one of my favorite comics.

Kind of like how tolerance has come to mean not tolerance, but unquestioned endorsement. If you don’t actively endorse something, you’re intolerant, and, oh yeah, worse than Hitler. (Autocorrect capitalizes that name, I did not.)

And “That Guy” was as bad as some others in recent history who were lauded as heroes but you only ever hear mention of that one and what was done on his watch and never the atrocities the others instigated or had happen on their watch
advertising=propaganda=spin=fakenews=becausewesaysoandyouareatraitorandmustdienow

I have been reading most of your notes and they often resonate with me but I have to say; sofar, this one takes the cake (pun intended ;).

I await patiently the rest of your story.

Honestly his response here is basically the same justification my dad had for using Nigger. Neat to see that he wasn’t a unique case in simply being hurtful rather than genuinely prejudicial.

As a practicing fat fuck… fuck’em sideways with no lube.

Seriously. If it actually bothers people that much that being called fat sends them into a rage equal to that of a child being denied a cupcake, maybe they desperately need to drop some weight so to get the self-image and self-worth back into the positive territory. And if you are proud of being fat, then be fucking proud and stop acting like a child whenever someone says your are a fatty fatty boom balaty. Nothing pisses off an asshole more then you don’t care.

While anyone who calls me a fatty would probably get decked, I’m not going to police another person’s language in what they call themselves, or how their characters talk either. Everyone has their hard lines, and I suppose when you get right down it I can admire and respect your ability to be self-disparaging. It takes a bravery I simply don’t have.

Over the course of my life I have fluctuated in weight from skinny to obese on several occasions. The concerns of others over the state of my weight was always puzzling to me. I never particularly cared about how others looked and it never made sense to me that my appearance should be of concern to anyone. In any case I am here for your masterful storytelling. I cannot imagine a scenario where I would leave the flock at this point. Love your work.

We live in a day and age were being a “Victim” is so normal that everyone tries their hardest to find some sort of way to be damaged, damage themselves, or damage other people. I had parents who complained that i wouldn’t eat all my food, then when i got to an age when i constantly ate, i was told be a fat ass. Im one of those chubby guys that has a fitter body from playing sports for a set amount of years, so i dont think being fat doesnt always mean your not healthy. I dont have any major health problems, yet i jiggle when i move sometimes.
Sjw’s, however, just take advantage of situations like this to make them selves feel superior and above all, absolute. Ive been against a few in arguements and have tried to explain thoroughly the reasoning behind my thinking. I have found that most people who do het defensive never really go through

The stuff they’re trying so hard to defend and are just using the argument for the sake of being powerful, and overall, dont care about making an actual point. It’s honestly a sad thing to see people waste so much time on “Researching the facts” about “real world problems” only for them to ultimately do nothing to really contribute to them.
I say write to your heart’s content. It’s your story bro. Im in for the long hual and im not stopping anytime soon if i can help it.

author comment, right on. I’ve struggled most my life with being understood. the way I say things or how, or what. I mean it one way, but people take it entirely different because their context and perspective is different than mine.

When reggie was first introduced I thought “what an asshole, hope hes written out eventually”, but more and more, you have let us get to know him and whats going on inside, and more importantly that he is growing. I’ve come to understand his character much more and even appreciate him, inspite of his snide and meanness at times.

As always, excellent writing, character progression and.. well everything man, keep it up!

I don’t normally comment but man, you are spot on. I’ve been telling people this for years but you’ve got the best phrasing for it I’ve seen. I’m not going to lie, Reggie has always been my favorite character but that’s mainly because I could tell he wasn’t just the “asshole” character. He had depth, even if it was hard to find. Plus Thomas seemed oddly okay with him which meant that Thomas saw something in him.

Honestly, the best stories for me are when I can’t see the author in the story. When I read this comic and then your author note, it’s like night and day. You let the characters be characters and essentially said “screw the labels, they are what they are.” And that’s a concept most people don’t seem to get in real life let alone a fictional medium. People seem to misunderstand that a label doesn’t define you, but it’s merely an interesting factoid about you.

As an aside, there are some webcomics I read that take a noticeable dip in quality, and that’s usually because of a number of factors. However, this comic seems to not suffer from that. I’m not super great at compliments but I can say that I want to see more of this comic and I’ve been reading it for a while. And heck, I’d like to hear about your process when coming up with the writing and art for a single comic (if you haven’t said so already).

I guess that’s it. Whelp, back to work.

I’ve been fat all my life (except for a period from 18 to 19 where I went on a crazy diet and dropped a crap ton of weight. Skinny is not a look I can pull off well) and got all the flak in elementary. All that flak, and I do mean all of it, gradually ended when I decided to just own my size. Now, people don’t see some 6’4″ 320 lb. lard ass wandering down the aisles. No, now they see some 6’4″ 320 lb. BOSS swaggering down the aisle because he damn well owns it. It’s all in how you present yourself.

I actually really like this page. On a personal level, i identify with Reggie a lot, and that makes him hard to like (i honestly rather dislike myself as a person) however, i really do agree with what he’s saying. I’m personally a bit overweight (bout 250 lbs, 75% of which is flab), but i hate people who try and use that as a solid reason to be pricks. And if someone’s gonna be a prick to you, you’re free to retaliate, but if you know where to hit someone, you can make little comments cut deep.
TL;DR : Reggie’s a prick, but he knows the line and where he stands, and i can respect that.

Stupid people….why did it have to be stupid people…

….at least the pit of snakes will kill you if you step on one, the stupid people, though, just never end! And torture you with their stupidity forever! :(

Tsk, tsk, Reggie.
Do some research. Most “fatties” are into junk food + sugar.
They don’t like fruit. ;)

I like fruit…

That’s cool. :D
I’m just bugging Reggie.
I do that sometimes- sometimes I like to bother fictional characters, for fun. They don’t have any feelings to hurt. *Shrugs* Some people punch pillows when they’re stressed…while me, I bug fictional people. Hobbies can be odd like that, can’t they? :D

Your point is valid, people are assholes fat or skinny or white or POC, but then you undercut the WHOLE point with a cheep fat joke.

Either he only makes fun of assholes who happen to be fat because its a easy target OR he is trying to justify making fun of fat people.

Love the comic, but if your going to pick a hill to die on, try not to stab yourself in the foot first.

Maybe its just the way you wrote your comment, but it reads like you’ve forgotten that Reggie is Jackie’s character, not his mouthpiece :-)

You might want to reread the end of the first paragraph of the author’s note – this part in particular:
If every character was perfect the comic would be incredibly boring. Reggie in particular is a bit of an edgelord. He likes messing with people, is vindictive, & has a streak of cruelty in him. He’s growing up. Even though he’s in his 20?s he’s still learning to be a decent person.

I think this episode displays Jackie’s mastery of characterization – from the beginning Reggie has had trouble keeping a leash on his inner jerk. He’s saying this because he has trouble resisting an easy target — in this case his sister — despite the fact that saying this makes it less likely Victoria will help him. Hypocrisy and self-sabatoge are part of Reggie’s (and many real people’s) repertoire!

Hey, I just wanted to say I really enjoy your comic. I’ve been reading since Questionable Content (which btw I think you have easily surpassed by now (not it that matters much, I guess). The consistent quality of your comic really is quite impressive.) linked you once. I don’t know how many years it’s been but I sincerely hope there will be many more to come. Yeah, just thought it wouldn’t hurt to say it every once in a while especially since I don’t support you in any other way… Thank you!

Thanks for commenting. People underestimate how much a positive comment helps. I still read QC and enjoy it, but it has gotten really weird over the years…

For what it’s worth, in my view: Yeah, I agree.
I like Questionable Content, but I’m not sure if Mr. J.J. knows where his story is going, right now.
QC started as a comic, where we see funny stuff done by college-age men + women, + a robot.
Now, he’s made all of his characters- graduate college + find boyfriends + girlfriends…which is very different from his original story. I’ll stay tuned, + see where his story goes.

“The point Reggie is making here is something that people have a hard time understanding; the idea that you can say mean things but not mean them. Or maybe you only mean them for a specific person, or in a specific situation.”

In other words, meaning is inseparable from context. If a hurtful statement is made at random, the odds are high that a recipient may be offended – and that’s legitimate. Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time: in other words, if you’re going to regard yourself as somehow entitled to say what you want, to whom you want, without regard for the time, place or audience, then prepare to deal with the consequences. If you act like a jerk, you’ll be treated like one. This is hardly news.

Reggie is like many a nasty little self-important prick one meets in life. In all likelihood, he’ll continue down that route until he runs head first into a brick wall. Perhaps repeatedly. And maybe he’ll wise up. If not, he’ll hurt plenty of people who don’t deserve it.

As for those who reserve their scorn and active contempt for the overweight, be careful. Your sense of entitlement is not a miracle barrier against retribution. Shit happens to us all<if you haven’t had your share, be patient. It’ll come. In the meantime, try to be kind, not not cruel. It’s good practice. Eventually, you’ll need all the friends you can get. And you’ll find that, in the course of life, friends fall away, but enemies accumulate.

Just Wow! One of the most profound pages and comments of the comic. I could not agree more. I think understanding quantity will matter much as one of the next big things. Pun intended.^^

I just wanna say…

Glad to be back, been a while since I could read the comic or contribute in any way.

And also, sick burn Reggie. I giggle every time.

-signed, a not sure if she’s fat but she sure ain’t skinny chick

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