Page 540
August 22nd, 2016

Page 540

Two weeks of summer vacation left, two weeks of summer vacation left, two weeks of summer vacation left… the children are fighting again…

Vote Incentive: original sketch from the Ghostbusters clubhouse design (with a Mallow man!)

New shirt series up at Teepublic:



    What convenient Prozac placement. And back to the herbs. Gonna be honest. Did not see that coming. Great job, again.


    Huh… There’s no description or vote incentive today?

  3. StoticM

    He has a point. I know he’s treading on thin ice considering his actions, but once again (can’t believe ism saying this) He’s right they didn’t have a right to peek in his mind. Although they didn’t mean harm him, they didn’t think how he would have felt…dang I feel sad for him. But point still stands he killed the owl…Jeez I wonder how death will take this. ummm here something take the edge off:

  4. T-Shaw

    Why would he Crack) do this? To get revenge on Prozac and Death and the Owl going inside of his head and realizing the truth? Just realized on the bottom left panel.

  5. Nikary

    It’s kinda amusing to see Prozac and Evil take the same side. I know it’s not the first time and all, but…

  6. Ash

    I love how crack is apparently ignoring the part where he was an ACTIVE PARTICIPANT. Because I can’t think of a single person who has SEVERE paranoia and anxiety that would say, “I’m totally fine like this.” He came to his realization and the source of his issues through his own self-discovery. If anything this sounds like he’s upset at the status quo changing and his fear is manifesting in that way. Which has now become irrational resentment and anger.

    And there’s an amazing hypocritical irony in his character lecturing them about the right to self-determination and self-integrity when he poisoned them. Then is planning to brutally murder them one by one in a extremely sadistic fashion.

    tl;dr – Cracked is being a massive hypocrite and whatever grievance he has this is like responding to a bug bite by burning down a forest.

    p.s. I really like the comic and think this is a great demonstration of how just because someone has overcome a mental disorder doesn’t mean they’re fundamentally an altruistic and happy person underneath.

  7. Nikary

    Oh, and speaking of invading brains… xD

  8. Northcote

    Ata boy Evil! Avenge him-the owl!

  9. MicaXIII

    while he has a point, it’s clear that there is still alot of paranoia inside of him even after trying to deal with his past. It’s like the therapy did nothing but make him less afraid to act on his fears. Before he was just afraid, now he’s afraid AND angry. It takes alot more than facing your past to deal with clinical paranoia.

  10. Chasey

    But in the end, it had been YOUR choice, Cracked. You seemed pretty open to the idea of change.
    Or maybe that’s just the peer-pressure talking.
    Something else must’ve cracked the night after and he doesn’t like the change? Or the idea that his friends wanted him to change.

  11. Siraj

    I get the feeling whatever Evil’s planning is going to be amazing.

  12. Chris

    Crack has officially left the building.

  13. partoftheuniverse

    Um, so nobody mentioned this, but this “clear state of mind”, so to speak, in which Crack can exercise all of his vengeful actions, seems to be only temporary?… There was that twitch from two comics ago, and now there’s that classic vein in the eye. If this is another Evil 2 “eventual self destruct” ex machina I would be very relieved. Of course, he might just be caught up in his all-consuming rage. I guess there’s no true way of telling

  14. Bry

    Crack DOES have a point, but, at the same time, he didnt exactly protest once he awoke in his own subconscious mind…and he WAS happy when it was all over. he understood himself and y he was the way he was, unless that was all a ruse to get his payback

  15. Virgil S.

    When a bear winds up in a bathtub after a psychotic break–even if he DIDN’T suffer constant anxiety and debilitating phobias–it’s not only appropriate but also morally obligatory for other bears to help him.

    This arc makes absolutely no sense to me. Crack suffered from anxiety and paranoia. The “enabled” version of him in this arc is calculating, hateful, and outright psychopathic. In terms of logic and causality, “Bear Nuts” has never been off-the-charts in requiring suspension of disbelief. This arc is. There is no conceivable way that an individual with this degree of underlying hatred for his family would behave in the way that Crack has behaved prior to this arc, crippling phobias or no.

    While acute paranoia can cause people to turn on their families, there’s nothing calculating or rational about it. Paranoiacs this deeply afflicted are incoherent, disorganized, and delusional to the point of believing it’s “kill or be killed”. They’re not debilitated by fear. They don’t suddenly wake up one day and meticulously plot a massacre. They’re out of their minds. This obviously isn’t the case here.

    I generally appreciate efforts to make characters less one-dimensional, but it runs the risk of destroying their likability. The only thing that could salvage this arc now is if Crack dies at the end, and… wow… would that blacken the tone of the comic. If he goes back to being “regular” Crack after all is said and done, I’m going to pretend the arc never existed.

  16. Mr. Casual

    I’m with Virgil on this one. This is off the charts in terms of a personality flip-flop. It’s like Crack became the complete opposite of everything he was before, in every single way. I’m surprised he’s not sporting a goatee, really, because he needs to go back to the evil mirror-universe, and we’ll probably find the real Crack in a closet, somewhere.

    So many lines have been crossed with this, I just _can’t_ believe we’ll simply go back to the status-quo at the end of this arc. How will we ever be able to look at Crack the same way again?

  17. Legacy

    I think I’m gonna skip this comic for a few weeks. This has been screaming ‘idea for a story’ without ‘reasonable way to get there’ for a while, and this week I genuinely thought I missed a connecting page on the first read through.

  18. StoticM

    Also i know someone could obviously argue that Evil was no better, he did almost equally as bad things over a period of time. but that’s the thing he did it over a longer period of time. Crack did this all in one calculated strike… At least there is some, albeit good in Evil, but this? If he’s turned back into normal crack he might be worse, this might be a lot to take in for the little guy… time will tell. Sorry this thought just occurred to me.

  19. Bry

    @Virgil and Casual i see both your points, but his reaction, albeit over the top, makes perfect sense. how would u feel if u were knocked out, brought to a shaman without your consent and basically had your only sanctuary (whether youre racked w/ paranoia or otherwise), your mind, violated in a sense in order to “fix u”? yes it’s sudden, yes it’s over the top and out of character, but his rage is justified. since Crack is sane now (and i use “sane” lightly), hes starting to see that the bears completely ignored him and his paranoia bouts then, most recently, entered his mind without his consent in order to mold him into someone who is “normal” and more tolerable so they didnt have to deal w/ his episodes. unless they just want to please to keep the peace, NOBODY likes being molded into someone theyre not. i’m not saying he LIKED being a nervous wreck 24/7, but i’d think he’d prefer the bears to try and help him the non-shaman way rather than violate him. yes, they meant well, but, to Crack, they only wanted to rid him of his anxiety in order for them to have peace…it was all backed by ulterior motive to him. i quote Crack from this latest page: “You had no right! You don’t get to decide if I need fixing! You don’t get to mess with my head! You don’t get to invade my brain! MY BRAIN!! And change me to suit you.”

  20. StoticM

    @Bry And that’s why i feel sorry for him those words ring true to me. It’s sad that the good deed they thought would help turned bad, true to life to an extent.

  21. Bluedramon

    Ah… So now his behavior does make sense. Looking back, never once did any of the other bears ask Crack if he wanted to see someone. They just decided, on their own, what they thought was best for him, instead of trying to get his input on it. They knocked him out and dragged him to the Shaman against his will and they didn’t bother to ask if it was okay to do this. While he is going too far, Crack does have a legitimate reason to be angry.

  22. Vausch

    Well Bluedramon, and Bry you gotta also consider that what happened to him beforehand was a new low for him. Crack is damaged, and badly. If a person isn’t completely mentally clear, it’s completely reasonable to take them to seek help regardless of their consent, especially if they’re in such a state of mind they can’t make rational decisions. I mean if you find your friend babbling incoherently, worrying that they’re being watched by aliens or struggling to form a coherent sentence, you can’t exactly take them at their word that they don’t want or won’t receive help. They’re not mentally clear, and my example would point to schizophrenia.

    Now while it is true that the bears might not have taken the best approach, Crack could very easily have turned down the offer when they were within his consciousness. They weren’t trying to mould crack into something he isn’t, they were genuinely trying to help him because they were worried for his well being. I dunno about you but if I saw a normally reserved albeit omniphobic friend suddenly go into a trance and start tearing apart and eating a goose I’d probably think “Hokay, we’re going to see a professional” rather than ask them if they want to go. There’s a reason that power of attorney refers to “Of sound mind and body”.

    And again, the bears didn’t seem to be doing this specifically about peace for themselves. Crack needed help, and if helping him made their lives easier along with his then there isn’t a major issue. People have a right to their own happiness. Crack wasn’t being hurt by this and they weren’t attempting to reshape who he was, just help him be a better HIM.

    I do have some empathy for Crack, though. It’s like when a person asks if it’s possible to cure autism (of which I am). You can wonder how much of your own personality is based on that and how much of a change you would go through should it be “cured”, and you can sometimes fear it would take away your positive aspects along with the bad. At the same time though, I can say that if there were a “cure” and a family was dealing with an autistic child that was so severe they would scream or cry when looking someone in the eye or be unable to communicate, I would say that would be a situation where administering this “cure” would be justified. It’s giving them a better life and allowing them to be independent in their future as well as the family.


    @Bluedramon So the self help tapes don’t count then?
    Honestly, though, I don’t see why people are getting so mad at Crack. I mean, all he’s done is murder a minor character we haven’t seen til last arc. No harm done. I think some people are expecting Crack to be completely rational about this, but I really don’t think he’s the type of character that would think about what he’s doing.

  24. Chasey

    I went back and read through again; he was asked if he wanted to leave his memories behind, that “he’ll” take care of them. “He” being the weird floating unconscious Crack in the hallucination dream thing.
    This page:
    The owl even says he can “choose”. Yes, the owl followed up by *telling* him to leave it here, so I guess there is some peer pressure here, but… maybe…?

    Iunno, either way, I’m sticking with my theory; it’s definitely too heinous what Crack’s doing/planning that things can’t go back to normal unless it turns out to be some surprise “it was just a dream/trance!” thing…

  25. Chasey

    And when I say that things can’t go back to normal because stuff’s too heinous, it’s mostly because of the owl; we knew him briefly, but we knew that he was a friend to Pro and Death, so it would be very hard, I think, for Pro and Death to ever look at Crack the same again and not be… worried/sad/etc

  26. Bluedramon

    I should make it a bit clear as I forgot to in my last comment that I am not defending Crack’s actions as he is going way too far. I was just saying that I can understand why he’s furious in the first place. He was forced, or at least pressured, into doing something he didn’t want to do. I’m not referring to the owl; this wasn’t really his idea. Prozac and Death were the ones to take action and did so without Crack’s consent. This may have gone better had those two asked his permission to see the owl to begin with.

    I do feel Crack’s fury is definitely justified. But not his actions. Yes, the others should have consulted him more thoroughly. Yes they should have asked him if he wanted to see the owl instead of dragging him there against his will (while he was unconscious no doubt). But that doesn’t justify him poisoning the other bears and killing the Shaman.

  27. Vausch

    Well Chasey, you could see that as like the advice of a professional. I mean a psychiatrist has to offer you methods to help yourself and they do have to sometimes get a bit straightforward in saying “You need to do this”. Crack needs more help if anything. A lot more.

    Heh, What I like about that Bluedramon is that Evil has done pretty much everything Crack has done but when Crack does it it’s heinous. Can’t help but be reminded of a line from the Simpsons when Homer finds out Marge almost cheated on him at the time when he almost did too.

    Homer: You’re just as bad as me, and you used to be better, so that makes you worse!

  28. Chasey

    Heh, no, I can see that, you make a great point. Evil’s killed things too, and somehow I forgot about that. I guess it just hits a little harder to some people since they don’t usually get to see the small critters like squirrels portrayed as intelligent as the bears, but then again, we’ve never focused on the squirrels so maybe they actually are just as intelligent. And Evil DID legitimately try to kill Vanity, too, and might have even done it if everyone hadn’t shown up. And Sara almost got super-maimed by polars thanks to Evil. (Not that she didn’t deserve it to some extent)

    Maybe it’s also that a lot of people find Evil a little easier to dislike, too (since he picks on the other bears that they may like more). And Crack might be easier to like or sympathize with, so it’s harder for people to call him bad when he finally does the same bad things Evil has done. Like being in denial, almost.

    Just offering up some ideas as to why we’re all freaking out about Cracked being worse than Evil when it seems to be relatively the same by comparison.

    Lol, man, this is a violent comic.

  29. Vausch

    @Chasey Yeah, that thing about Sara was something I got into an argument with someone about. I personally don’t think Sara deserved to be beaten by the polars and nearly killed for what she did because all things considered the worst of what she did was get Gay beaten up and make the others pamper her a bit. Especially since afterwards she did seem to be making an effort to get along with them, especially Gay, and she admitted she was awful to him. Yes mind control is a horrifying thing but for what she used it for; not the worst.

    Yeah, plus that’s kind of his thing. He’s Evil. It’s literally his name. You expect him to do bad things. Heck to continue that argument, it was said that Evil redeemed himself by saving Nerd. Well, yeah, after he caused all that. Plus the things he did prior, not exactly putting him on neutral karma there. They have implied that most if not all the animals are as intelligent as the bears, just some of them either don’t speak or have their own language we as readers can’t understand. Plus there was that time Evil attempted to beat Sloth Bear to death in a violent coup. Yes Sloth was going to eat him but that was because Evil made his coup known.

    Indeed it is. Part of why i like it. It’s violent but nobody suffers.

  30. Mr. Casual

    I suppose when it comes to Evil, it’s more the case that we A) fully expect it from him, and B), he does actually help from time to time, just like he’s doing now. Especially as of late, he seems a little bit more inclined to play nice and aid the other bears, even if he still has his evil streak. It’s a bit of character-development that’s happened over a long establishing arc, and feels more natural.

    For Crack, this all happened in a heartbeat, seems like. The other bears and Owl didn’t mold him into anything, they simply gave him a mirror and said, “Figure yourself out.” It’s not like he’s been brainwashed to make him more calm. Everything he was shown, every door he went through, it was directed by his own mind and choices. They were just trying to help keep him from murdering geese and becoming more and more unhinged.

    And what do they get for it? A murderous psychopath. It just feels entirely out of left field. He showed absolutely no inclination toward it in his memories. Hell, even if Crack was angry over the invasion, just be a grumpy, angry bear. But trying to drug, imprison, and murder them over it? It just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

    My opinion, anyway.

  31. StoticM

    Sorry to go off topic but for those who read my story, thanks it great to see many of you like something that goofy. Also saw the preview for what coming up for BN, Liking what I’m seeing.

  32. Virgil S.

    Evil the bear is evil. He’s supposed to be. We implicitly understand that he’s a cartoon villain who will never inflict permanent damage on other significant characters. Our surety that he won’t succeed makes him a tolerable character, like Elmer Fudd. If this changes at any point, he’ll cease being the cartoon bad guy and become a real predator. Much less likable.

    @Bry, @Bluedramon – Let’s say that in spite of Crack’s obvious need of help and his consent (at numerous junctures) to move forward, he does have cause to be angry with his fellow bears. “Angry” is storming off into his room, excoriating the other bears, or fleeing the zoo.

    But what do we have so far? He fakes wellness, clubs Lech, drugs the other bears (including the “good” bears like Tanked and presumably Gimpy), locks them up and speaks casually about murdering them, goes after Evil with a knife, murders the old owl for no reason whatsoever, and is now on record telling Prozac that he intends to murder his entire family, leaving Prozac for last so he can watch.

    This isn’t “angry”. It’s cold, calculated, homicidal psychopathy. There is _no way_ that the Crack bear we’ve known and loved for so many years, angry or not, would behave this way when liberated of his phobias. Non sequitur. It does not follow. It simply does not make sense.

    Hence we’re left with “OK, so Crack was really a homicidal maniac all along–a real villain–magically prevented from acting out due to his anxiety.” If he goes back to his old self, what is he then? He’s a character that any reasonable person ought to hate and, beyond that, want put out of his misery. Without him dying or some Deus ex machina (like @Chasey’s “it was all a dream” scenario) to sweep everything under the rug, this arc and this character just aren’t salvageable. As I said before, I’m going to pretend it never existed.

    My apologies for being so critical of an otherwise exceptionally-well-made comic.

  33. Bry

    @Virgil it’s all psychological. it IS possible for someone’s personality to completely change after treatment to treat a mental disorder. if Crack were to return to “normal”, he can very well snap back to his old, paranoid self and possibly not even remember what he said and did

  34. Hikaru

    I’m kinda hoping this is a dream or something.

  35. TailaBlu

    That”s strange, nobody”s brought up the possibility of Crack having an alter yet? Forgive my mistakes, I’m typing this on a phone.

    I’m thinking the Crack we’re seeing is the one with no pupils, kind of given sentience because of the “healing”. Hence why he also has pupils now when he fronts instead of Crack.

  36. TaggertShare

    “You don’t get to decide if I need fixing”…I think a lot of Males feel that way. Joking aside I do agree with Crack.

  37. Virgil S.

    @Bry Not like what’s being portrayed here. A guy remembers some traumatic childhood memories and it turns him from a meek cipher into a homicidal psychopath? No chance.

    Maybe over the course of several months if the treatment caused serious brain damage, but even then it would be a one-in-a-million case and it wouldn’t manifest like this.

    @TailaBlu The possibility of an alter ego was discussed in past weeks. Some readers were upset because people might be convinced that treatment for anxiety, paranoia, etc. could actually lead to this kind of homicidal split personality, and they’d avoid seeking treatment. I don’t share these readers’ concerns, but I do consider this whole arc within the realm of bad science fiction.

    Even in the handful of DID cases (which many psychiatrists consider bunkum) that a “protector” identity putatively emerged, it wasn’t high-functioning, it wasn’t homicidal, it certainly didn’t go around drugging and killing people for no reason.

    If this is an alter ego, we’re going to have to call him Crack Gollum or something. :P

  38. Valentine

    I still hope crack dies in this arc…

  39. Ice Raven

    My bet is thay are all still in Crack’s mind and this is all A posabul outcome of the treetment! And we will get to see several other outcomes. ;)

  40. chase

    Oh, you hate that we decided to mess with your mind without asking first? Well, guess what! We’re gonna do it again!

    And yes, I’m still banking on this all being some sort of fever dream.

  41. chase

    Oh, and Valentine, I believe it was mentioned by the artist herself that she would never kill off one of the main characters. Cracked is, whether you hate him or love him, a main character.

  42. YourWorstNightmare

    ……..well I guess we know why Crack is so angry……….I get it, but DAMN there is a line and you crossed it 100 miles ago Crack!!!!!!!!

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