I'm not so sure you can fault it for anything other than being pure nonsense.
—Jhonen Vasquez, and though he's referring to a single story he may as well be summing up the whole book.
Jellyfist is an single-issue Anthology Comic written by Jhonen Vasquez and illustrated by Jenny Goldberg. The basic conceit was to see what happens when the author and artist are deliberately uncommunicative. The result is about as bizarre as one might expect, especially given the parties involved.The book is adorned with commentary from the two running down the sides of the pages.
Jellyfist provides examples of the following tropes:
- The Annotated Edition / MST / Self-Deprecation
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: "Sign of Times" contains a giant baby that just sits around drooling on itself until a giant flounder flies through the air, collides with it and explodes.
- Author Appeal: Vasquez and bees.Vasquez: I am the Bee-master. Love bees. Often. Almost as often as I eat them...in big bowls...fulla honey.
- Body Horror: The "talking car" in "The Grocery Parking" is, in fact, a woman who was converted into a car.
- Break the Cutie: What happens to the little rabbit thing in the untitled comic after "Breakfast".
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Gloonch and the squid both do it in "Portrait of a Chewing".
- Breather Episode: Vasquez considers "Portrait of a Chewing" this.
- Child Hater: Goldberg.Goldberg: The kid in this one ["Minipigs"] is awesomely grotesque, though...he's a very true representation of how I view most children."
- Coat Full of Contraband: The salesmen in "Minipigs" has...well...pigs.
- Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Vasquez's commentary text is in brown; Goldberg's is in blue.
- A Date with Rosie Palms: "Mother in a Puddle" happens in the aftermath of the protagonist having masturbated.
- Delayed Reaction: The blob in "Ext Some Place - Day" takes a panel to react to Bloops' "Why hey there!! I'm eating your internal organs!!"
- Deus ex Machina: "Muffin Top" suddenly blasting off rocket-style at the end of "History of Violence".Vasquez: That ending is what ghosts call a deus ex machina. Which I accept, but how else can something this powerful conclude?
- Don't Explain the Joke:Goldberg: Talk to my sister.Vasquez: I'll talk to her...with the bumper of my car! Get it? Because I'm going to hit her? With my car. It's not nice.
- Dull Surprise: "Not to mention how unfazed the baby is by the explosion on it's neck."
- Eldritch Abomination: Pantsiford's pants are filled with these in "The Old Gods".
- Fastball Special: The man in "Downtown LA" who attempts to dispatch his hoboified wife by throwing their toddler at her.
- Flying Seafood Special: The giant flounder in "Sign of the Times".
- Funny Background Event: "The little cactus weenie" in "Breakfast".
- Gag Penis: Several characters are anthropomorphic embodiments of this trope.
- ISO-Standard Urban Groceries: Check off both the paper bag and the baguette for Goonch's groceries in "Portrait of a Chewing".
- Literal-Minded: "Sign of Times" was inspired by a restaurant poster reading "don't be such a big baby."
- Killer Rabbit: The titular Little Thing of "Little Thing Lost" was "kicked out of [his] village....and then poisoned for killing all those people."
- Mood WhiplashGoldberg: Yeah, I'm always a big fan of the stupidly abrupt changes in mood.
- Random Events Plot: Pretty much every story in the book.
- Sanity Slippage: Goldberg appears to be undergoing this in the commentary for "He Gonna Do It". It even freaks Vasquez out.
- Sliding Scale of Realistic Versus Fantastic: None of the stories are full-on realistic, but how "real" the art is (human protagonists vs. animals or blobs; domestic settings vs. hellscapes) generally give a good indication of how much sense the events of any given story is going to make.
- Space Is Noisy: Averted—a caption box at the end of "Baby Beehead" goes out of its way to point out the explosion at the end is silent.
- Surreal Humor: A rough outline of the first comic: a rabbit tells a piece of feces it likes stuff. Three years later, the poop says it likes stuff too. The bunny, upon hearing this, goes insane and then dies. The piece of poop goes fishing. Roughly every other story in the book makes about as much sense as what you just read.
- Spontaneous Human Combustion: "Das Bleemp", the dick-thing that asks about sandwiches going to hell begins levitating and then becomes engulfed in flames. There's no evident reason for this, though Vasquez clarifies in the commentary that "the prospect of no Heaven and Hell for this guy's sandwiches just breaks him."
- Toilet Humour: "Das Bleemp".Vasquez: Why is that guy an enormous penis? Was that right, too?Goldberg: Well, uhhh....I actually have no exact reason outside of the fact that penises are hilarious.
- Too Dumb to Live: Vasquez pegs the dad in "Downtown LA" as this, between breaking the window keeping the hobos out and just curling up and letting them surround him when they have one point of entry.
- Voodoo Shark: Vasquez's attempts to explain the weirdness of each story often just makes them weirder.
- Word Salad Title
- Zombie Apocalypse: Er, kind of. The hobo invasion in "Downtown LA" is set up like, in Vasquez's words, "a traditional zombie movie."