Follow TV Tropes


Comic Book / I Feel Sick

Go To

A duo of comic books by Jhonen Vasquez, the guy who did Invader Zim. It's a Spin-Off of Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, exploring Devi's life after the main series and the start of her own mental sickness at the hands of a deranged painting of hers known as Sickness, as well as the start of serious anti-social behaviors as a result of stress from her work for a publishing company.

I Feel Sick provides examples of:

  • Art Initiates Life: With demonic assistance feeding off your brain.
  • Atomic F-Bomb: Devi curses a lot throughout the comic, but the biggest one of all is when she realizes Sickness tricked her into shredding her own hands on a broken jar, thereby preventing her from painting.
  • Bad Boss: Devi's is both stupid and... um... well. Good thing she quits.
    Jhonen Vasquez: You wanted to see me, Mr. Nevers?
    Mr. Nevers: I'm going to rape you up the butt and then throw you out the window!
  • Call-Back:
  • The Cameo: Eric the vampire (pre becoming an actual vampire) shows up as the impetus for one of the unfortunate social incidents in Devi's flashbacks in the first issue.
  • Can't Get in Trouble for Nuthin': Sickness offers this ability to Devi in exchange for her mind.
  • Character Blog: In-universe, as each volume starts with Devi's journal writings charting the events that lead up to the comic proper. Doubles as an Info Dump.
  • Advertisement:
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Tenna.
  • Crapsack World: Shared with Johnny and Squee.
  • Creator Cameo: Jhonen Vasquez appears briefly in the second issue, then suffers Death by Cameo when Devi's boss throws him out a window.
  • Creepy Doll: Sickness.
  • Denser and Wackier: Jhonen's work has always been best described as absurdist Black Comedy but this comic marks the transition point between the (very slightly) more sedate, coherent style of Johnny the Homicidal Maniac and the cheerfully random Invader Zim where the absurdism really overtook everything else.
  • Determinator: Devi will not give up her mind to Sickness. Period. Even if she has to quit her job and nearly be smothered by a morbidly obese fat lady. Also, her dating attempts.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Look what Devi caught from her one-time date!
  • Executive Meddling: In-universe. Devi finally quits in protest.
  • Fate Worse than Death: At the climax of the comic, Devi impales Sickness on a paintbrush and tears their eyes out. She then drops them in the bottom of her backpack, implying that Sickness is stuck there. Forever.
    Devi: Because you're mine now, you fuckin' idiot.
  • Filler: Fillerbunny, and to a lesser extent the bad date flashbacks. (The word "Meanwhile" even pops up in reference to the latter.)
  • Good Parents: Shockingly enough, a flashback reveals that Devi's dad actually cared about her and was nervous about his little girl dating. Around here, that probably makes him Parent of the Year.
  • Imagination Destroyer: Devi's artist's block is caused by Sickness siphoning off her creativity for its own use. It also implies that the similar consumption of the creative talent of Johnny the Homicidal Maniac is what originally caused him to go crazy.
  • Imagine Spotting: "That's bullshit! And why the fuck am I wearing a bear suit?!"
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Devi's first boyfriend, Eddie, dies a slow, agonizing death as a result of a car accident caused by trying to Date Rape her while the car was still moving.
  • Lighter and Softer: Surprisingly so. With themes of self acceptance and The Power of Friendship and even a happy ending (though with still plenty of absurdist Black Comedy to spare; said happy ending is set against a plane crashing into an apartment building), I Feel Sick is easily the lightest in the JTHM trilogy and Jhonen Vasquez's most optimistic work prior to Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus.
  • Meaningful Name: Sickness.
  • Meanwhile, in the Future…: Devi's flashback to her youth is labeled "meanwhile some years back."
  • Mr. Exposition: Sickness is this entirely against her will. No matter how hard she tries, she just can't stop. The exposition tends to double as a Motive Rant, making things worse.
  • Mythology Gag: "Meanwhile some years back" nods to the filler stories Vasquez would pepper issues of JTHM and Squee with, all of which had titles invariably starting with the word "meanwhile" (and are even grouped as Meanwhiles in the Squee anthology.)
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Sickness accidentally reveals too much to Devi via their inability to stop talking, leading to her realizing what her fate will be if she doesn't fight back. She's in the middle of a meeting with her Bad Boss when she figures everything out out.
    Sickness: Your friend thought he could fight it too.
  • Only Sane Man: Devi, the character who spends the story fighting off a mental breakdown at the hands of a demonic brain parasite and a job specializing in Executive Meddling. Yeah.
  • Surprisingly Happy Ending
  • Touched by Vorlons: Apparently, Sickness was introduced to Devi through her interaction with Nny.
  • Vampire Vannabe: Eric the Vampire. Since this is a flashback, we know he gets his wish granted in one of the Meanwhiles.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Devi is one. Tenna lampshades this.
  • Your Answer to Everything: "You need to get out more" is Tenna's.